What if there was a pill that would give you instant access to your greatest potential every time you needed it most?
What if that pill was free, had zero side-effects and worked in nearly every domain of life. Especially the ones where so many struggle, from public-speaking and socializing to high-stakes decision-making, sports and nearly any other endeavor where being at your best mattered? And, what if you had an endless supply in your pocket, 24-7, for the rest of your life?
According to this week's guest, founder and elite-performance advisor, Todd Herman, there is. But, it's not a pill. It's something you do, a peak performance power-tool he's taught his clients for decades, from Olympic and pro athletes to CEOs, founders and performers. It's what he calls the "Alter Ego Effect," and it's all about tapping the power of secret-identifies, creating and stepping into them to change not only the way your brains works, but also the way your body performs in an instant.
Todd shares the entire Alter Ego methodology, along with the science behind it and a wide-array of case-studies in his new book, The Alter Ego Effect (https://amzn.to/2RECL1n). In this week's conversation, we explore what shuts so many of us down when we most need to be at our best, how Todd came to understand and then develop the power of alter egos, and how we can tap their power in work, play and life.
For a deeper-dive into Todd's "origin story," check out our 2016 conversation (https://www.goodlifeproject.com/podcast/todd-herman/)
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
So does moments where all we want
You show up and be at our absolute best whether it is apparent partner in your professional life as a performer and athlete
an executive and artists wherever it may be. We have those windows of time when everything is on the line. Sometimes,
there, the blink of an eye- sometimes it's an entire season of life, but we need to access everything that we have to show up with everything that we ve got and perform at a level that we hope were ready for, and I have always been deeply fascinated with
we do that and how some people seem to have the ability to do it on a much higher level and much more frequently than are really curious about that and meantime friend of mine
Todd Herman has been on the show before, as we explored serve his personal journey, but he
also earns his living working with many, the high performing people across all domains in the world and has spent decades deconstructing psychology, the behavior change the mindset, the belief systems that allowed people to go to that place were magic happens to act
is it more readily and to stay there for longer and he has been doing work around the concept of alter egos that I have become kind of fascinated by. He has a new book out called the alter ego fed which deep dives into it, but I asked todd to come back into the studio, because
wanted to explore this with him and really understand what this thing is, how this tool works
I might integrate it into my life and also deconstructed a bit too
share with you how it might help you really solid share. This conversation on jonathan fields- and this is-
how does a I even work where
creativity come from. What's this
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each kill second Jan time together, right and so for those of you who would love to dive, deepen tat todd serve like own personal journey,
was certainly link in the show notes to do that. So deep tat,
I come in today because theirs is kind of secret project that he's been working on, for, I guess really decades. Thus it is fifteen years yeah, which kind of blows my mind, and it is
is one thing that you do, that is an astonishing unlock key to a certain extent were performance and you shared bits and pieces,
of it with me over the years and even with a little- and I guess you ve- dropped. Ah Tommy marked her tone,
like what is really on here, so you ve now spend it on,
I'm turning this into a book, and I kind of wanted to go deep, enter this with you, the end,
sure whether that here, so it's all around this idea of secret identities, z list, let's the ones out just for heartbeat,
you you spend. The vast majority of your day has been
passenger was to take as a real life working with p
who are at the top five per cent of one per cent of
fields across all demand yeah. I would put it probably in that top yet top two percent definitely to wear. Why did they come to you? Ah? Well, the nature of I think doing anything that demands that you're at the top
well, not even the top level. Just anything any time, you're trying to make change happen, the greatest factor. That's going! Stop that from happening is typically yourself like you getting in your own way, and so people come to me for religious
mental mental toughness strategies and being able to perform at your absolute peak levels of performance and alive
in all of the capabilities and skills that you've developed, that you truly have inside of you are now show up on your field of play without the restrictions of the way that you think about your.
For, though judgments and worries of others or impostor syndrome, or any one of these other little hidden forces that the end
He likes to use to pull you and keep you on the sidelines and not show up like you know that you care yeah, I'm so consistently blown away by how much of that actually
its internal limitations, mercy, structural limitations, are physical limitations. I mean when you hear stories.
As such. It listening to our colleague, runner, sherry,
story about how he had spent years trying to break the format.
He finally did- and he got down to like three fifty or something like that, but then spent like another five years trying to get pass and he couldn't
and then it was running a race one day and like his halfway mark, somebody help
the card showing he was on pace for like ten seconds faster than he had ever run, which never seemed impossible, so he got done and in fact, at the end he was young. He didn't just break his best by one
I believe, by like ten seconds and then and then people like what happened like what I had. How did you do that and he's like? Well, I saw you know halfway through you held up the card. That shows that I was like fashion. Never was I just kept on that pace and they were like. Actually that wasn't a steak like where you weren't
faster. You picked it all out like something happened and it was hidden train differently. Physical complacently haven't his brain. That was the only difference. Yeah there's a strategy that we that we work with one overcommeth like I try fleets her marathon runners, that in our talks about that twenty one, twenty first,
twentieth mile breakthrough, can appoint, were edges wall, the writer and- and I talk about it, just the power of what the mind can do and how you can actually
it's a rest and let someone or something else take over. So what we do is if you were standing. If we were, if you had your back to me, I'd get you to stand up and lean back and I'd put my hand in the middle of your back and then I would start pushing you forward, but I won't
keep leaning into my hand and feel like I
carrying you with my power forward, and so we do. That is a bit.
Zation strategy or an imagination strategy of when you start to feel like you want to take a break. You can absolutely take a break,
just leaned back and imagine a hand resting on your back and pushing you forward, and I have
it's just me doing a speech on that at a at a runners room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There were eight people who looped back around ten days later and said they had their absolute best personal best time. Because of just that idea that some one else- and I mean people can say that, and they do. I like give people a strategy and then not telling them who or what is holding them up. But people would be like
matching, so if their spiritual, religious people would be god or Jesus or if it was someone who had a deep connection to another mentor it with their mental, pushing them forward or as grandma or mom or dad, or something like that, and just the power of the mind can do,
it is really mine book might blow, but it is also so hard. I think it's one of the things were in.
