How to Tell If You’re Living Your NOT-SELF — Part 2 

by Evelyn Levenson

In our recent article How to Tell If You’re Living Your NOT-SELF — Part 1, we began an exploration of the useful and revealing Human Design concept of the NOT-SELF by looking at Generator and Projector Types.

Here in Part 2, we complete the topic by looking at Manifestor, Manifesting Generator, and Reflector Types.

The introductory sections are repeated below so you don’t have to read Part 1 to understand Part 2!


Does your path feel a bit bumpy at times? Are you struggling, or seriously lacking “flow” in your life? If so, you may be experiencing your NOT-SELF theme!

“What is a NOT-SELF Theme?”

confused round faceWhen you are NOT living according to the decision-making Strategy of your Human Design Type, you are probably living your NOT-SELF.

“So, How Can I Know Who My REAL-SELF Is?”

That’s easy. Your Human Design Type (from your personal chart—if you don’t have yours click here) is the fundamental energy structure you were born with. This structure determines the role in life you are “designed” to play and also gives you the decision-making and action-taking strategy that is specifically correct for your energy.

“Why Is That Important?”

When your choices and actions are in alignment with your natural energetic structure—which they are by using the Strategy for your Type—then you are living true to your real SELF… your Authentic SELF. And that’s when “flow” happens. That’s when synchronicity shows up. That’s when you’re in the right place at the right time, and things start to get easier.

“Feels Like Magic?”

You’ve probably had moments in life like that… when things just fall into place and everything flows smoothly. And it feels like magic. Well, it isn’t exactly magic, it is actually the correct use of energy. Specifically, it’s your actions correctly aligning with your natural energy.

We don’t usually re-create that kind of alignment in our lives easily because we don’t know what we did right! Human Design—with information about YOUR personal Type and Strategy—gives you the understanding and tools to create a lot more of that “magic” in your life.

“How Do I Find MY Type and Strategy?”

There are five Types in Human Design: Manifestors, Generators, Manifesting Generators, Projectors, and Reflectors. Each person is one of those five Types, and each Type has its own Strategy. All you need to provide is your birth date, time and place so your personal chart can be created which shows your Type and Strategy (and much more about you as well!).

“Do I Have to Learn About All the Types?”

Even though four of the Types are not YOUR Type, I recommend that you read about all Types whenever you can. First, you will understand yourself better by knowing who you are NOT, in addition to knowing who you ARE.

Second, you will understand the people in your life better. Simply by knowing and respecting each person’s Type, you can improve your relationships with them dramatically.

To request your own chart and charts of others, gather birth date, time (as accurate as possible) and place for each person, and go to:

“So, What’s My NOT-SELF Theme?”

You’ll usually find a one word description of your NOT-SELF Theme (often simply called “Theme”) on your chart—but there’s more to it than that.

Although your Type, in fact your whole chart, does not change over your lifetime what does change is how you express the energies in your chart. There’s a range of expression from high to low for every energy you carry.[Burn Out]

When you live your Type and Strategy, you more easily live the high expression of your energies. When you’re not living in alignment with your Type and Strategy, your energies are not aligned, you’re more easily influenced by others, you’re more easily distracted away from your Authentic SELF, and you more readily experience the lower expressions of your energies—this is your NOT-SELF.

In this article (Part 2), we explore the NOT-SELF themes for three of the Human Design Types: Manifestors, Manifesting Generators and Reflectors.

The NOT-SELF Theme of Manifestors

The NOT-SELF theme of the Manifestor is Anger, and it goes both ways. You as a Manifestor may feel angry at yourself or others, AND others may be angry with you. And you may not know why!

Antidote for Anger—INFORM

AngerWhen you are NOT following your strategy of INFORMING, your theme of anger shows up. Informing means letting people who are in your “impact field” know what you’re up to.

You probably don’t realize how much your actions affect those people. Your energy is designed for “initiating” actions… making things happen. When you are not informing, those around you won’t know what to expect and they may feel uncomfortable or even a little scared of you!

