58 — Todd Herman — The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life

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"The reality is that human beings have all sorts of qualities, abilities, and traits available to us. But what ends up happening is because of this story and this narrative of who we think we are, we end up acting through the exact same person over and over again, telling us stories about what we think we can and cannot do. The Alter Ego is the thing that just allows these abilities to more freely come out of you so that you can truly kind of lead the life that you most want." - Todd Herman

  • How can you employ the concept of the Alter Ego to achieve your goals?
  • Who are some people who have utilized the Alter Ego method successfully?
  • What's the one thing you can't coach?
  • What are the Four Core Motivators?

Coach of the Year

Todd Herman is the founder of Upcoach and Herman Global Ventures, a WSJ best-selling author of “The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life,” and creator of the award-winning "90 Day Year" program for leadership and skills development. He has been coaching elite athletes, executives, and entrepreneurs for over two decades and has helped thousands through his work. In addition, HGV was named one of the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies in America.

Through his work with Olympians and top athletes, Todd has developed a multitude of mental strategies to achieve peak performance, which he has brought to the world of business.

Finding Your Superman

Perhaps the most notable of Todd's mental strategies is the Alter Ego Effect. After all, he wrote a whole book on it! In his career, Todd has seen that the narratives we construct about ourselves can be limiting. For example, if you don't consider yourself to be outgoing, how will you get onstage to deliver that keynote address?

Todd recommends creating another version of yourself — one that is strong in the areas you lack — and activating it in times of need.

Drawing on the science of enclothed cognition and other psychological phenomena, Todd explores how simply perceiving ourselves differently can have a measurable effect on our performance across a host of categories.

Your Own Worst Enemy

In addition to the Alter Ego, Todd uses a concept called "The Enemy." This can be your ego, a negative idea of yourself, or the words of an old bully from your past. But at the root of it, it's the story or habits that get in your way as you pursue your goals. These maladaptive behaviors can seem amorphous and therefore insurmountable. One of Todd's methods is to give the Enemy a name and a form. By doing this, you contain these habits into something tangible that you can subsequently manage.

You can't fight something until you can see it clearly.

Key takeaways:

  • You contain multitudes. Don't worry about being your "authentic self." There's no one single "you," and what you think you might be could limit what you become.
  • You construct yourself. So often we feel at the whim of forces out of our control. But the thing you can always control is yourself and the six inches between your ears.
  • The real deal. These strategies aren't just self-help platitudes. The idea of the Alter Ego goes back to the ancient Romans, and Todd's system is built off evidence-backed science.

Links and Resources

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