The Alter Ego Effect Book Summary - The Alter Ego Effect Book explained in key points
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The Alter Ego Effect summary

Todd Herman

The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life

4.5 (135 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman reveals how adopting a powerful alter ego can help us overcome self-doubt, unleash our full potential, and achieve our goals. With real-life examples, the book shows how anyone can activate their alter ego and become a hero in their own story.

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    The Alter Ego Effect
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    Successful people use alter egos to improve their performance.

    Bo Jackson is a phenomenally successful athlete [slight pause] with a secret. Somewhat surprisingly, he admits to being fascinated by Jason Voorhees – the unemotional, mask-wearing murderer in the Friday the 13th movies. In fact, when Jackson walks onto the football field, he becomes Jason. 

    In other words, Jackson transforms into his alter ego. Adopting the persona of a calm and calculated killer helps Jackson stay cool and calm under pressure.

    But Jackson isn’t the only one with a secret identity.

    Here’s the key message: Successful people use alter egos to improve their performance.

    Once upon a time, there was a talented girl in a Christian family who loved to sing gospel. She joined a girl group and started to become famous, but there was a dilemma. The “suggestive” lyrics and dance moves that made her popular were at odds with her religious identity. In order to express herself freely, the singer created a provocative, extroverted alter ego called Sasha Fierce. The name of the singer? Beyoncé.

    In short, both Bo Jackson and Beyoncé use alter egos to dramatically heighten their performance. You might find adopting a new personality in this way to be a bit strange, but it works. Its effectiveness is even backed by science. 

    In a recent study by the University of Minnesota, young children were split into different groups and were given a toy in a locked glass box, along with a set of keys. None of the keys would open the box. One group of children had access to some costumes and accessories. For example, they could wear a cape and pretend to be Batman as they tried to open the box.

    The children who adopted these impersonation strategies showed much greater perseverance and flexibility than their peers. They adopted the personality traits and strengths of their alter egos. In the words of one child who kept persevering, “Batman never gets frustrated.”

    You don’t have to be a little kid to call on your inner Batman in times of trouble. Anyone can use an alter ego in order to have success – in any area of life. In the following blinks, you’ll find out how.

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    What is The Alter Ego Effect about?

    The Alter Ego Effect (2019) is a guide to achieving your goals through the use of alter egos. Featuring numerous examples of successful people who have created alter egos, it offers clear, practical strategies for success in every area of life.

    Who should read The Alter Ego Effect?

    • Frustrated creatives seeking to improve their performance
    • People who are curious about identity and the concept of alter egos
    • Clark Kents ready for their phone booth transformation

    About the Author

    Todd Herman is a performance expert based in New York City. He has spent over two decades coaching elite performers, primarily in the fields of sports and business. He’s the creator of the 90 Day Year, an award-winning performance program.

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