Enneagram Type 6 – The Loyalist


Enneagram Type 6 – The Loyalist

The Faithful Guardian – The Skeptic – The Doubter

Type 6’s are dutiful & committed to their systems, groups, relationships and beliefs, and will hold on to these longer than other types. Once they align themselves with people and institutions they trust, they make excellent team players who are well-liked, loyal, and detail oriented. They take pleasure in being cooperative and can be endearing, friendly and funny companions.

Sixes work hard to protect their kids, colleagues, friends, and loved ones by staying alert and vigilant, anticipating and preparing for what could go wrong.

Sixes love identifying as a mom and enjoy creating a stable home environment to raise their kids in. These moms like feeling connected to their community. They join churches and PTA’s and volunteer for troop leader, room mom, coach and car pool organizer.

Type Sixes are security oriented. When considering what to do, how to solve a problem, and what decisions to make, they look outside of themselves for the answer. They believe external authority figures are supposed to take care of everything but, they cannot be trusted to do so. This back and forth of wanting to trust external authority, but simultaneously not trusting it, creates a lot of anxiety.

Sixes have come to believe that they don’t have the inner resources required to get through life on their own so they need the support of friends, families, religious groups, jobs, political affiliations, and social media support to feel safe.

Sixes worry about the worst case scenarios and “what might go wrong?” before committing to a course of action. Their internal committee causes them to second guess and create self doubt.

“Hope for the best but plan for the worst” could be a mantra for the Enneagram Type 6.

Because they have so many fears, they are the most courageous of all types because they are constantly using bravery to face life’s “what if’s”. They live life, move forward and get things done despite their fear.

Enneagram Type 6
Enneagram Type 6

Type 6 is the most contradicting of all types. They trust authority but rebel against it. They are anxious and courageous, optimistic and pessimistic. Making it hard to identify their type.


Core Fear: Being without support or guidance. Fear of facing fear.

Core Desire: To believe they are safe and secure.

Core Motivation: To feel confident, secure and in control. To trust themselves to make good decisions.


Their fear of being without support can manifest in various ways, leading them to seek reassurance from others and to form strong bonds with people they trust.

They might seek reassurance by caring about their physical image, valuing physical power and typical cultural ideas about societal beauty. They want to look the part so they can feel safe.

They might seek reassurance by focusing on career and making money, wanting to control their financial resources and having external symbols of successes like houses, cars, church and school affiliations.

They might seek reassurance by questioning authority, complaining and rebelling against these systems but not leaving them.
The Six is the most likely to hang on to an unhealthy relationship, career, organization, or belief, even when it’s clear it’s no longer working for her. They are the most likely of all the types to suffer from “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. An Australian term used to describe how people are attacked, criticised, resented or cut down when they are more successful than their peers. Sixes feel safest when they achieve success within a group and feel vulnerable standing apart from their peers.


Michelle was BURNED OUT at her job. Everyday she would calculate how many more years she needed to work until she could retire, rearranging the formulas hoping to find a way to follow her hearts desire and just get out. She scanned job boards, took promotions, and entertained new career paths trying to find the path to freedom that felt SAFE.

The committee in her head was filled with opinions about how irresponsible it would be to leave, and how she just needed to suck it up for another 8 years so she could retire with full benefits. The fear of defying her internal committee felt DANGEROUS.
When she came to life coaching she learned to question the messages her scared committee was sending her. She realized that no amount of job searching was helping calm down the fear of going against the grain and trusting her inner guidance.
It was clear that her higher self was telling her it was time to go but she had learned at young age to ignore her gut and trust external authority.

Together we discovered internal and external voices that validated her desire to leave her job. She met with a financial advisor who walked through the numbers, showing her she would be fine to leave. She started hanging out with friends who had made career shifts in midlife. She found podcasts and mentors who encouraged her to trust her gut.

I remember the day I mentioned the word “sabbatical”. She repeated the word back to me with enthusiasm, “sabbatical”. That’s a THING people do! She took a breath in and her whole body relaxed. Suddenly her “radical, irresponsible idea” had a word. Knowing that there was a precedent of other responsible, hard working people to take a break from their careers, made it ok for her to do it, too.

It’s been one year since she left her job and is loving life so much she is planning to extend her sabbatical another year.


Until they can get in touch with their own inner guidance, Sixes are like a ping-pong ball that is constantly shuttling back and forth between whatever influence is hitting the hardest in any given moment.

