This idea has been popping up for me over, and over, and over, the past week – in so many ways and from so many angles – so much so that I know it is one of our major tools as humans to create a massive breakthrough in getting the life you want.
The major premise is this: We all have more than one version of who we are. Sure I am Kasia, and when I introduce myself I give the same name generally everywhere, but I am a different Kasia depending on what situation I find myself in. I am one version of me around my friends, one version of me around my family, another version of me when I’m working, another version of me when I’m calling customer service to complain, etc. I think most people can relate to this.
So, what if we were all empowered at any given moment to choose which version of us we wanted to be? And furthermore, what if we could create a version of us that we wanted to be First, and then step into that, at will? Well, we already can, and do, every day. And the more you can take charge of that process, the more incredible things you can accomplish.
This process will:
- Help you get out of your own way
- Help you set aside your own fears, insecurities, worries
- Help you be the best version(s) of you that you can imagine as often as you want to be
So let me explain this from a few different angles because it is so robust and can work in so many ways.
So, according to Todd Herman, a coach who specializes in peak sports performance for elite athletes, a surprisingly high number of Olympic and professional athletes have created a persona that they ‘step into’ or ‘put on’ when they begin to engage in their sport of choice, and they credit this process as a major part of their success. The athletes:
- Find out their limiting beliefs
- Look for a real life example of someone who has gone beyond those limits, or create one in their imagination
- Take that example and create a persona, an alter ego, or a secret identity to inhabit, almost like a role that an actor slips into. What is their name? What is their backstory? Why are they the way they are? What are they like, and what motivates them?
- Create some type of ritual or trigger that you engage in every time you “put on” this new identity. Maybe you put on some jewelry or clothes, or smell the ice before a hockey match, or engage in a specific routine.
- Become your alter ego with all associated characteristics.
Examples given were channeling an icon in their sport (like a high school QB ‘becoming’ Peyton Manning), a Native American Warrior with all of the heart that goes along with that, and iconic television roles on television exemplifying wanted personality characteristics, like Ziva David from the show NCIS. The athletes would ‘slip on’ this identities and, in their minds at least, become these people for a while, and proceed to greatness.
You also see it in super heroes all the time. Bruce Wayne is just Bruce Wayne, but once he puts on his mask, he becomes Batman, with Batman powers. Peter Parker becomes Spiderman. And also, interestingly, Superman becomes Clark Kent, for the purposes of ‘being normal’ and ‘blending in”.
So, the flip side of this is also true, we have various parts of ourselves that we DON’T like. One way to get power over these aspects of ourselves is to recognize that part of ourselves, separate it, name it, and then disempower it. The major example I have of this is with an addiction, but it works with really any bad habit that tempts you. Let’s say I had a voice in my head that constantly screamed for my drug of choice. I may give in to this impulse, and perhaps every time I do so I regret it. One way to overcome this is to say, hey, that voice in my head isn’t really “me”, but my addiction. It’s this alternate persona of me that keeps saying I should engage in my addiction – let’s name her Junkie. And so the next time I hear “Oh come on it’ll be awesome, just this once it’ll be fine!” in my head, I can now handle it differently. Instead of feeling this internal battle of wills within myself that I lose sometimes, I could instead just say “Oh, that’s just Junkie talking and that is all she ever has to say, and I don’t have to listen to her. She’s not me.”
So, it occurs to me that I need to create an alter ego for myself and so I’m going to do that now, so you can maybe see what that might look like if you were to go this route.
Let’s create “Successful in Business Kasia”. I’m gonna call her S.K. for short, and also to sort of differentiate her from me, as if she was a totally different person.
S.K. is always confident. She introduces herself with a smile and a firm handshake, always. S.K. walks into every room like she owns it. She stands up straight, and isn’t ever afraid to make eye contact. She’s fearless and knows her own power. S.K.’s time is valuable, and therefore she can be choosy about what work to do and what hours to work. S.K. never gives up – so therefore she never fails. S.K. is really likable, and people are drawn to her and want to work with her in any capacity. People like what S.K. has to say, and value her opinions and work.
So – if I were to go into a networking situation for example, where I wasn’t feeling my best and I was letting my fears get me down, I don’t have to go as Kasia – I can go in there as “S.K”. And chances are, S.K. would probably do pretty darn well in a situation like that. And S.K. always wears black heels.
You can create multiple ‘roles’ if you want. I could go create “Thin Kasia” – she works out most days per week and makes lots of healthy food choices, and she doesn’t engage in weird binge-y behaviors like regular Kasia can from time to time. “Spiritual Kasia” makes time to journal and meditate every day and tries to embody ‘love’ all the time even when it’s hard. “Rich Kasia” doesn’t put up with lame things like pens that don’t work, chipped mugs, or tea bags she’s already used once and aren’t quite strong enough the second time around. Rich Kasia would get a new tea bag every time, because damn it, it’s tea, and life is too short for crap like that.
It might be nice to have all of those versions of me at the ready, already fleshed out in my mind, ready to go when I needed them. Maybe I might do that… 🙂
What an incredible way to empower yourself by sidestepping all of your own emotional baggage. I’m excited and hope you are too.