They also feel left out when you single-mindedly head off to do something—hence, their anger and mistrust toward you. When your projects or relationships don’t go as you would like, you may either blame others or yourself—hence, your anger.

You Have Good Reasons

It’s logical that you would be reluctant to inform others about what you are doing:

1) It interrupts your creative flow and slows you down.
2) You don’t want to be told you can’t or shouldn’t do it.
3) They may already be mad at you so you’re not inclined to inform them!

How to Minimize Your Theme of Anger

Follow Strategy: It won’t feel natural or comfortable at first, but make the effort to INFORM. It’s the best way to avoid anger. You have a powerful energetic presence; informing people lets them know what to expect so they won’t feel excluded or resentful any more.

Also, ask for help when you need it. And resist reacting with anger when others offer to help you, even though you haven’t asked for help. They mean well.


The NOT-SELF Theme of Manifesting Generators

Your chart shows your theme as Frustration, but that’s just part of the story. Because you are a Manifesting Generator, you also have some of the Manifestor’s theme of Anger. Often, those two will combine into impatience!


Your Frustration shows up when you try to make things happen, instead of waiting for something to respond to before taking action. Waiting to respond—and responding with your Sacral sounds—is your Strategy. When you don’t wait for the inner guidance of your Sacral energy, things often don’t go well.

You’ve probably had the experience of feeling stuck or that nothing you try seems to work. Following your Sacral’s guidance will get you moving again, in the right directions for YOU!

Verbalize your Sacral’s “gut reaction” with “uh-huh” for yes, and “uhn-uhn” for no, every time life presents you with something to respond to… which is many times daily. If you are emotional by Design (large triangle on lower right of chart is light brown), use your Sacral responses throughout your emotional wave to gain clarity for good decisions.


Because you process and move quickly, and you’re often in your own private “busy” groove, you don’t like being interrupted or told you can’t do something. You may feel irritated or angered by this. You also don’t like being helped unless you ask for it first.

To avoid anger (from you and from others), inform others of your actions and plans. That won’t feel natural at first, but it saves time and irritated feelings.

How to Minimize Your Themes of Frustration, Anger and Impatience

Follow Strategy: Wait to respond, then inform. When something shows up in your outer reality (not your mind), your Sacral will respond—letting you know whether that thing is correct for you. Then, inform BEFORE you take action.

The NOT-SELF Theme of Reflectors

As a Reflector, your theme is Disappointment. All nine of your energy Centers are “Open” (white). This openness allows you to perceive and experience the full range of human potential and expression.

DisappointmentWhen you see unfulfilled potential and unexpressed magnificence in those around you, you are understandably saddened and disappointed.

Follow Your Strategy

Your unique decision-making and action-taking strategy is to wait 28 days (full lunar cycle) before making important decisions. During this time, talk to others so you can see the issues reflected back to you. This helps you gain the clarity you need.

If after 28 days the decision feels right, then you are free to take any and all actions to implement it. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t act. You may try waiting another cycle. And keep talking!

Don’t Leap Too Quickly

Another source of disappointment for you is making decisions and taking actions before your 28 days, and then regretting the choice and being stuck with the consequences. Cultivate patience. Your reward is not only decisions that are correct for you, but also deep wisdom about the human experience.

How to Minimize Your Theme of Disappointment

Follow Strategy:  Take your time. Wait at least 28 days for big decisions. Talk to people. Journal about your decisions, issues, and experiences. Surround yourself with a supportive and consistent group of friends and loved ones. Go with the flow. Trust. Feel good where you are—or move to someplace that feels better, but do it by following Strategy.


P.S. If you’re new to Human Design and you found some of this information confusing or unclear, I invite you to learn more through a private Reading with me (which is the best way to learn about yourself and your chart).


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  1. Thanks! I’m a Manifesting Generator and this describes my experience so well. I feel so impatient a lot of the time. I haven’t been informing! Do you mean just to tell people what I’ve decided to do? What if I change my mind?

    1. Definitely start by informing those who might be impacted by your action or decision!  And if you change your decision once you get started, which can happen a lot for Manifesting Generators, inform them about that.

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