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What’s your secret identity?

Performance coach Todd Herman on leveraging your alter ego to empower yourself

There are critical moments in all of our lives that could be great opportunities for growth and expansion any high-stakes situation such as an interview, a pitch, an important meeting. However, so many of us aren’t prepared to take advantage of those opportunities because we lack the tools and skills necessary to execute when we need it most. 

Knowing your personality and identifying your strengths and weaknesses is an essential part of self-awareness. But getting too stuck in an idea of yourself can cause you to miss out on creating the life you want – you could end up not living up to your potential. 

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, we meet Todd Herman to discuss why we have a hard time adapting to high-pressure situations. He also delves into the power of alter egos – or what he refers to as “secret identities” – and how they allow us to magnify certain parts of our personality when we need it most.

Listen on iTunes

Who is Todd Herman? 

Todd is a performance coach and the founder of the Peak Athlete, a mental toughness training and sports science research company, advising professional and Olympic athletes for over 18 years. He’s also creator of The 90-Day Year Program, a goal achievement system used by athletes, entrepreneurs and companies like Shell, Goldman Sachs, Cisco Systems and government agencies around the world. The Boston Herald called him “A Sports Training Superstar” and he’s also the author of The Alter Ego Effect: How The World’s Top Performers Use Secret Identities To Win In Sport, Business & Life.

Our true nature 

Alter egos are one of the key strategies Todd teaches to help people achieve their goals, whether that means public speaking or winning a Grand Slam. To create an alter ego, you must realize your true nature and identify any limiting beliefs that are holding you back. We’re all born with a playful nature, the ability to play other roles without judgment and criticism. But as we grow, we develop limiting beliefs that tell us who we “are” – and who we are not. 

These beliefs affect everything we do. The ability to create an alter ego can help us step into a different version of ourselves when the need arises, without affecting the underlying values that make us who we are. This is something we often do subconsciously. Secret identities are a natural part of the human experience that we can use to get out of our own way. Alter egos help us harness that power. 

Changing our disguises 

Todd puts it this way: “Most of us are supermen or superwomen, but we walk around in these disguises so that we’re accepted.” Humans are social animals; we’re tribal. Above all, we don’t want to be ostracized from our tribe. We don’t want to be seen as weird or different. So we put on disguises that make us look like everyone else – sometimes sabotaging our success. 

Todd suggests using disguises that empower us instead of holding us back. Listen to the podcast to learn his five-step process to create your alter ego and step into it consistently, plus hear his own inspiring story of transformation.

We have the capacity to create who we want to be, in any situation. We have the ability to reach peak productivity and performance. And we have the potential to reach any of our goals – as long as we learn how to get out of our own way. Make the decision to thrive today and start learning the tools and strategies you need to get the most out of life.

Todd Herman

Show Notes:

[2:25] Welcome Todd
[2:40] Todd’s early work with professional athletes
[3:10] Noticing trends and patterns among this crowd
[4:10] Todd’s personal alter egos
[5:10] Secret identities help us get out of our own way
[5:35] There is a 5 step process to create the alter ego and step into it
[6:10] The purpose of a secret identity
[6:40] Example of a professional tennis player’s secret identity
[9:00] The personal limiter analysis
[9:55] The talents and skills needed for you to be successful in your field
[11:10] Which is the alter ego – Superman or Clark Kent?
[12:55] The frustration and angst that happens when you repress yourself
[14:20] There are critical moments when you need to perform to move forward in your life
[14:40] When you embrace the alter ego, you can transform within a day
[15:10] Example of key transformation
[16:40] People are moved by emotion
[16:55] Creating a backstory to your alter ego
[18:40] Using an alter ego to transform into a leader
[21:00] Eventually, the alter ego becomes part of you and appears naturally
[21:40] The artifact enhancer – how props can help you achieve your alter ego
[22:40] Keeping the alter ego private
[25:55] Practicing stepping into that alter ego
[26:30] The immersion experience
[27:00] Being extremely intentional so you can achieve the outcomes you desire
[27:40] Understanding different fields of play
[29:40] Most of us repress our true selves for fear of being ostracized
[31:10] Over the course of time it becomes easier to get the results you want
[31:40] Designing the version of yourself that you want in that situation
[33:50] Leveraging fiction to your benefit
[35:40] Building a business and a brand identity
[37:10] What is mental toughness?
[38:10] Being able to adapt and shift towards a positive result
[38:50] Brand identity is not firm and fixed, it is constantly evolving
[39:30] The Kodak example
[41:10] What drives Todd in his work
[42:00] His impact on the family legacy
[44:30] Going back to the past to help someone
[45:40] Tapping into emotion to gather strength and intention
[49:00] Where to find more about Todd

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist. Author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller UNSHAKEABLE, Mr. Robbins has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs. He created the #1 personal and professional development program of all time, and more than 4 million people have attended his live seminars.

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