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Stress & Security Arrows

One of the great things about the Enneagram is that it has built within it the resources you need to grow. (Which sets it apart from other personality systems.) The lines between the numbers on the Enneagram are actually arrows, giving dynamic movement to the system. Your core type never changes but you can access the energy and behavior of another type in different circumstances. 

Your Stress Arrow is the one pointing away from your number. Your stress arrow gives you access to the behavior of that number to take care of yourself when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Stress causes you to exaggerate behavior of your core number and causes you to drop down levels of health but utilizing your arrows can help stop the descent.

You do have to be careful though, because in stress, you can also go to the low side of that number which will not serve you very well. 

Your Security Arrow is the one pointing toward your number. When you are feeling really safe and secure you can look like or behave like your security number. This number gives you strategies for healing and growth and when we utilize it, we are saying to ourselves that we want to show up more fully in our lives. 

The beauty of the Enneagram is that it doesn’t just leave you in your core number, it gives you specific steps to help you deal with it, so it’s not just descriptive but also prescriptive. Understanding how to best use your arrows is a major part of my Next Steps workshop. 


Your wings are simply the numbers on either side of your core number. At times, you might lean toward one of your wings and take on some of its traits. Some say that you have one wing in the first half of life and take on the other wing in the second half of life to give you more balance. Your wing can be little or big and it affects behavior but not the core motivation of your main type. How to best utilize your wings is also part of my Next Steps workshop. 

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