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Enneagram Type 5: Positive Affirmations for Path of Growth


“I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.” Charles Darwin

Overview of the Enneagram Type 5: The Observer, Investigator, Thinker, Sage

If you are an Enneagram Type 5, you are intellectual, informed and logical. You are an observer of life, and prefer to stay on the sidelines. You like others to see you as someone wise, perceptive and knowledgeable.

You prefer to conserve your energy instead of participating or engaging actively in life. Staying on the sidelines is your way of maintaining calm and composure in a seemingly chaotic world. To make sense of the chaos, you seek refuge in knowledge. Subject mastery appeals to you. As an Enneagram Type 5, you are part of the thinking triad (Types 5, 6 and 7).

Others are drawn to you because they find you informed. You are scholarly. Also, you have the ability to remain detached and make decisions based on scientific and careful analysis. Others like to seek your wise counsel. Before offering any perspective, you tend to think things through. You are excellent with creating systems in clear and concise manner.

An information junkie, you like to master as much as you can about a subject. For expertise, you may not necessarily decide to pursue academic qualifications, however your desire is to acquire mastery. You enjoy spending time observing and synthetizing information. It is how you develop confidence. You are not interested in what is already common knowledge but things that are seldom explored. Hence, you have the desire to pursue ideas and information that are not well-established. By investigating into what is overlooked and unknown, you believe that what you acquire is of value.

“Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.” Albert Einstein

Pretentious displays put you off. Because you tend to go straight to the point, you feel uncomfortable and awkward in social situations whereby you need to make small talk. You have an inner world of facts and figures. Being in the head appears far safer than being in your body.

Famous personalities who are of Enneagram Type 5 include Buddha, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin, Vincent van Gogh, Tim Burton, Mark Zuckerberg, Salvador Dali, David Lynch, Agatha Christie, Stephen King and Eckhart Tolle.

The Shadow Side of Enneagram Type 5: Hoarder

As a Type 5, you feel inadequate and vulnerable. Your deepest fear is about not being able to function well in the world. You feel threatened because you find your environment unpredictable. However, instead of confronting this psychological fear by increasing your participation with the world, you prefer to retreat into the domain of the mind where you can figure out how to do things.

A fixation on gaining mastery over your chosen subject can also arise to serve the preference of avoiding addressing life problems. Be it relationship, parenting or work issues, you would rather not deal with them. You prefer to spend your energy on hoarding information. At the root, what underlies your drive to look competent is the insecurity of not being able to thrive well as a person.

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” Jean-Paul Sartre

When you are too much in the head, you are not interacting with others socially. What causes you stress is when you have to hang out with people you don’t wish to be with. By adopting a know-it-all attitude, you are also at risk off turning people off. It happens when you are contemptuous of those who are not as intellectual. Others find you unfeeling and out of touch. You become a social misfit due to the choice to isolate yourself.

You are great in collecting information on how best to do things but you tend to fall short of integrating this knowledge because you avoid applying it into real life. Your attention is focused on thinking rather than doing.

Type 5s goes into imbalance when they retreat too much into their minds. They isolate themselves. At the extreme, their thinking becomes convoluted with an imagination that is in overdrive. Fuelled by anxiety, they become paranoid. Their fears become heightened. They sink into depression should they lose hope.

Opportunities for Growth

“When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.” — Albert Einstein

Your spiritual path lies in embracing physicality and to channel insight. Spiritual growth arises when you offer freely of yourself to others without fear that others will make any demands on you. Become aware that your map of the world is merely a mental construct. Understand the distinction between knowledge, wisdom and insight.

Knowledge is just information, data and facts that you have acquired. Wisdom is the ability to apply the knowledge into our everyday life. It is through wisdom that you gain insight into the deeper meanings of life.

Christopher Reiss does a great job of summing up the differences on….
Knowledge is measuring that a desert path is 12.4 miles long.
Wisdom is packing enough water for the hike.
Insight is building a lemonade stand at mile 6.

Here is another example….

Knowledge is learning how to paint. Wisdom is knowing that you are expressing your soul through your art work. Insight is perceiving that all forms of life is an expression of art and that they are the mirrors to the soul of the universe.

You also grow when you learn to access your feelings. Instead of being fixated with your own thoughts, find safe ways to express them whether through writing or poetry. Instead of isolating yourself, learn to reach out to your family and friends for support and assistance.

I never said, “I want to be alone.” I only said, “I want to be left alone.” There is all the difference.
— Greta Garbo

Your opportunity for growth lies along the grid lines that you are connected to. Looking at the Enneagram, the Type 5s grow by overcoming the stress challenges of the Type 7 and integrating the qualities of the Type 8.

Accessing the stress challenges of the Type 7 happens when you become scattered. You overextend yourself. Instead of focusing on yourself, you go into overwhelm by trying to involve yourself in too many interests and activities.

On the other hand, at your optimum, you embrace the powerful traits of the Type 8s. Instead of hiding yourself in your head, you become decisive, direct and tough. Drawing on your intellectual capacity, you are able to create positive changes in others. By applying your intellectual capacity with insight, you become a true master of life.

Positive Affirmations for Enneagram Type 5

I appreciate the awe of being in my body.
I am grounded in my being.
I find divine lessons in my life struggles and challenges.
I develop healthy relationships with the people around me.
I am calm, serene and at peace even amidst life uncertainties.
I fit in well.
Change is constant in this world, and I adapt to changes well.
I thrive well in this world.
I function well in this world.
I experience life fully.
I have general trust in the people around.
I choose to connect with others.
I am willing to reach out and support others.
I stay engaged in life.
I enjoy participating in life.

Round-The-Enneagram Series

I am on a Round-The-Enneagram tour, covering all 9 Enneagram Types in turn. Over the course of 9 weeks, I will be laying out positive affirmations aimed at serving the path of growth for each Enneagram Type. Here are the links to the previous two articles:

Enneagram Quiz: How would You Cross the River?

Enneagram Type 1: Positive Affirmations for Path of Growth

Enneagram Type 2: Positive Affirmations for Path of Growth

Enneagram Type 3: Positive Affirmations for Path of Growth

Enneagram Type 4: Positive Affirmations for Path of Growth

The Enneagram is a tool for transcendence. Through the grid of the Enneagram, you learn about integrating your highest values and embracing your shadow side. By releasing ego attachments and affirming the path of growth, you are on the way to gaining spiritual wholeness.

Love and Abundance Always,


Enneagram Executive Coach

P.S. Which Enneagram Type are you? Does this post reflect your attributes as a Type 5? Share more about your attributes in the comment section below if you are a Enneagram Type 5!!

P.S.S. Please share this post on social media to promote awareness in the personality self.


by EVELYN on November 16, 2015

First, let me introduce myself. My vision is to turn dreams into reality through self awareness, inspiring others to do the same. The various roles I play in the school of life include being a life coach, mother, wife, ex-Banker, Singaporean, and an internet entrepreneur. In terms of qualifications, I am also a Certified Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner, an Intuitive Consultant, and Vision Board Counselor. On this blog, I share about the various personal insights I have gained, my successes and challenges. I have since published books and programs such as Abundance Alchemy: Journey of Gold,Self-Love Secrets and Life Vision Mastery.

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