Will you have experienced it like you hear about it become, are like? Isn't it just blowing smuggling here? Isn't that
I lived there, and yet we are who we are where we had. We had this
embody the same limitations. The same skill set the same knowledge base, and how could it be? That quote easy that? That's really you know there's this one switch that you have to flip and everything changes because I mean new emulate. While if it was that easy, everybody would be doing it. Well, I mean it's all, it's all
in there for people to on top definitely like it's. The idea that I think most people in their lives in different areas of their lives are operating with the emergency brake on at some level, whether its pulse
rate up and you're revving the engine as fast as you are as hard as you possibly can, and you feel like you are
getting a return on the amount of effort that you're putting into things you're wearing yourself out. Well,
There is something in internally if there's an
internal battle or friction point? That's there, and so my job is to come in and just you pop that, but on that mercy breaking to start to release-
down in and little with the same amount of effort and energy that people are putting in a completely different result happens, and so I'm looking at trying to shift paradigms, get people too
the things in different ways see themselves in a different way or in what we were talking about before, with secret denny's and alter egos. Instead of me trying to change you, I'm not going to touch you
Instead, we are going to allow you to step into someone or something else that it has the soup
hours of the characteristics of the way that you want to be operating already and you operate through that, and it's been proven up by tons of science and different studies in experiments plus the great thing about this night satan
book. This isn't me, that's inventing a new concept for you. The great thing about this is this is a remembering, like that's how I kind of really feel about this book and in the movement that want to push behind. This is that this is like this great remembering of like you have done this. We have all played with this idea in the past of
there we were kids and mirror in playing a cowboy or we're playing fired fire firemen
we're playing a nurse or we're playing some sort of superhero. We all do that and it's actually the one great power that human beings have it's actually the one one of the few things that makes us unique on this planet, which is the ability to suspend disbelief about who and what we are and step into something complete.
different. You know we can make a heaven from Hell and a hell from Heaven. Only human beings can do that, and that's because we're gifted with this creative imagination, and so this was always one of my number one tools I would use of athletes or any performer that had working with whether they were on broadway
we're in the arts or their business owners, and entrepreneurs is now I'm not here to try to fix you. That's that cause that that that idea is that you are somehow broken. I don't see it that way at all. I think that there is a whole group of different skills. You just haven't tapped into yet or you've forgotten that I'm just gonna give to you and then it's going to release what's already there. So it's like you, you show up with a tool box that helps people slowly ratchet the emergency brake from partially to fiercely engaged down as close to completely open as pos. It can be
slowly or it can be a media like it's. I had an experience with this one young popular that is working with, and I worked them on a wednesday and
going away for a a weekend camp where all of the different collegiate coaches were at too kind of you know that
the kids and who they were going to give scholarships to and holocaust. So there's like a ton on the line, ton, yeah, and so that was gonna be a friday saturday and sunday in LAS vegas. So we flew down from canada. For this thing and his dad called me, he was saturday
lunchtime when it called- and he said to her, what did you talk to just about
and I was like a man like, oh boy, what are they difficulties that somehow ass some of road can hurt broken a tab?
and- and I said why you know the whole. Let me get clear for
sure before I actually admitted anyway, and he said tot. I've never seen him play like this. Before its, he is standing on his head,
performing way beyond any,
the guys that are on it, and then these are literally the best of the best hawk.
where's coming out of high school, going off onto the cliff level, and- and I said well, it's really- you can ask you ask him about it and he can tell you but tat. I just simply gave him you know, maybe a different person to operate through other than
you know the the kind of self that he was taking out there, that was kind of wounded and dented, and all that kind of stuff and yeah he ended up getting a full ride. Scholarship offers to many schools ended up playing at university of vermont.
I mean it's kind of interesting to you, because it's the tabling where I think
your life on the planet, your striving towards something big in some way, shape or form or gaelic over and over different domains of your life. At some point, I think
we all we feel
like that. You know sometimes it last seconds.
in the last analysis, unless it day sometimes less season, but very few
vice me included, raising my hand, understand what has happened and how do I replicated had headway actually make this continued,
because I have no idea. I just know something changed: there's magic happening, I performing the
between what I know to be my full capabilities and where an
rating has somehow clothes dramatically, but
Dont know how or why and I dont know how to sustain it and maybe even a just laughed, and I have no idea how to get it back yeah. So the question there
We do that consistently yeah,
I mean as and- and I think is I guess the senses like he- you can actually do that consistently unless and until you know, what's actually happening. Well, I think that's the dangerous thing when it comes to performance and kind of unpacking this stuff, okay and in that, is that we want to try to figure it out and like so that we can so that we think that in the figuring out we can replicate it, and yet it's the very opposite of how flow state and zone state ever happen, because the moment you
how to make it a conscious process. You ve now moved the eve move, the needle away from even coming close to getting that centre point of the zone and the flow like you're, you're, you're, forcing it and its and allowing its letting happening and and do the term.
following doesn't sound like that's the term, that someone in like the pig performance no world would be talking about her in a top athletes around the world is
their strong and powerful and all that kind of thing? But really there is a trust that has to happen in that's really the one word that I'm always focused on what
working with anyone who I'm trying to help them with their performance is how can I get them to fully and completely trust themselves and when you think about how daunting of a challenge? That's a really daunting challenge for anyone, because people have personal traumas in their past
Instead that sit there, that you know they used to help, define them or hold them back or they hold onto them, because it serves them in some way. There's narratives of family- and you know the world around them that ends up shaping people's personalities and then there's you know the classic imposter syndrome stuff that people don't feel like they're, good enough or smart enough for they're, not skilled enough or not enough. L accolades or whatever the case is so just the idea of getting someone to trust himself is a very difficult thing. However, it is one hundred per cent where I'm always focused, because I can get that person to trust themselves, then everything that they've got they've worked on can flow out of them and so going back to your kind of state.
