Do you ever just wish you could channel someone else’s confidence and strength in uncomfortable or scary situations? Maybe you’re about to walk on stage for your first Broadway show. Or perhaps you’re meeting with someone you’d love to work with and want to make a good first impression.
As actors and creatives, we’re used to embodying many different roles, but when it comes to showcasing our own badassness, we can sometimes get a little too shy for our own good. Our inner critic kicks in, and we start to focus on anything and everything someone once told us NOT to do if we wanted a successful career.
And the result is feeling insecure, nervous and hesitant.
So this week, I want to challenge you to embrace your inner badass – that fearless, confident version of yourself that knows your worth and welcomes possibilities. You’re even going to name them!
What Is An Alter Ego Anyway?
Lots of artists have stage names, but you’d be surprised to learn just how many successful people across multiple industries have alter egos – from professional athletes to top CEOs and business owners. You just don’t hear about it as often in the business world as you do in creative fields.
An alter ego is not just a moniker though; it’s a developed persona that allows you to be someone different from your everyday self. They could be wildly different or more like YOU 2.0 – a best version of yourself.
But to be clear, it’s not a caricature.
The point of adopting an alter ego is not for attention or to be funny, but to create a safe space for you to explore your creativity and pursue your goals without being bogged down by your immediate emotions, anxiety or stress. Similar to creating a detailed vision of what you’d like your future life to look and feel like, an alter ego is often a manifestation of your badass self with no filters.
Plus, they can be your cheerleader when you struggle to advocate for yourself. Have you ever noticed how it’s easier to talk about your friend’s accomplishments than your own?
Let’s take a quick look at some uber successful artists who embraced their own alter egos to take big risks and reap even bigger successful rewards:
- Will Smith – Hear how The Fresh Prince was able to let go of his fear and say yes to the unexpected opportunity that jump started his acting career.
- David Bowie – His creation of Ziggy Stardust helped him usher in an exciting, new direction for pop music, “setting a new standard for rock & roll theatricality.”
- Paul McCartney – Paul McCartney took on the alter ego of The Fireman “as a way to escape musical expectations”.
- Christina Aguilera – She debuted her sexy, daring Xtina persona in 2002 in part to finally shed her The All-New Mickey Mouse Club years and show she’d matured as a woman and a singer.
- Beyoncé – Queen Bey no longer needs Sasha Fierce, but she was quite candid at the beginning of her career about using this alter ego to help her overcome her shyness as a solo artist and “give herself the courage to be free and sexy while performing”.
- Adele – Adele literally created her alter ego Sasha Carter (combining Sasha Fierce and June Carter) as a way to calm her nerves before meeting Beyoncé!
Hey, if this is good enough for Beyonce and Adele, it’s good enough for me! 😂
Creating Your Own Alter Ego
The best part about creating your alter ego is that you can have fun with the process! In fact, you should because this is a creative exercise as much as personal development. So the sky is really the limit, but here are some quick steps.
1) Determine Your Why
Before you can develop your alter ego, you need to have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish through this process. Do you want to be more outgoing and confident? Do you need to take more breaks and time for yourself? Do you need someone to be your advocate in scary negotiations or meetings? Are you trying to build a client roster, fan base, or spread a specific message to a wider audience?
2) Build The Complete Picture
What qualities does your alter ego need to possess to achieve their goals? How do those attributes translate into their physical appearance as well?
This is where you can be super free and imaginative. Just like you might prepare as an actor, dive into your alter ego’s psyche. Develop their walk, voice, mannerisms and quirks, even their fashion sense to give yourself a full picture to embrace.
3) Pick A Name
In this instance, Shakespeare’s Juliet has it all wrong. A name is an important part of creating your alter ego. Choose something meaningful to you, as it will enhance your connection to this new identity, and it makes this process more real.
4) Create A Catchphrase
Just like Bruce Wayne had the bat signal to call forth his alter ego, Batman, it’s helpful to have a mantra or phrase that helps you switch mental gears into your alter ego.
5) Put The New Mindset To Practice
For example, let’s say you want to drink more water every day, but you’re tempted to grab a soda with your lunch because everyone else is having one. Instead of asking yourself what you should do, shift your perspective to, “What would my alter ego do?”
Instead of focusing on your own cravings, you’re looking at the situation on behalf of your alter ego and what would be best for them.
Are you open to embracing an alter ego? Let me know your alter ego’s name in the comments below or share in the Badass Beauty Club on Facebook.
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