With two decades’ experience coaching elite performers in sports and business, Todd Herman developed a system to tap into the human imagination and unleash a new, ready-to-succeed version of ourselves called the alter ego, or superhero. He details all this in his book “The Alter Ego Effect.” This process blasts us past the impostor syndrome, emotional baggage and the other restrictive mindsets. “It was built to support ambitious people doing hard things,” Herman said.
Two MDRT book club members shared the impact it had on them:
“We all have an ordinary world, but how do we achieve an extraordinary world that’s rich in meaning and possibilities? Everyone has the ability to be great, but we also have traits, challenges and obstacles holding us back and keeping us from being the best versions of ourselves.
“This is where creating an alter ego comes into play. The author walks us through the steps to create our alter ego — or develop our superpowers — to live an extraordinary life.
“Having an alter ego is not simply creating a mask, though. It’s about harnessing the traits inside us we might be too apprehensive to use. Athletes and entertainers send their alter egos into the arena because their alter ego won’t allow fear, anger or disappointment to keep them down.
“When I travel, my alter ego Adventure Julianne takes over. While Normal Julianne is very deliberate, thinks things through, and evaluates risks and rewards, Adventure Julianne lives in the moment, does not overthink, and most importantly, does not let fear take over. Adventure Julianne lives her best life and leaves behind the traits that would keep that from her.”
—Julianne Hertel, CLTC, 6-year MDRT member from Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
“‘The Alter Ego Effect’ helps readers identify and understand that there are environments where we are extremely uncomfortable because we don’t believe we have the skills required to achieve a desired and necessary outcome. These ‘fields of play’ can exist in both our personal and professional lives. They might involve such environments as having to fire an employee, speak in front of a large audience or confront one of the other numerous difficult life situations.
“I especially enjoyed the process of building my alter ego and found this process to help me reflect on those behaviors and attitudes I felt I needed to bring to specific challenging situations. The creative aspect of building a character’s back story, desired traits and the environments where I needed to become my alter ego was especially enjoyable.
“I also found helpful the author’s suggestion of creating a proclamation response that can be said prior to entering a field of play. Oftentimes, we forget all we’ve accomplished to achieve our current level of success, the positive impact we’ve had in the lives of the people we serve, and how our experiences and skills already position us to take on anything we choose. We have every right to be in these fields of play. And once we become comfortable with our abilities, we can reach our potential and live in an extraordinary world.”
—David C. Blake, 21-year MDRT member from Harrison, New York, USA
For more about MDRT book clubs and their favorite books
- MDRT members in the U.S. and Canada can find existing book clubs by filling out a form at surveymonkey.com/r/MDRT_Book_Club.
- You can find more ideas for books to read on MDRT’s YouTube channel in the playlist “Books with impact.”
- Learn how to start a book club by reading “Take a page from others’ success” [MDRT member exclusive]
- Read another book review at “Introvert or extrovert? Takeaways from ‘Quiet‘” [MDRT member exclusive]
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