around figuring it out or like how do I do this again it some it's a dangerous kind of rabbit hold a go down, whereas just know that it's there and you can access it. And so the attitude is more of. I wonder, what's gonna happen again and then it's that passive, seeking which again these are
turn like like frames of reference that people when they hear me talk what our leg that doesn't sound like something
you would be saying riots like what about the striving yeah, what about pushing? What about the aggressive movement toward yeah and and that's going to get you a result? Definitely, but if your whole focus in the initiative is to get to that
beautiful kind of zones, statement flow state were just you're, almost above
bring yourself in the activity there has to be in allowing- and there has to be a wondering that needs
be there and it's more of an exploration of it like there's a relaxed tension. That's there
and it's amazing when you get there, but it can only be be found. Typically, when you completely trust yourself, and actually this is the funny thing as going to see this to your, I thought this is where you're going with the story of the the marathon runner
client, I was talking to the other day whose player in the each also national heartily, and he was not feel his really sick actually that day and on
certainly I get really really excited any time. One of my clients tells me that that got the flu specifically the flu, I'm not a cold, but the flu and its because if they go and they perform undoubtedly will be one of the greatest personal performances they will ever have. Why? Because the level of expectation that they have, that they're gonna go out there and do anything. That's good is completely gone and they're going out and their surviving. That's it they're going to survive and survival. Is this magical place where the flow in the zone state loves,
at enemy, Michael Jordan's, one of his- and he says it's his greatest performance of his career was when he had the flu and he played against the utah jazz in the n b, a finals, and he had it was the one where he stopped short on John Stockton, and you know lobbed up the the jump shot to to win it all kind of thing and he had to be carried off. The court
is your elder. It's me. I get the chills just thinking about everytime, I'm like so fascinating to hear you say that yeah I I've never performed at that level yet, but when I think about
means, in my past,
I have been where there is a moment, there's something I need to show up and do, and it needs to be at my best and I have felt like death
You know, so I have learned from our life, I've gotten headaches and every once in a while. A time coincides where I need to be on
and my head is now if you'll like it can explode out of me, or
really really sick, like you said, but there's a mobile
where there are ninety minutes, where my job is to show up and the exceptional and digs Adam.
Flash modulation that isn't there myself, okay, so there had been.
Ricky moments, or even back when I was teaching young there being like a
wall to wall with bodies who are surrendering ninety minutes of their hard earned time to me, my job is not to show up and be like moby in complaining, well, energy. It is to give them what they did to give everything possible
and then an remembering these moments. Where I was like, I felt like death.
And as you know, I I I just I have to go. This is what-
I'm here to do but
I needed to just surrender to whatever of conflict
and come at me is just going to happen, and those invariably would be that
times wearily time with you,
during that ninety minute window, I would lose track
The fact that I was actually feeling like death I'd feel like that again, the minute after yeah yeah and then people would be like lined up afterwards saying to me what is
room. What happened to you like what that was what it's amazing, what and I'm like. I don't know, but right now, I need to call back into bed.
So it's so interesting. You share that, but you used a really important word another way to kind of just volk verbal as it is, you talk what surrendering to it right here, it's in that's what were you know, it's the allowing it's the truth
doing. So. Is that surrendering to that moment, that's there, and so I talk about the
the easiest analogy that I can use when it comes to an athlete is, is a skier. Just from like the danger perspective, you know they're standing at the top of a ski hill with a a grade that looks like it's the side of a cliff kind of thing and they're supposed to.
You know rap or no chase their skis around. You know these flags going down at a rate of speed that
pass any vehicle on a freeway and
They have seeds of doubt you now the chances of their edge of their blade of their ski catching up. You know,
half of even snow and setting them creaming off into the orange gate goes way up. So it's what surrendered to them.
I think you can only surrender to it when you trust your practice routine, when you trust year. The plan that you put in place when you trust your skills and capabilities- and you know you trust them again- that plan and that path that you've laid out and you just go, and we have these trigger words that we use so it's like,
I know some people say at the va said the last words out of their mouth. Going from there kind of conscious mind is let go and let god for some of them. You know cause they're. You know a lot of people that are athletes are deeply spiritual, religious orange, just let's go or let it rip
Like the word. Let comes up a lot and- and I always say- and I actually got this from one of my mentors Jim rome- that the most powerful word in leadership is the word let's, instead of Hugo, do it let's go, do it just to and even for parenting instead of, like hugo clean, your room, let's go clean your room right, just subtle little thing, but the word lat is that's that allowing that surrendering. That's so interesting,
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any interaction with anyone that you're working with and synergy and also, I think things paul important in the context of this conversation. Yes,
You were working with all of these elite performers, but is the exact same experience in exact same set tools with anybody who
blue, wants to
I stand how to show up at their best at any given moment any human experience every game, whatever it is in life. So this is like this is. This applies to everybody. It's a universal concept. This has nothing to do with it being now. It's something that is people go, oh that makes sense that an athlete would do that or that makes sense
the you know beyond, say: nose is going to use sasha fierce to go out there. David Bowie is going to use Ziggy stardust to go there and you know allow their creative expression to get out of them, but I'm a cunt,
lt it or I am a teacher or I'm uh yeah, but everyone's performing were all tasked with some responsibility that is
upon us to get a certain result, and many people are getting the best result that they could.
