If you sometimes feel a need for an extra boost of confidence, consider creating an alter ego. An alter ego is a second personality or character that a person develops to help them cope with certain situations or to express different aspects of their personality. While some people may view having an alter ego as a negative thing, it can actually be a powerful tool for increasing confidence. In this article, you’ll discover how an alter ego can boost your confidence and how to create your own alter ego.
How an Alter Ego Can Boost Confidence:
Separation from the Self
One of the main benefits of having an alter ego is that it creates a separation between the self and the alter ego. This separation can provide a sense of detachment and objectivity that can be incredibly helpful in situations where confidence is needed.
For example, if you’re an introverted person who struggles to speak up in public, creating an alter ego who is confident and outgoing can help you step out of your comfort zone and take risks that you wouldn’t normally take.
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Related: Video: How to Give a Great Presentation at Work
Ability to Experiment
When you have an alter ego, you have the freedom to experiment with different personalities and behaviors without feeling like you’re risking your own reputation or identity. This experimentation can lead to a greater understanding of yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses, which can in turn increase your confidence.
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For example, if you’re a shy person who wants to become more assertive, you could create an alter ego who is bold and outspoken. By experimenting with this alter ego, you may discover that you have a natural talent for assertiveness that you never knew you had.
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Empowerment and Control
Having an alter ego can also provide a sense of empowerment and control. When you create an alter ego, you get to choose how this character looks, acts, and speaks. This control can be very empowering and can give you a sense of agency over your own life.
For example, if you’re a person who struggles with anxiety, creating an alter ego who is calm and collected can help you feel more in control of your emotions and can give you the confidence you need to face stressful situations.
Creating an alter ego can also be a form of creative expression. By developing a character with unique traits, behaviors, and attitudes, you can explore different aspects of your own personality and bring them to life in a new and exciting way.
For example, if you’re an artist who wants to explore a different style of art, creating an alter ego who specializes in that style can help you approach your work with a fresh perspective and newfound confidence.
Life Roles We Play
If it feels odd to you to think of “pretending,” consider the fact you are playing a variety of roles each day. And you show up differently for each of those roles. Here are just a few of the roles many of us play each day.
- Sexual Identification and Orientation
- Community Member
We show up a little bit differently for each role. I mean, how weird would it be if our Lover role and Boss role acted the same way? Ewwwww.
Creating an alter ego is really just creating another role.
The Need for a New Role
It’s important to think about each of the aforementioned roles and how you want to show up for them. Many people go through life without thinking much at all. If you want to be effective in each role, it’s a good idea to think about what kind of partner you want to be vs what kind of parent and how you will navigate those roles. In the absence of thought, well-meaning people allow one role to dominate all the others without balance (I know that sounds a bit schizophrenic but stick with me on this).
Sometimes we need to “perform” in a certain role and don’t really “feel” much like it. Feelings are so finicky like that. When you aren’t feeling the part but it’s important for you to show up a certain way, that’s when an alter ego is especially useful.
An alter ego allows us to engage that alternate, stronger, more confident part of our personality when things feel especially difficult. Don’t worry, I’m not advocating for split personalities or anything. Let me explain a little more.
Influential People with Alter Egos
Many very famous and seemingly overly confident people have admitted to having alter-egos. Just a few who have publicized their alter egos include:
- Beyonce/Sasha Fierce
- Janet Jackson/Damita Jo
- Christina Aguilera/Xtina
- David Bowie
- Jennifer Lopez
- Mark Wahlberg
- Nicki Minaj
- Virtually anyone with a social media following
Believe it or not, many performers invoke their alter egos when on stage performing. When it comes down to it, these are people just like you and me with baggage, fears, and limiting beliefs. But their alter egos? Bigger than life, fearless, sexy, confident, and courageous! They use those alter egos to become who they want to be when necessary.
When necessary, is key here. I mean, you don’t want your mom walking around in a sexy costume with her uplifted boobs hanging out now, do you?
How to Create Your Alter Ego
You can create your own alter ego! You may not want to be a performer. Maybe you just want to be a better version of yourself. Maybe your alter ego has the confidence, courage, and self-respect you haven’t quite acquired yet. Maybe your alter ego is crushing a work presentation that you would be mortified to give. Or maybe you want to be this larger-than-life personality but your current circumstances don’t reflect that side of you.
Let’s get this party started. Here’s how you can create and begin to leverage the power of an alter ego. It all starts with defining the vision and mission of this side of yourself and determining all the qualities of your alter ego.
1. Create Your Alter Ego’s Purpose
- What is the purpose of your alter ego?
- When do you want to invoke this entity?
- Do you want to become this version of yourself at some point?
- How will your alter serve you best?
2. Describe the Personality of your Alter Ego in Detail.
- What makes this version of you unique or different?
- What does he/she believe?
- How does he/she behave?
- What does he/she believe about herself?
3. Give Him/Her an Identity. This is where you close your eyes and begin to see your alter ego.
- What’s his/her name? (ex: Badass Betty)
- What does she/he look like?
- What kinds of clothes do your alter wear?
- How does she/he stand?
- How does he/she talk?
4. Invoke his/her Presence at Will
- Feeling a little insecure? What would (Alter Ego) do?
- Boss asks you to work overtime for free again? What would (Alter Ego) do?
- Don’t feel like working out today? What would (Alter Ego) do?
How an Alter Ego Can Shape Your Life
I’ll never forget a story I read about Marilyn Monroe. She was walking down the street with a friend and was dressed like a normal person with very little makeup on. The friend stated nobody was paying particular attention to her, she was just another person. At one point Norma Jean asked her friend “Do you want to see me become her?” As the story goes, with no change to her hair, make-up, or clothing, she became Marilyn Monroe. All of a sudden, people were gawking, admiring, and fawning over her. It was a change of attitude that made her Marilyn. The clothing was the icing on the cake.
Like any new habit, this will be difficult to do at first. But, oh so liberating! I can’t tell you how amazing it feels when I step into the shoes of my alter ego. It’s like the entire world looks different. And my behaviors adjust accordingly. I used to only invoke her before perceived difficult meetings. For a while, when I was trying to figure out my life, I didn’t invoke her at all, which resulted in complacency. But now? Shit, we spend the day together!
It’s kind of like pretending but with an actionable outcome. And here’s the deal. There is no difference between your alter-ego and yourself. As you invoke your alter ego to set a boundary you wouldn’t normally have the courage to set, your confidence will increase. You will become more confident without the need for your alter ego. You will personally create new habits that help you be more successful in life. The alter ego is like a coach you can invoke when necessary.
Try it out. I’d love to hear how it works out for you!
In conclusion, having an alter ego can be a powerful tool for increasing confidence. By creating a separate character with its own personality, behaviors, and attitudes, you can gain the freedom to experiment, explore, and express yourself in new and exciting ways. So, don’t be afraid to embrace your alter ego and see where it can take you!
Related Article: How to Quit Feeling “Less Than”
If you want to learn more about this, here are a few resources: Herman, Todd, The Alter Ego Effect
Bilyeau, Tom. How to Have Infinite Energy (interview with Todd Herman)