Let’s pretend you have a big meeting today. Maybe it’s the one that could scale your business up to new heights, or maybe it’s the one that could lead to landing your very first customer. You’re on your way. All the preparation comes down to this. The path to victory rolls out in your head — you can envision all the steps.
But there’s one thought you can’t shake. What if you bumble it? What happens if you skip part of your pitch or talk too fast and the deal falls apart? Maybe it feels like you shook their hand too hard, and for some reason, you can’t stop wondering if you did or didn’t shake too hard.
And then, in between the deep, calming breaths you’re trying to take, you think of the person who would never bumble this. Maybe it’s Don Draper or James Bond. Maybe it’s a professor you had or a mentor in your life.
What if it’s the “you” that’s not wholly you? The other-you, made up of only the traits needed to succeed?
It’s time to learn how an alter ego can help you reach heights you’ve previously only imagined.
What Is an Alter Ego?
Regardless of where you are in life, you have had situations go poorly because of something you did or didn’t do. In reflection, you can see how those moments should have been handled. The right questions to ask and the right answers to give to achieve your goal all seem so obvious now. After the fact, those wins always seem just barely out of reach.
Your alter ego is the person you see in those moments achieving where you did not. It’s a version of you that is somehow more powerful and proficient in the areas you might lack confidence in.
An alter ego can be a person you know or think you know, but it is important that it is someone with the traits you need to achieve your dreams. It’s the persona that you’ll transform into so you can get that much closer to your goals.
It might seem silly — you’re not an actor. But alter egos are serious business. They require effort to create and skill to unlock only when needed.
Initially, you may experience some emotional resistance as you try to access your alter ego and bring them to life, but like anything worthwhile — it’s all about how many times you get up, not how many you get knocked down.
Learn How to Step Back
Think of Bruce Wayne, a debonair rich guy with a goal of snuffing out crime in his city. But Bruce Wayne can’t face evil just like that. The villains would laugh in his face! Bruce needed to become something else, not to scare the bad guys away but to believe in his own ability to deliver justice and protect his city.
So, he became Batman.
What really is Batman but an alter ego built of strength and fearlessness? It’s what that alter ego does for Bruce that is the key.
The Batman effect allows him to step back from himself. It creates a distance between the man and the moment.
That ability to step back and detach is crucial to building an alter ego.
Creating an Alter Ego
The alter ego we are talking about doesn’t require any physical changes (and it generally doesn’t require a mask, either). Creating an alter ego is really about stepping back from yourself in order to have a more distanced view of a situation in front of you.
Having an alter ego is how you control your fight or flight response. It’s maintaining your blood pressure and keeping your hand stiff as a board. Alter egos aren’t escape routes — you’re not hiding from yourself.
Just the opposite.
Alter egos are built by first knowing yourself. You need to understand what type of situations and people trigger negative emotional responses in you so that your alter ego is purpose-built to find strength in those same situations. As a result, your alter ego isn’t you — it’s simply built by your experiences.
Your Choice of Alter Ego Matters
The purpose of your alter ego is to deliver in situations where you have otherwise struggled in. You don’t want to choose an alter ego that runs counter to that concept.
Your alter ego should also be someone you can inhabit. Remember — you’re not just stealing personality traits from someone, you’re harnessing their persona because it’s how you disassociate from yourself when situations call for it.
You want to know everything you can about your alter ego. If it’s a famous person or online personality, watch every video clip you can of them. Study how their body shifts as they answer all types of questions. See how their tone and inflection help them. It’s not playing a role —it is the role.
This will help you build a stronger alter ego.
Build an Emotional Connection
It’s important to have an emotional connection to your alter ego. This doesn’t have to mean you interacted with them personally, but something about them resonates with you on a deep level.
This can be as simple as a time you shook hands with a fellow entrepreneur who is in a position you’d like to get to. It’s still a connection between yourself and how that person makes you feel empowered.
The person you base your alter ego on is like the battery that keeps it charged. It’s them you seek to feel like, act like, achieve like in order to reach your mountain top.
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Learn to Activate Your Alter Ego
There’s no telephone booth to dash into to change into your alter ego. The good news is, building and succeeding with an alter ego is not about changing who you are all day, every day.