Even though that they know they can I mean there's. I know
you and I know the tipp people that you hang out with an older people, but you can be attracting onto the onto this podcast and there are probably a great majority. The people here that have got a lot of skill
but when they look at the end of their weak at the end of the month, nick out here doesn't feel like I am getting
turn on what I know I can be doing, I'm not getting it
out there is. I want reproducing, or something or or simply like. I know like. There are five moments where I had so much more
and was capable of so much more and yet I wasn't showing up in that way
We call those moments of impact in again.
Has a moment of impact when competing asked another competitor. There are
moments of impact and those moments of impact which are typically when the white hot light of performance shines. Its brightest
on you. You know it's the moment when, as a sales, personage will say so, shall we move forward right and in how many people
don't say those words at a moment of impact.
Depending on how you view that that role of being a salesperson or how you view other people where you're like? Oh, I don't wanna, be pushy, you know and all that narrative, it's not true. There's there's not there's no truth in the fact that, just simply by asking someone to move forward that that's a
thing, but to you I'd be a bad thing, and so is a moment of impact where you're sort of shirking your performance responsibility. Well, that's a great moment to you. Don't leave yourself on the sidelines like that self, that your kind of identifying with right now, let's bring out wonder woman, let's bring up a grizzly, bear if it's for some people
let's bring out a completely different character of got Zita divvied, who is the female character in show an cs? There's a young squash player that coached, and that was hers, she's young
if the girl she loved the idea of using siva davide as her alter ego or her secret identity, because she just it was everything that she wanted to be, but she didn't feel it feel like she was, and so she would let other athletes basically beat her up on the court, despite the fact that she had phenomenal training and skill, and so she took up ziva davide out on her on the court for the first time and she didn't win
parliament that we can, but she made it to the semi finals, which was like two levels higher than anything that she had ever done before and now till she took out, there was even to be so when you're too
about this idea of snapping into an and altering stepping into a different being different identity. What's important about newton. So
a wider, we really do it. I mean! Is it because it allows us to step out of the idea you certainly do
the constraints, the restrictors, of who we feel that we are and allow to step into may be an identity that that we assumed doesn't have those constraints or has different capabilities, yet is tapping into just the the way that the human,
and works. We all take a look at some one else, ngo owe their life looks easier over there. No one knows how hard I've got a right now right, that's just what we do as human beings.
and we all know is the grasses greener. On the other side think many times you know even to people that when we ve heard their current incredible story,
sixty minutes or any other amazing documentary that have gone through some incredible trial and tribulations
and we all still go. Oh, she learned all of that mental toughness or internal fortitude. From that experience, I wish I had something like that is then I would be stronger to like it's just what human beings do so all were doing.
using enlarging and altering or cigarette Andy, is we're leveraging the grasses green on the other side effect of while, like we we
sire to have those superhero characteristics from that other person or those superpowers and were exactly where were leaving that
insecurity that we have about what we can do on the sidelines and we're gonna now perform through those characteristics and- and that's a natural thing like this- is not about being fake because being fake is really when you're not taking off
all that you can do out onto the field and letting it really just show up for you, that's being fake, because now the world around you as judging you not on truly who and what,
can do and what you really are.
And so I mean if this is a trick, that we're gonna use,
ploy to help you to get out there and do it
wanna. Do then, who cares if your leveraging
Wonderful in or using that man are you using even theodore, you know and of green gables, or whether it might be
yeah, I mean when you talk about it? That way, I can I completely
At the same time, I also
the weather. Now
not being fake, but
This person, or whoever it is whether it's made up whether you Jesus on had denounced the name whatever it looks like that is a party you up like that. That is
a hundred per cent in there.
It has always been in there and it is a sort of a gateway to allow you to step into fuller, set potentials blood, it's so trippy itself.
different, maybe you associate ego or something else with it every day,
let our ourselves step into it. If we feel like it's actually us yeah end, and I love to just challenge people didier: what does what does you even mean like? Who are you cause? You have been shaped by
I tens of thousands of little subtle moments over your entire life by many other people that you adopted into your unconscious, as just who you are.
and all I'm saying is, is if the
who you are if there is some tension between cause, if you dont have any attention right now between what is truly happening in
world and the results are getting and who out who
you d find yourself, then there's no dont use and three go there. That's ok, but for those people I don't think I've met
First, I dont think I have either
it's been like I'm being honest with themselves, with yeah, yeah and and again, and that's not to say that you're a bad person, if you're doing it it's very much a human
thing like we're were naturally ensure
sickly motivated for growth and an always sort of expanding outwards, because we all know fundamentally there's just a polarity on the opposite end of that
just decay, your other growing or your decaying. There is no in between there because it defies nature if there was an end between costs in nature, things grow or the decay. That's it, and human beings operate the same way. So
yeah. You got that natural that it's just a natural tension of I'm. Just I want more of what I
in me, to show up out there, because fundamentally, human beings are very good people. Despite what we hear and see on the news all the time.
extraordinarily small percentage of humanity that operates out by and so a lot of, the big reasons why we want to get out there and perform better is simply because it's going to allow us to make an impact on other people are the people that we care about or the communities that we care about, or or whatever, they're six or whatever the case might be.
And I have yet to see someone deploying and using an alter ego in my role than I've done this now for fifteen plus years and it hurt or harm them in any way because cheese, if the, if the, if the
thing. That happened was someone was actually little more playful with life and limb.
easier on themselves, because the great thing about using his alter egos I've got many tennis players that have worked with over the years that have played at the highest level, and you know when they're out there on the court and they're operating through their alter ego, one of my clients she's in the book. When I talk about her, how one of her core values is fairness? Okay and fairness, is a great call.
