Updated: Jan 1, 2021
Alter egos - Early childhood play has always been a realm of imagination and fiction, creativity, exploration and actually leads to greater development.  We are encouraged to play great people we look up to or want to become. When a child gets on the court you may hear “ I'm going to be Jordan, I'm going to be Kobe.” When we create make-believe we may pretend to be Darth Vader or Skywalker and enter a world of magic and laser sword fights.
We create a persona within ourselves of who we wish we could be and the person we aspire to perhaps later become.
Why do we Encourage this behavior?
This type of childhood behavior is actually encouraged and, it comes from several places. One is that children are riddled with potential and malleable abilities. We cannot put a limit on what a child is capable of doing. The other is exploration of skills and interests helps them develop character and who they are.
This lets them explore many facets of life and what they may find interest in; perhaps a start of talent recognition as well. However, as we become older that potential becomes narrowed. Our possibilities limited and encouragement for pretend and playtime becomes minimal.
Harboring the Alter Ego
One of the coolest ideas if not 'theories' I could call it, comes from this idea by Todd Herman. Why do we stop imagining and pretending? Why did we stop creating these personalities in our lives, how much more confident were you at ball when you called your self Kobe compared to “Ben”.
The Idea goes like this. The “Alter Ego” is a concept written by Todd Herman (2) Where we learn to create, identify with and essentially step into becoming these personalities within ourselves. Depending on the environment/location and the type or personality needed we may develop many alter egos over our life time to selectively harness and use. Honestly, I see most people do this anyway but do not quite learn to tap into it for full effect; but rather as response. An example of this would be Slim shady, a persona written by Eminem as his alter rap ego. “Sasha” a fierce powerful woman created by Beyonce. Even the Black Mamba was created by Kobe as the silent assassin on the court. We even know of Benjamin Franklin creating 'Silence Dogood' so as to submit writing to a local paper without suspicion. 
Philosophy of the Second Self
Where I see, it also stems from the ideas of early antiquities philosophy. The 'second self' as expressed by Cisereo and Goethe. Goethe said “the highest joy of man should be the growth of personality.”  However, he also realised that this is not a naturally occurring idea. We must continue to explore and create. Find and define who we are. The second self; whilst not the whole premise to alter egos is something that underlines some of the idea. We are essentially responsible for creating the person we wish to be.
The first self is our early life, governed by family friends, social circumstances, cultural norms and ques. We are shaped into what society expects us to be. We create the second self by experience and reformation of the mind. Realising the potential to be whomever we wish, is still alive. Our childhood imagination is still among us if we use it wisely and learn to become who we are meant to be as a result.
How does the second self play into the alter ego?
The alter ego becomes necessary when we really want to drive and succeed in our fields. When we know who we are, but also know who we need to become in order to manifest this belief. Lets say you are a world leading CEO of a fortune 500 company. That which we have come to know, requires a certain type of personality. High in conscientiousness, task and goal focused, meticulous and planned. This is not the same type of personality you want coming home to a loving wife and children.
This is where we may create a separate persona for the home, give him a name, personality characteristics. You aren’t going to become a push over, but the business cap comes off and the father hat goes on. Now you are 'Father bear' not the 'Wolf of wall street'. Attentive, the aggression and fast pace of office life is left at work, you are tired but still listen and help around the house. Ironically, the more we practice these environments and behaviors the stronger the connection becomes. You don’t need to be perfect in every circumstance, how can you be you are only one person. But what we can do is cultivate personas that best reflect who we need to be when we need to be them.
How do we solidify our alter egos?
How do we really connect with them and, make them real? Well we make them tangible! We use well documented techniques to make them more alive and apart of us. We call these terms:
- Emotional anchoring.
- Emotional triggering.
We create the personality and attach emotion to the situation that will allow us to really anchor it to our mind. Environment can be a huge trigger for memory recall and so having an emotional connection to who this personality is and where you use it really solidifies it to us. Then we trigger it, a trigger may be a pinch, a pluck, a thought, a noise, an item or any trinket you think of. Holding it, using it, thinking it shifts us into gear and brings forth this ego.
Keeping the Player Cards as a Trigger...
Todd Herman explained on the London Reel how he kept player cards in my headgear. He became the aspects of those people and merged them into one personality on the field. I myself, have these exact practices for training, study work and business. Who I am in the gym is dark controlled but aggressive, psychotic and borderline insane. Who I am at work is smart, articulate, educated, informative and conscientious.
They are not the same places and require different people. I refer to Professor Hulk when I write, as Bruce banner and Hulk join as one consciousness to balance their anger and fury with brain and wit. I use this in my office space and always have a hulk figurine around. (ironically given to me by my late father Bruce) I may not be able to be different people, but I also do not have to use all parts of my personality at all times. This creates ego zones to be who ‘Ben” is at one place and who he is elsewhere.
How do we trigger our Egos, how do we put on that cape and fly?
Well for me its simple, I don’t like to waste large amounts of energy in the gym huffing puffing and cursing the place down. I have spent a large chunk of this year, creating emotional triggers that pull out who I need to be in given situations. I Began by associating that thought with that location, and through this, have stepped out exactly the scenario in my head that is needed. I then start to attach a movement to this scenario. For me before I lift the weight, I clinch my toes, unbeknownst to others around me I’m not angry before or after, I’m not mad or worked up.
Calm breathing, strong mind, let the scene play out, clinch my toes and on it comes. increase in heart rate adrenaline spiking, nothing but the rep and reasons behind the rep come out. Eventually the trigger is anchored to the thought and the feeling associated with the thought, and we have conditioned the brain to respond to this movement. This is how I trigger the ego in the gym before I'm under the weight.. Once I have this connection, we create a name and give this alter ego life. Connecting both tangible and emotional to the persona I need in this environment.
This is just one of many I have created and a simple play by play of how it came to be.
Watch my E-book space on the site, as 'Creating Success through Egos' comes out. To further understand how we can create our own and manifest new egos… use an alter ego of your own? Tell me about it in the comments option on this blog piece.
1. Conceptual Playworlds: the role of imagination in play and learning Marilyn Fleer Published 03 Dec 2018. doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2018.1549024