Sixes want their family members to share beliefs so they feel safe. When families have different political, idealogical or religious perspectives, it can be very hard for them to adapt and accept.

Joanna was raised by a conservative religious family and a military father. Expectations were very clear growing up, and punishments strictly enforced for those who did not conform to the familial expectation. It took a lot of personal work and therapy for Joanna to trust her inner guidance and leave her religion. She looked forward to giving her kids freedom to choose their own spiritual guidance and build a relationship with a higher power that was unique to them. So when her son decided he wanted to JOIN the religion she FOUGHT so hard to leave, she panicked!

Joanna also had a hard time when her kids would misbehave. She knew she didn’t want to be punitive like her Dad was, so she was understanding and lenient. When they acted up, all she could think was “Do you know how lucky you are? Do you know what my Dad would have done in this situation?” She wanted them to be grateful but instead they were rude and dismissive, taking advantage of her kindness. Joanna felt powerless because the only tool she had in her tool belt was something she didn’t want to use.

Together we worked on building new tools for getting kids to listen and obey. She found her calm leadership energy and used it to get the respect she deserved.

Enneagram Type 6
Enneagram Type 6

Sixes are strong and weak, trusting and distrusting, defenders and provokers, aggressive and passive, bullies and weaklings, on the defensive and on the offensive, thinkers and doers, believers and doubters, etc. It is the contradictory picture that is characteristic of Sixes.

The biggest problem for Sixes is that they try to build safety in the environment without resolving their own emotional insecurities. When they learn to face their anxieties, however, Sixes understand that although the world is always changing and is, by nature uncertain, they can be serene and courageous in any circumstance. And they can attain the greatest gift of all, a sense of peace with themselves despite the uncertainties of life.


Questions to determine if you might be a 6:

  1. Do you constantly anticipate multiple scenarios, thinking about what could go wrong and trying to plan so that this will not occur?
  2. Is it difficult to imagine a best case scenario or a positive future?
  3. Do you feel anxious frequently and intensley?


Struggles that Enneagram Type 6’s may have while parenting:

  • Over-protection – Constantly worrying about what could go wrong and feeling responsible to protect their children from a scary, mistrusting world.
  • Anxious parenting may cause kids to have a fearful and mistrusting world view. Subconsconously teaching kids hypervigilance and anxiety.
  • Fear of Independence – May micromanage kid’s lives preventing them from learning from life’s experiences or thinking independently from mom.
  • Seeking external authority from parenting experts, family, friends and schools can lead to self doubt and anxiety when these groups disagree with one another.
  • Difficulty setting boundaries for fear of rejection and breaking the emotional bond. Indecision, analysis paralysis, and rebelling against external authorities can leave kids confused about what the rules are.


What Sixes Use Life Coaching For:

  1. To learn to trust their own inner guidance.
  2. To learn to trust the world is a safe place.
  3. To give equal time to the idea that good things happen just as often, if not more frequently, than bad things happening.
  4. To be less anxious and more in control.

In health, Sixes are intellectual and insightful. They have learned to trust their own inner authority rather than look to other people to keep them safe. As a result, they are confident, calm and resilient, connecting with others in a deep, steady and warm hearted way. They are clear and courageous, trusting their ability to look after themselves.

In stress, Sixes are fearful when their kids start to individuate and create values different from mom. They experience a lot of anxiety and frenzy while trying to control things they have no control over. They engage in continous worse case scenario thinking and imagine all the bad things that could possibly happen.


Small action steps 6’s can take today to feel more trusting and safe.

  1. Bring your brain into the present moment. Name 5 things you see in front of you and ask yourself, “Am I in any immediate danger?” If not, reassure yourself that “In this moment, all is well.” Learning to bring your brain out of the future and into the present is a helpful exercise for the anxious six.
  2. Learn about the Law of Attraction and practice imagining things going well. Worrying feels like healthy preparation to the six, but the Law of Attraction teaches that imagining positive outcome helps to make positive outcomes!
  3. Use the 14 day Supermom Challenge to connect with your inner guidance. Learning to listen to the voice of our higher self, instead of the voice anxiety, can help the Six learn to trust their own wisdom instead of external authorities. www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/challenge


Please join the Supermom is Getting Tired facebook group if you want to continue the discussion.

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