Do you have, but when you're in competition fairness can get in your way, and so when you are always if youth seers
as a single self, with all the same values that are operating on every single field you live on in
britain vocation- and you know, sport and fitness, sir health and well being are. You know, spirituality and
family and honour on some of these values
if you get in the way of you performing to your capability, and so hers was fairness in what would happen is she was just extremely great tennis player. She would get up on people very quickly, but then that little unconscious value system would start to kick in and she would,
to feel bad that she was being someone so bad. It's a guy you're not supposed to run up the score, takes it took it when win yeah the state, the coachman.
a town, and I put it because we all want to see them tat, bad, but yeah. I guess you would.
automatic air start to feel for that site, and then she would just unconsciously start to pull back and the worst thing that can happen in sport is momentum, because an inferior player with momentum can beat a superior player anytime and that's what would happen if she would come,
I was her. Moniker was the classic. She should be winning. You know more majors, but she's not and so anyways. We started working together and I noticed her fairness come up when we were. It was a lunch here in new york city at one of my favorite places over on the east side, called penelope he's got the best blt in the city,
wheezing, and when it came time for the check to come. She grabbed it right away and she was like shoots started like tugging on muse, like a weird and awkward and and as like. No no, no I've got this. I've got this rachel and she's like no. No, you got the last two. I have to get this one and then just sort of a bunch of other events happen in my head sort of quickly of similar interactions that I'm, like fairness. That is that one of those hidden little forces that has pulled her onto the sidelines when it comes to her performance and
So we created an altar ego that didn't value that specific thing and then not went out on the court, and so any time fairness started to creep up in her ah performance imbue. What happens if we talk? What in the books, how health,
It is to actually be able to have a conversation, your head between your alter ego and sometimes the hidden enemy.
We name the enemy, sometimes as well, while most of time we do because it's really healthy to call something and aimed at the moment you give shape and form to something. It's no longer.
That kind of you, no black, hidden ghosts, that's lurking in the cores when you give form in shape to something now you can touch it
feel it now. You can put it to the sidelines and all that
and so, when she would start to have this kind of vent of taking her foot off the gas, she would say. Listen! This is my court. This is my field, you get to the sidelines and we would use typically a lot more colorful anguish, cause we're in the heat of competition. Emma
Because that's where you live fairness lives out there. It does not belong on this court. You know I'll be done soon, kind of thing, and it's about really claiming what that field is about. For you. It's super powerful and like
really uplifting to the person, and this is literally the altar you're talking to their you yeah or the enemy
alright decided you, because we are not break through
the part of you, that's that is that's, constraining or holding you back. Just tripping you up just a natural shadow that natural enemy that natural force, that is always in all of us that were always kind of you know. I'm going to battle with that wants to just keep us safe cause. It's that you know where, where there is that wounded child, that's inside of us or something like that that doesn't want us to you know, have the
bright hot white spotlight on us, I mean. Essentially, you mentioned how important it is to name that he can't he called the enemy. The enemy is part of you yet and yet
your near almost disembarking and giving a separate identities which, to a certain extent, lets you. Let you battle it.
You're. Dissociate answers not lay your shaming yourself, that's the as the biggest thing so interesting, so big because in the beginning I didn't have the distinction there, and so we were gonna shooting arrows back on ourselves in the beginning red and then I was like wait a second. No, this isn't I'm not you
and back at todd and again this is from my own experience because I use these are three goes for myself when I play football than college football, And- and so I would be talking at talk that way, but it wasn't todd that was the enemy Todd was being pulled as well by this hidden force, this enemy as well, which we all live with, and so then we give it a name and so mine. I just give it a name gremlin. You know which is not it
fairly unpopular term but Rachel her enemies name was dave and Dave was like many of my clients we use when we find bullies in their past and and that's what the enemy has said. Bully is there to kind of you know she. You know mute and dim your light in some way and they're just in when you think of it, like the enemies now name is dave. Okay, like that seems a fairly fairly excessive.
Thing. For me, that is a day of get to the sideline, the that's just as a conversation in your head, extraordinarily healthy and all of a sudden
you're. Having like you, have a host of people living in your head warrior. Stepping into space, which brings up like another,
Russian forbear, so what
The things that you offered earlier was that so often the magic happens when you just
when you get out of your head when you start the cognitive process and you allow yourself to shortly drop into this blissful
barrier, obliterating state flower linger in the zone,
balance the idea
of being in that state
where everything feels like it's just a theory and you're completely out of a cognitive process. With this
too much more deliberate conversation between parts of yourself, while the one thing that it is doing to you that is going to
Pull you into a conscious trap is
trying to think you're way out of it consciously where I'm gonna, like you know, when you're not using something like this in your kind of defining your field of play. Working of this particular
her former alter eagles redundant, you whatever you want to call it a persona, is gonna go and exist. If you don't have that
of great delineation between it? Now you
Try it out. Thank you away from an unconscious process, cause urim and realise that this hidden force is there like when I, when I shared with many sports communities, that fairness is is is actually typically one of the core enemies of
performance I've had been. I was on a panel once with a former pro athlete. I bet they didn't go over
I don't know it went like no. They started to crack right there right there cause they were like. Oh, my god, where were you raised
while that is exactly now I get myself there, and so having that conversation
because there is so much
passion and energy, typically behind it of like no enemy, you get. The silent. Is that talking? Tough luck, it's that you're, taking complete ownership of the space that you're standing in that alone is such a powerful. My
set to be in because what you are actually doing in the intent of it is that you are trying to protect also that ability to get into that zone and flow state and its that, in a classic guardian, at the gate that that alter ego is doing to protect the core self, the core.
self, which is this complete place of unlimited possibility for you from creative expression. Standpoint again like us at the very beginning that one of the thing
makes us truly unique on this. Planet is our creative imagination and what is possible from it, but we just put so many limited on it because of who and how we define ourselves and what were what were capable of, and you know who am I d like to all these different things, but when you truly honour that there is something as brewing up inside of you and the author ego can be the guardian at the gate.
protects that pure source of energy and just get chills thinking about it cause, I just I've, seen it so many times where people are shocked at what they're able to do now when it comes to getting fit, we all start off with the best intentions, but actually following through with it,
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I have asked the question of my sick myself in the past. When am struggling with some
when there's a moment, I have to serve like lean into it or make big decision. I would ask myself what would success do and- and I think what I was trying to get at- is
What would that altering of mine who I sort of like if I gave it incirlik of a person that
named success, but like an unnatural identity. What would that person do in this moment in time? You use you just use the word course
and I know that underlying certainly this idea of creating
tapping into an altar ego in order to be able to perform at your best level is an entire behaviour model.
