Alter ego: “a person’s secondary or alternative personality.” (Google)
I first came across this term on a video I saw on YouTube. It was not of my interest, so I didn’t think much about it. But this year, I have seen the term applied in books and articles that I’ve read online, and this has sparked my interest.
We all have an alter ego inside us. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the black and white opposite of our usual personality; I see it more as a character that we can adopt in the most challenging times.
The other day, I came across this article in which the author writes about the techniques he uses to cope with his anxiety. His second tip is about adopting a different persona. Personally, I often find myself very self-conscious of my personality and appearance in social situations. I overthink my actions and tend to recoil when I slightly feel that I’m not welcome in the situation. In other words, I’m vulnerable to my surroundings.
This is what the author of the article recommends you do when you become a character:
Just like in television, you cannot break character. Even if I feel anxiety coming on, I can get into character and focus on the task at hand. The rest of the world can’t see inside your brain, so this works great in interviews and business meetings. The character I chose is basically the best version of me: someone who believes in himself and wants to show compassion to those around him and is not ego driven.
You’re practically challenging yourself to stick to this task, and shifting your focus away from your self-consciousness and towards the best version that you can become. I haven’t really tried this out yet, but I can imagine how much it can help to have this visualize yourself as someone that you aspire to be, instead of letting dark thoughts cloud you.
A tip that you might find useful: All of this probably sounds a lot like acting, and even if you loathe acting (like me), you just have to keep in mind that, unlike actors, you are not the center of attention 24/7, and that people are probably too fixated on themselves to judge you. But if you evoke yourself as a shining star, your confidence will most likely get the positive reaction from others that will make you feel even better about yourself.