Alter egos should only be deployed in situations that call for them. Those are the big ones, the ones outside your comfort zone that push your boundaries.
But those situations can come up in an instant. You might not have a chance to look into your mirror and prepare your alter ego. You need to know how to activate your alter ego at will, like how Bruce Banner does with the Hulk.
One way to do that is to have tokens that center you in that character space. It could be something like a particular tie or shoes you wear. Scent is a powerful trigger, so it could be a certain cologne you use. Even just listening to a particular song or watching a video clip can also be a trigger.
Whatever your token trigger is, it needs to be something that instantly puts you in the headspace of your alter ego. The faster you can transition into your alter ego, the more likely you are to benefit from the confidence it generates. Those you’re interacting with will sense it, too.
How Does an Alter Ego Work?
Your alter ego pushes your creative imagination to help you transform. When you are within the mind frame of your alter ego, you act and move as you understand your alter ego does.
This powerful dissociation is how you stop repeating mistakes you’ve made before. You don’t put your alter ego on when the meeting starts — you put it on long before you get there.
It’s a mental state, and the only way to benefit from it is to lean into the reasons why you selected this alter ego in the first place.
As the big meeting begins, picture how your alter ego would act. Do they open their chest and let their shoulders fall relaxed, or is it more of a domineering voice that takes over, announcing your presence to the room? The traits need to exist in the real world, and it’s you who deploys the character.
Your alter ego helps you be what is already within you — it just allows you a way to access it successfully without fear and anxiety. In a way, your alter ego changes you into a more representative version of yourself.
Alter Ego’s Provide Secret Confidence
One thing you’ll notice when you’ve chosen an alter ego and let it come forward is that you will talk to yourself differently. It won’t be your typical mental chatter, listing the reasons to get out of bed or providing the extra mental push you need to get to the gym during a tough work week.
This person talks like your alter ego but in your voice. If James Bond is your alter ego, maybe it’s his natural confidence that you see in the mirror, making a gym trip a pleasurable matter of upkeep instead of an uphill battle.
Maybe your alter ego is a motivational speaker from a seminar you attended, and it’s their voice rattling you out of bed with a fervor of energy and purpose.
You can’t be your alter ego all the time, but they are always with you. It’s like Rocky Balboa’s trainer Mickey — he’s always in your corner to help you be the best person you can be.
Leverage your alter ego to take on new challenges; create new connections that will help your business reach a new sales tier and turn your weekly meeting with your manager into an opportunity that benefits your career today.
Your alter ego will make bulletproof confidence into your new normal!
How to Level Up with Your Alter Ego
Put your alter ego on and sit down to make a plan. What are the bigger goals you have for your personal and professional life? What are the major roadblocks keeping you from scaling up in a massive way?
Now, let your alter ego devise some solutions. It’s not all storming the castle or turning a clever phrase at this stage.
You’re on the grand scale. If you are really connected with your alter ego, you can explore how they’d handle those roadblocks. Consider actionable ideas using the personality of your alter ego.
It’s like walking in the woods when you’re stuck on a crossword clue, and suddenly when you’re not thinking at all, the answer reveals itself. For you, it’s your alter ego’s takeover of your problem-solving techniques that can lead to new and unfounded success.
Finding Victory In Every Opportunity
Creating an alter ego isn’t something you’ve most likely done before. The idea of presenting a different persona to the world at certain times can be an awkward concept to grasp enough to deploy it successfully on the first try.
You might not even choose the right alter ego your first time around. Something about the process of becoming your alter ego may reveal to you that you don’t know enough about the person so your behavior isn’t able to truly change.
It could be that your alter ego doesn’t perform how you imagined in the situations you need it for. Don’t waste time getting hung up on why this person isn’t delivering you results. Instead, dig deeper to find a stronger alter ego.
Remember Who Did The Work
Your path to new successes and growth is still built by you. It’s you who is doing the work to locate your alter ego.
It’s your voice that speaks for your alter ego, even if your inflection is different or your speech pattern is faster because of it — you are doing the work.
And that’s perhaps the most important aspect of learning about alter egos and why they help you achieve so much more — because all the work is still done by you.
Somewhere in your spirit, you know this, and you grow stronger thanks to it. It’s time to see what heights you can reach!
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