That you have served developed over the years, as is five layers, the core self being at the base. Can you kind of walk me through, and I know it's it's it. It can get pretty complex, but I think it might be helpful to just say okay, so so here's relate the five layers from Korra to yeah and the easiest way for you as the listener. To think about this is let's say that we're on
packing, the earth's core, ok and so in the very centre of this core. We have so the very centre ball. That's there is this idea of the core self and often going to come back to them.
and and and there's another layer that sets out side of that layer and and that's that layer,
is is where we have it's, it's a very hidden layer and its where we have things like our family values things
that end up shaping us at a very unconscious level. We we take on these beliefs and these attitudes, and because of I again, you know, our family is a very powerful part of how we get shaped. Our nation sits. There are religions, sit there and and or the religious group that you're a part of cause. You start acting like a catholic
acting like a jewish person or whatever the case might be. For someone and and then you start saying, while I can't do that because I'm acts and it happens right, but then southern, so that's a that's a very powerful layer than the laylock without doubt it. But so that is the belief layer. So the belief layer is where we have our attitudes
our beliefs about things our perceptions about that we ve learned very much over time as well and
that letter as well is extremely powerful, because the moment that you start saying I
something you're, creating and shaping this identity of who you are and how we know. Something is a belief by the way as if something is true for you, but it's not true. For me.
the belief like we're, walking outside and were both walking on the sidewalk. That's truth, that's true will mean we're both walking on aside,
But if you see an older woman, what
Blue dress on you to go. Man like older women in blue dresses are just unattractive like, but that's not true, that's true for you, but not true for me. That's a belief that you had half right, so I mean that's just a silly example, but I and I'm always trying to be mindful of like what are some of these beliefs, that people are kind of carrying with them. That don't make any sense, because we can shift and change those things. Then, beyond that, after the belief layer, then we get to this player or this lyric, this action layer, action layers where
you ve got the skills that you ve found over time. The knowledge that you have your capabilities and, and that is then translated into your behaviors and that's going to be determinant- are determined by the following letter, which is the field the play which is
environment that you're standing sending out the situation that you might begin with. What we talk about moments of impact are so important, and so we have many fields of play in our lives in a we ve got the feel the play for vacation or work. We got the feel the play of like my home life and our minds:
We have got the field the play of my friends and how we interact there, and we all know will know that were were slightly differ
people when we're around our kids than we are when we're around our friends
or around, are a workplace, and so we have multiple selves that do show up in our world and that's what this whole concept helps to.
leaf with people is to just notice and realise that, yet there are many you use that go out there in the world and participate the todd. That's with his three little kids at home is very different than the todd that shows up in work.
And in my business and my kids, do not you know when I think about who shows up in my business when I was first
putting out. I was twenty one years old. I look like I was twelve years old and I was completely insecure about going out there, and
getting my message in my business in front of people, because it is fundamentally felt like who's gonna. Believe me, because I look like I'm too young, despite the fact that I was really good at what I was doing, which was coaching young
amateur athletes. That's, why is skilled enough to work with at the time on mental toughness stuff, the stuff that I was very naturally good at? It was kind of my
Hmm, my skill that I'd honed over time, but I just couldn't get myself to get up there and do anything. I wasn't marketing myself and and doing what I needed to do. However, I did use an alter ego when I played football and I play football, a high level. I played badminton at a high level of national badminton players while- and I thought to myself- oh geez- find you could use it
or why can't I use it in business too. So I thought for second, while who would I want to be in its typically the differ
person that I am right now, which I want to be confident. I want to be decisive. I want to be articulate and then Amelia thought queer, while confident decisive, articulate people they wear glasses, which isn't true right. Like me, confidence regulate, decisive people, also don't wear glasses, but so I went out and bought a pair of non prescription glasses from lenscrafters up in canada, where I'm from and where he's from, where I grew up and when I would put those glasses on that's who I was intentionally stepping into nice, especially intentionally stepping into being richard, because I thought his that's my actually. My first name, I thought richard just sounds like more of a business named. Todd sounds like a young younger person, so I'll be richard and
I was being very deliberate now getting back to my kids. They don't need a confident, decisive and articulate dad. They need fun, playful, get on the ground and roll around with them and dad, and so you know that kind of alter ego that I adopted for my
my. My parenting was on MR rogers. Just how mean
no of another human being could that could engage with young children better than him, and so I'm home? That's that's. What I'm influenced by is that so these five layers help us to identify the different fields that weep,
m on and then it's also extremely helpful in meat
ignore thing where someone is tripping themselves up in oak is, if you like,
have all of the skills and knowledge that the action lair, then that means or something deeper or it could be something on the field of play like our
You only showing up that way when your boss enters the room. So if your articulate in meetings with the rest of the team, but then the moment the boss shows up in the room. Well, ok, that's the one factor that has now changed
in the circumstances will now what are you looking at yourself? How are you looking at your boss, let's causing you too now kowtow,
not show up like you can and then we can adopt an author ego were
a strategy domains are. They also refers back into the inner layers, as advocates or that's the circumstantial, aimed at the the play lair.
but then is there a? Is there like a a third layer, belief or is there a deeper value which is somehow rippling out and informing that and show the values layer as an example, because I had a client that was like that was. He grew up in an army family and was taught to never. You know, speak up or talk back to not even know top act but speak up or at anyone who's in his superior
you're in a position of power- and that was the actual in a sticking point with them when they were working with their boss and he didn't realize it- was that values layer that a deeper inner layer that was stopping them on on that the error in that circumstance
a field and an even then just because they are aware of it didn't mean it that was gonna, help them get over it. So you know we adopted a different alter eager for them to be acting through and that moment to release what they wanted it they wanted to speak up in.
