Step Three:
Who are you not?
Get rid of the noise of other people’s expectations.


“Finding yourself” is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. “Finding yourself” is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got it’s hands on you.
— Emily McDowell

In the second step. you learned a lot about the story of you. You took an inventory of your life this far - the major events in your life, your passions, talents, skills and dreams. You learned your play personality and who you are at your very foundation which most likely is something that has been present and has motivated you ever since you were a child.

You learned a lot about yourself and, I’m sure, you were reminded about aspects of your story that you had totally forgotten about. Hopefully you had some “aha”moments where you noticed something about a pattern or theme in your life that you had never noticed before and which make you see things from a completely new perspective.


In this third step of Your Next Chapter Map process, we will dig even deeper into the story of you. My goal for this step is that it helps you to excavate “who you were before the world got its hands on you.”

The exercises and assignments will help you to let go of who you’re NOT.


The whirling cacophony of voices, advice, and expectations that drowns out our individual expression is the Noise. It comes from family, teachers and counselors, and society at large. ... For some of us, The noise might remind us to make money above all else, or to follow in the footsteps of a successful sibling. For others, it might insist that we’ll never be good enough to make it in a chosen pursuit, or that we’d be crazy to try something different from other people.
— Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring out what to do with your life

The cost of inaction is vast. Don’t go to your grave with your best work inside of you. Choose to die empty.
— Todd Henry