The Challenger: One of the Nine Enneagram Types

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Donovan - Life Coach

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The Enneagram is a powerful tool for understanding personality types, motivations, and behaviours. With nine distinct types, each with its own set of characteristics, the Enneagram can help us better understand ourselves and those around us. In this article, I will be focusing on Enneagram Type 8, also known as The Challenger.

The Challenger is a bold and dynamic personality type, with a desire for control and a deep passion for life. They are natural leaders, driven by their inner sense of justice and a desire to make a difference in the world. However, they can also be intense and intimidating, making it important to understand their motivations and how to interact with them effectively.

So, let’s dive into the world of The Challenger and explore what makes this enneagram type so unique.

The Traits of The Challenger

The Challenger is known for their confidence, assertiveness, and passion. They are natural-born leaders, unafraid to take charge and make decisions. Here are some of the key traits that define The Challenger:

  • Confident: The Challenger is incredibly confident in their abilities and opinions. They have a strong sense of self and are not afraid to speak their mind.

  • Assertive: They are not afraid to take charge and make decisions. The Challenger is often seen as a natural leader, able to inspire and motivate others to take action.

  • Passionate: The Challenger is deeply passionate about life and the things they care about. They have a strong sense of purpose and are driven to make a difference in the world.

  • Protective: They are fiercely protective of those they care about, willing to do whatever it takes to keep them safe and secure.

  • Intense: The Challenger can be incredibly intense and intimidating. They are not afraid to confront others and can come across as aggressive or confrontational.

  • Control: They have a strong desire for control, both over themselves and their environment. The Challenger wants to be in charge and may struggle to relinquish control to others.


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The Motivations of The Challenger

Understanding the motivations behind The Challenger’s behaviour is key to understanding their personality type. Here are some of the key motivators for The Challenger:

  • Control: The Challenger’s desire for control is driven by a need for security and stability. They want to be in charge of their own lives and may struggle with feeling powerless or out of control.

  • Justice: They have a strong sense of justice and fairness, and are driven by a desire to make the world a better place. The Challenger wants to stand up for what they believe in and fight against injustice and oppression.

  • Power: The Challenger is motivated by power, both over themselves and others. They want to be seen as strong and capable and may struggle with feeling weak or vulnerable.

  • Passion: They are motivated by their intense passion for life and the things they care about. The Challenger wants to live life to the fullest and make the most of every moment.

The Behaviors of The Challenger

The Challenger’s behaviours can be both positive and negative, depending on the situation. Here are some of the key behaviours associated with this enneagram type:

  • Leadership: They are natural-born leaders, able to inspire and motivate others to take action. The Challenger is not afraid to take charge and make decisions and may be seen as a role model or mentor by those around them.

  • Confrontation: They are not afraid to confront others when they feel something is not right. The Challenger will speak their mind and stand up for what they believe in, even if it means taking on a powerful opponent.

  • Independence: They value their independence and may resist authority or rules that they feel limit their freedom. The Challenger wants to make their own decisions and may struggle with being told what to do.

  • Impatience: They can be impatient with others who they feel are not keeping up with their pace. The Challenger may become frustrated with those who they perceive as slow or lazy.

  • Aggression: They can be aggressive in their pursuit of goals and may come across as domineering or forceful. The Challenger wants to get things done and may use strong tactics to achieve their objectives.

  • Loyalty: They are fiercely loyal to those they care about and will go to great lengths to protect them. The Challenger values trust and honesty in relationships and maybe hurt by betrayal or disloyalty.

How to Interact with The Challenger

Interacting with The Challenger can be both rewarding and challenging. Here are some tips for understanding and interacting with this enneagram type:

  • Be direct: The Challenger appreciates direct and honest communication. They want others to speak their mind and not beat around the bush.

  • Respect their boundaries: The Challenger values their independence and may become defensive if they feel their boundaries are being violated. Respect their need for space and autonomy.

  • Avoid power struggles: The Challenger wants to be in control and may become confrontational if they feel their power is being challenged. Try to avoid power struggles and focus on finding common ground.

  • Show loyalty: They value loyalty and trust in relationships. Be honest and reliable, and avoid betraying their trust.

  • Be patient: The Challenger can be impulsive and impatient but may need time to process their emotions and thoughts. Give them space to reflect and don’t rush them.

How a Life Coach Can Help The Challenger

A life coach can be a valuable resource for individuals looking to better understand and harness their enneagram type, including The Challenger.

Here are some ways in which a life coach can help:

  • Self-awareness: A life coach can help The Challenger develop a deeper understanding of their motivations, behaviours, and patterns of thinking. By increasing self-awareness, The Challenger can gain insight into how they may be perceived by others and identify areas for personal growth.

  • Communication skills: The Challenger may struggle with communication, especially when it comes to expressing vulnerability or opening up emotionally. A life coach can help them develop effective communication skills, such as active listening and assertiveness, to improve their relationships and interactions with others.

  • Leadership development: The Challenger has natural leadership qualities, but may need support in developing their leadership skills. A life coach can provide guidance and support in areas such as delegation, conflict resolution, and team building, to help The Challenger become a more effective leader.

  • Goal-setting and action planning: The Challenger is driven by a desire for achievement and success, but may struggle with setting and achieving goals. A life coach can help them identify their priorities, create an action plan, and hold them accountable for making progress towards their goals.

By working with a life coach, The Challenger can gain new insights into their personality type and develop the skills and strategies needed to thrive in both personal and professional settings. A life coach can provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment for growth and transformation, helping The Challenger become the best version of themselves.


Q: Is The Challenger always aggressive?

A: No, The Challenger can be assertive and passionate without being aggressive. However, they may become aggressive if they feel their power is being challenged or their boundaries are being violated.

Q: Can The Challenger be vulnerable?

A: Yes, The Challenger can experience vulnerability and may struggle with showing their emotions. They may need to work on opening up and expressing themselves more freely.

Q: Is The Challenger a good leader?

A: Yes, The Challenger is a natural-born leader and can inspire and motivate others to take action. However, they may need to work on their communication and listening skills to be an effective leader.


The Challenger, also known as Enneagram Type 8, is a dynamic and powerful personality type. With a desire for control, a passion for life, and a strong sense of justice, The Challenger can be both intimidating and inspiring. By understanding their traits, motivations, and behaviours, we can better understand and interact with this unique enneagram type. Remember to be direct, respect their boundaries, and show loyalty, and you’ll be on your way to building a strong and rewarding relationship with The Challenger.

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