He thinks it is worth doing. It emits urging it's almost like the visual that pops into my mind is that the air
deeper layers and let your dna and the hour layers
the environmental. This circumstance things it's like the abbe genetics that have the ability to turn off or turn
something in dna, and you know the
understanding. It is certainly not like you said understanding. It gets you like part of the way there, but does national change any
and the question becomes a guess. How do I change it feel the play hurricane something deeper and more internal? It myself and
The answer like were, or one possibility of actually stepping it. It's almost figure stepping into a different dna in order
who actually be have to operate differently in that same field, apply yeah, that's it that's. Why said? Goose go back to the beginning of the crisis,
I said the ability to suspend disbelief
is so powerful for people again. That's why adopting the altar ego or the character,
the persona of someone or something else. That fundamentally, doesn't have this
aim in earlier make up that you do, but is now
to be able to express what you want to express, which is the stuff that you ve worked hard
at those skills, the knowledge and the behaviors that you developed. That's really
half of the people, and yet we already know that, just because someone's aware of something doesn't mean it they're going to be able to change or that change occurs because of it now and say, if dared left, directs errors caught. His eye
this information was the answer. We all have six pack abs and be billionaire sam yeah, exactly knowing it is not the like. If it helps like it's the first step, then yeah,
engine allowed earlier a conversation that there's no, she research around some of these ideas. So what am I want? My
the things that I share in the book is the power of something called enclosed, cognition, okay, so one of the one of the core principles of the alter ego model- and this alter ego effect- is that we always give you a totem or an artifact. We want you to either wear something have something with you that allows you to trigger that kind of alter.
well, a representation of the power of that secret identity, and for me it was those glasses. When I put those glasses on on as being extremely intentional about who was going to show up out there, I was not gonna. Take that you know it
Your version of myself out there that was so concerned about other people is thinking of them are or were thinking of me and
in a show up as someone who is confident that is decisive and is going to take away my point four people so that it can help them get the result that they're looking for, but the moment that cause, if you can do this, the moment that internal part of you starts to wind itself back into that negative behaviour area, my glasses came off immediately because I would never allow richard to be insecure and needed to protect that all three go at all costs. Richard wouldn't even have the thought.
being insecure. Just like you know, one woman would never have the thought that she couldn't fundamentally in the end, get the job done, that she couldn't face down that you know evil enemy kind of thing, so you need to honor that alter ego and it turns out there's a lot of power in it, and this idea of enclosed cognition, the kellogg
a school of management to the study around this and they brought a bunch of students into a room and they had this kind of a word puzzle on the wall and not enough. Anyone here has ever practiced with this before, but there's a puzzle that has the word of a color and end. The color is different.
Then the word is deaf, the word that its coloured and is different, and the word itself. So if it was yellow, it would be printed in origin if it was blue.
Be done in brown and all that, and so what you need to do is go through the puzzle.
and say the word as its written instead of the color that you're seeing its extremely challenging I've done it
I've done. That is brutal, wait, I'm smarter and, as a result, there like a five by five grits others like twenty five boxes
There's a big brought these students in any time.
To see how quickly they could get you the puzzle, then they bring in another group.
and they hand them a a white coat and the white coat. They said this is a painter, smock, ok, and they wanted to see how fast they're going do it
time them as well, and then the brought in another group and the hand them the
that same white coat as the painters, smock, so sick same code. That is called it a lab coat guy. So here's a lab coat. Can you up with put this on an end to this recorded the results? So the data comes back and the people were wearing the painter. Smock did not go through that puzzle any more quickly and with any less errors than the people who just worst recalls. However, the people who were given the white lab coat went through and they did it in less than
if the time making less than half the errors and they developed and they showed a higher level of concentration, skills, threw out the entire test well now on packet. That's because
We as human beings in clothes, we put meaning around the things that we wear or the things that we will see. So its calling
with cognition, there's clothing that you can wear. That means something to you and so just
Are you putting on a lab coat your automatically going to display the call,
of someone who's gonna be more deliberate, more methodical, higher concentration skills now
They did the exact same thing again. This time they had do an artistic, they do something creative expression. Well, the people who wore the white lab coat didn't show anything more creative than the people who are wearing their street clothes, but the people who were told that it was a painter's smock were far more creative and expressive through the task as well. You know and that's a great example of an alter ego,
no, we don't we're not wrapping up big story around it, but here in clothing yourself in a new meaning as being a meal of man
I insist in a lab and just because you're doing that you're going to become more methodical and concentrate better,
and then there's another one? There's another great story that was done from a lady who, from the inference that I was told a friend of her, saw me, speak on this topic of alter egos and then told her about it. I have been able to connect with her yet to figure out if this was extra true, but either way she this great, steady on
Children and there was a group of forty six year olds, brought them into
room to work on a puzzle, though the puzzle was actually unsolvable. There was no way that you could actually complete this puzzle, but they wanted to see how long they would stick it out for
before they would quit, and so, though they tracked all the information. You know the seconds administered the tried working on this puzzle. Then they brought in a couple of costumes. One was
man Cochepaille was a door, the explorer caution and they
said to the young kids in the room, everyone, you know pick out your favorite costume, and so they did and then they brought another puzzle for them to work on. Well, the level of grit and perseverance of those young kids went up, and how do you measure grit and perseverance? Well, how long? How much extra time did they spend on that puzzle and they spent a lot more time working the puzzle, but the other side of it was which is really really powerful and something that parents should kind of take note of. Is that they're there and that healthiness of their self talk went way up as well, meaning that he would say to themselves well, batman won't quit, so I'm not going to quit, I'm not a quitter, either
Like a few seconds ago, they were quitters now they're, not quitters anymore, simply by adopting the persona of that man or dora the explore like it so powerful and me we do me. We ve got a chest and in her apartment here, new york city, for our kids, with tons of costumes in it
and we do with the kids all the time, it's funny how each each case,
actually associate different skills with different super superheroes like you know-
his molly looks at one woman very differently, then sophie does, and so that's the power of this hold all three. That idea is
there is no one right or wrong waited or what one right or wrong persona to adopt its a very personal thing to you
and are so many stories that I've got in the book from just leaders throughout history, that of adopted just what you would say. Why would they use that character,
matter of whatever their personal cessation was that's what mad ass, what matter as it matters it so interesting that it can be made. On the one hand, you can work with somebody in say: let's, let's map this out, and they
I know this is part of your process. We are actually working with some and yet what you write about, like. Ok, let's walk through the entire process like step. One step to three was define it. Let's do, but all these things which
I guess just makes it stronger and stronger
closure of the other so fascinating to me that even the most
essential expression of that which is you wearing
thing at whether to token whether to shirt, whether a lab coat wherever it may be, that that kind
after the glasses. For you like that,
Small thing actually has it creates
a measure ball external affect them. It's kind of funny, because
as your sharing this I'm thinking about just before he came here today with
you been editing, my speaker real, so I've been looking through footage of me on.
