EP. 67 “An alter ego gives you an amazing tool to tap into the creative imagination to allow you to unfold and see more of what you’re capable of.”
This episode’s guest is an absolute rockstar. I picked up his new book a few weeks back and finished it within 2 days – which should be telling for the greatness that was shared here.
Mr Todd Herman is a peak performance coach and serial entrepreneur who’s been mentoring elite performers in the world of sport and business for over 20 years. Through his treasure box of tools and philosophies, Todd is known for helping people achieve their most ambitious goals.
And in this episode, you’ll discover one of his most powerful techniques – so you can use it for yourself.
The technique I’m referring to is the use of an “alter ego”, which comes from Todd’s new book – The Alter Ego Effect.
Alter egos are the “other you”. They are characters (or identities) you can ‘activate’ to demonstrate the mindsets, beliefs, and practices that enable you to take the actions required to achieve your goals.
In this way, alter egos are a tool that give you enough confidence to overcome resistance and get momentum going.
It’s how they can help you achieve really hard things.
So if you know that there’s more in your tank and you get frustrated because willpower isn’t enough to take you over the threshold, you definitely want to listen to this episode.
Understand the superhero effect of alter egos and you’ll empower yourself to achieve your most ambitious goals.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- – What becomes possible for you and your life when you play with your alter egos
- – How ‘activating’ alter egos connects you with the same creative imagination that makes children believe they can be superman
- – Why it’s healthier and more advantageous to be able to access multiple ‘selves’ rather than stick with a single identity
- – How Todd used an alter ego to manage his daughter’s tantrums (this is a must-hear technique for any parent!)
- – The relationship between your ‘trapped self’ and your ‘heroic self’ (and how your alter egos help you shift from one to the other)
What I loved most about this interview is the notion that the person you want to be is already inside.
Todd explains that you’re not broken and you don’t need to be fixed. Instead, you simply need to chisel away at all the ‘stuff’ that isn’t you. That’s what alter egos will help you achieve and why it’s an essential tool for living an extraordinary life.
So listen in now.
For a deeper dive on this concept – grab yourself a copy of the The Alter Ego Effect too. I’ve read it, it’s incredible, and I’m sure you’ll love it too.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
[5:50] We jump right into to talking about Todd’s book. One thing that stood out to me is the fact that we’re all constantly and consistently using a variation of the alter ego in our lives. I ask Todd how he brought all of the stories and use cases together to create the framework and his concept for the alter ego. Did he pull from bits and pieces from his own life? From the lives of others? Eventually mixing it all in with a framework and language.
Todd says it’s a combination of many things. He’s been doing this for over two decades, working with pro athletes, olympic athletes, public figures and business leaders. He’s also a big fan of mentorship – “finding whoever is at the best at something, going in and tucking yourself underneath their wing.” For him, that person was the late Harvey Dorfman. The book is a culmination of his career, of him unpacking his clients’ experiences, identifying the process that the elite were using and introducing the data. He attributes those lessons to working with clients individually; it revealed, what he calls, a golden thread. It was common among all of the peak performers: a persona, character or an alter ego
[10:26] Todd makes a very clear distinction that the alter ego isn’t a replacement for therapy and healing. I wanted to know how the alter ego works with those traditional concepts of healing the hurt and wounds that may be causing the need for it to exist at all. Todd says our alter ego can simply be there for us to have more fun and be more playful. We’ve all used it at some point or another throughout our life. We use it each time we play an idea in our head.
He speaks of how he used his alter ego, in some ways, and sports to cope with a personal trauma that he experienced. While he remained in action; doing the things he wanted to do, he now sees that he could have also been getting help to navigate the trauma. Todd says that we all experience trauma – it’s how our brain processes an event. Not everyone has the same access to resources and if trauma is hindering our performance, we often leverage our alter ego to help us continue on.
[21:26] I ask Todd how his hero self learns from and deals with the “enemy.” In his book and in his work, he offers tools on how to tackle the “enemy,” that nay saying voice, what we have associated with being the little devil on our shoulder. He teaches his clients that duality exists in everything: up/down, in/out/, hot/cold, etc. and that they can treat their encounters with the enemy like a tennis match, having their heroic self or alter ego combat and address each negative message.
[33:14] Todd explains why he thinks achieving success through use of the alter ego is such a great feeling. He says it’s because it’s like you’ve just unlocked your secret, super power. You’re not using, what he calls, the weaker force of will power to battle your resistance. He says will power is like the tiny mouse staring down a herd of charging elephants. Our unconscious self is much stronger than our conscious self. However, our creative imagination (which powers our alter ego) is much stronger than any resistance that arises.
[40:31] Todd breaks down the alter ego for those that may still thinking through the idea. Picture a Venn Diagram. You have the two individual sections of each circle and thea area where they overlap. He says that one circle is our current reality that’s generating our current results. It often triggers some resistance because we know that we can do more. The other circle is who we want to be and the results that we want to generate. The overlapping area, the alter ego, is where these two parts join, creating room for who we want to be to become who we are.
[50:11] Todd says his group of friends help him stay grounded, they’d never let him climb on a pedestal. He also works to honor the legacy of his family name and keeps himself rooted in service of something bigger than himself.