Age last chunk of years and an and my wife was looking through this early
The near final rough cut, anxious
I can it's kind of funny. It almost looks like you know. This is like near like ten ten different clips from ten different talks, but it could have been the same one because you're wearing the
same thing and there is no one at all
its intentional. I always where the exact same thing we are speaking about who I am, and it is like
that shirt goes on and when, when this sneakers that I only where one at one stage go on there,
something that happens and I'm different onstage, and I have been told that
many times because hang out I mean you know this were familiar, relayed back yard.
I had introverted, you know
chime in only one I feel like it really makes sense and very in my head, when I'm on,
I'm not that way. You know you're not a mighty that its
slake somebody wound me up here and an eye
I have had with I bet you literally had people come up to me afterwards, like dude, I've known you for a couple of years, like you really funny
stage, but you're really not funny in real life and, like I'm, not entirely sure how to take that. But I don't find that to be true. So it's it's so interesting because you know what you're, what you're describing is just making
intentional, what I have experienced over a period of years, but you never really just deconstruct on that level. Yeah, and I mean that's what I tell people like with the book and in in what you just were talking about other people that have now gotten the early copies of the book. They
I have come up with there's so much that makes so much sense now that the way that I've operated and except now what happens, is people go except I'm going to just dial up and amplified that even more because you know I was doing it, but
I know the power of it and I do more of that and I'm going actually
fly in another area of my life as well, instead of just that one stage, because when you think of it, we are for we. We don't like to think of it this way, but we are performing a role like my to my kids, I am performing the role of dad and I personally take that very seriously other people, you know there,
great sort of mission in life isn t be a phenomenal father, whatever their, not as you know, big on parenting, but for me,
that's my number one role to play.
And I take it seriously, and so I do be. I am very much more intentional there then I think, maybe what other people maya my do better, that that's.
I see that you're planting with me right now too, as I got now, I kind of want to look at the different domains and say ha and also, but but
think maybe the starting point for me is
since I know that I kind of step into it in her alive
intentional way when I'm speaking when I'm servicing public now now you ve, got me wanted her to
less that out more like now, I want to get that personally, I want actually give them you ever personality, and now I want to do the work of understanding what it where's the where's the end
port. That lies in sight of me and how can I help
embody, an almost like dissociate and create an identity. For that. That's actually. One of I mean, even though there's so many different parliament. The different mean that book took me a long time to read, and I think the the best thing that I've gotten out of it just for myself as being very, very, very happy with the end result of what I actually create.
With it. Because I was you know there was a lot, a large part of the process where I wasn't happy with it and then, in the end, it it all worked out, but is just how powerful the the naming of something that you've struggle for a long time that hidden force that enemy
and be an just, giving it a label and form how much it can really shift people in their own heads cause
it dissociate you away from because again, when something that happens, you're such an idiot now Dave was the idiot there. You're not you're, all get, don't worry about it.
it's just a powerful thing for people there at so interesting stay out. So this also feels I got a good point for us to start council. Certainly well, so I'd ask you this question. Once
before then mascot, because I think it was probably or two maybe longer than that ago, since we're hanging out in this container of the good life probably like, if I offer, at the phrase to live a good life, what comes up to live a good life and for me, it's about being very intentional about understanding that I'm, the one holding the the paintbrush and I'm going to design it and make it look, how I want and I'm not can be ruled by any one of those other four or five other layers and just truly operate from a place of
I am creating it like that. For me, like just, is staying in that place, that the moment that I feel like I'm giving up control and power to someone or something else, that's not me living a good life. That's me doing it for other reasons that aren't coming from you trying to connect to like my core of creatively, trying to express my you know best self in a cliched term in some way, and but to give you a a real, tangible thing for myself to live. A good life is spending a lot of time with my kids and spending a lot of time with people like you, like, just the more and more
be around I'm a people person you and I are we're. Actually it's I'd say this other people who know both of us that we're actually very, very, very similar human beings. We just express ourselves personality wise, very differently, obviously, and
and so that's a good life is is again
now. There's just so many studies that you're show that the quality of someone's life is completely dependent upon the power of the relationships that they have. So I yeah I dunno. If that's a very good answer or not, but it's the right answer for me. Awesome. Thank you thanks, but,
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Transcript generated on 2023-06-27.