The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life

The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life

by Todd Herman


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Now a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

What if the games we played as children were the greatest gift to helping us achieve more today?

Before stage fright, impostor syndrome, emotional baggage, and the other dubious gifts of adulthood, everyone pretended to be a superhero, a favorite athlete, an inspiring entertainer, a nurse, a firefighter, a lion, or whatever else captured our imaginations. And yet, that natural creativity is slowly squeezed out of us because we think it’s childish or it’s “time to grow up.” Now Todd Herman—backed by scientific research and countless stories from the real world—will show us how to tap into the human imagination  to unleash new versions of ourselves, ready-made to kick ass.    

Herman has been coaching champions in every field for over twenty years, and he’s helped them bring out their Heroic Self to transcend the forces pulling them into the Ordinary World.           

Anyone attempting ambitious things faces adversity, resistance, and challenges, but Herman confronts these obstacles with a question: Who or what needs to show up to make success inevitable? 

In The Alter Ego Effect, Herman presents countless stories from salespeople, executives, entertainers, athletes, entrepreneurs, creatives, and historical figures to illustrate how to activate the Heroic Self already nested inside each of us. And he reveals that we may not be using those traits in the moments when we need them the most. From the creative entrepreneur who resisted their craft, to the accomplished military officer who wanted to be a warmer dad at home, Todd Herman’s clients have discovered there is no end to the parts of their lives they could improve by using Alter Egos.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062838636
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 44,805
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

TODD HERMAN is a toughness and performance coach to professional and Olympic athletes, as well as a leadership and performance advisor to billionaires and hundreds of entrepreneurs. He’s also the creator of the 90 Day Year™, a business achievement program designed for business owners to master the art of execution.

Table of Contents

Preface: Before You Enter: A Note from the Author ix

Chapter 1 What's Your Phone Booth Moment? 1

Chapter 2 The Origin of Alter Egos 12

Chapter 3 The Power of the Alter Ego Effect 24

Chapter 4 Your Ordinary World 46

Chapter 5 Finding Your Moments of Impact 59

Chapter 6 The Hidden Forces of the Enemy 70

Chapter 7 Pulling the Enemy from the Shadows 88

Chapter 8 The Power of Your Story 95

Chapter 9 Choosing Your Extraordinary World 104

Chapter 10 The Power of a Mission 119

Chapter 11 Defining Your Superpowers and Crafting the Name 132

Chapter 12 Breathing Life into Your Alter Ego 154

Chapter 13 The Heroic Origin Story 168

Chapter 14 Activating Your Alter Ego with a Totem or Artifact 182

Chapter 15 Tests, Trials, and Delivering the Ground Punch 207

Chapter 16 Mindsets, Missions, Quests, and Adventures 218

Acknowledgments 233

Notes 237

Index 241

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The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Laura-Sprinkle 9 months ago
This book is a must for anyone who wants to accomplish anything... and has ever hesitated to get after it. I love how it lays out the history and science in an easy-to-understand and, more importantly, easy-to-implement way so that you can take your deepest dreams and desires and start to make them a reality for yourself. It's not wishy washy, it's not pseudo-science... it's facts that WORK. You need to get this book!
lindafoggphillips 9 months ago
Reading this book gave me some breakthroughs in my life and how I approach everything I do. Todd takes you through the process of creating and using an alter ego. He does this in a masterful way that is entertaining and relatable. I sorta knew what an alter ego was, but I didn't really think it was applicable to me or how having one would benefit my life before I read this book. Now I know that there are endless athletes, performers, and professionals that have reached high levels of success by using an alter ego. That truly is the secret to their success. Todd walks you through how to create your own alter ego in a fun and playful way. He makes it simple to understand and easy to do. He also helps you uncover what your strengths are that you haven't yet discovered or utilized. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to be a better version of themselves.
LeisaP 9 months ago
I really enjoyed this book and the actionable process that Todd spells out for readers. I've been a follower of Todd's programs for the past three years and have learned many things that have helped me to become a more successful and powerful business leader. This book continues my journey of learning from him. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to become more effective in their endeavors by knowing how to keep moving forward NO MATTER WHAT comes your way. You'll gain new insights and become inspired about how much more you can achieve by learning about the art of the alter ego.
Chanie-W 9 months ago
I am an avid reader and this book has taken a VIP spot on bookshelf. Todd is a masterful story teller and walks you through how everything that you need in your life is already nestled inside of yourself. in the different chapters he paints the picture of athletes, moms, dads, executives, business owners and others who have used an alter ego to help them step into their heroic self. If you want to leave your self-doubt, imposter and insecurities on the sidelines. and want to know how to tap into every bit of capability that you have - then pick up this book and read it! so many practical strategies!
Kat_And_Dogs 9 months ago
This book is a game-changer for me! As some of always interested in continuing to grow and evolve, I read a lot of "personal development" type books. And as an entrepreneur, I also read a lot of business books. Most of them are quite honestly a let down ... they either give you lots of theory or inspiration without any concrete application or they leave out the details needed to implement the changes on your own. This book however delivers inspiration, theory backed by studies and experience, AND very detailed how-to so you can create your own alter ego and use it to power your dreams. Unlike the "fake it 'til you make it" school of thought, The Alter Ego Effect is about harnessing the REAL you and all your super powers that already exist, but just tend to hide when you are faced with a challenging situation or when that little voice inside whispers "Who do you think you are?" as you go for your dreams. With the tools in this book, you will be able to call forth your inner Wonder Woman or Superman when you need it most. Honestly, I am not sure there is anyone who wouldn't benefit from this book ... but definitely if you are an entrepreneur, an athlete, or anyone with big goals and dreams, this book is for you. Also, if you have older kids, you might want to grab a copy for them too.
Gervais 9 months ago
This is one of those books that you pick up and wonder why it wasn't written before. The concept of creating an Alter Ego to help us get past our inner critics is laid out with clarity and illustrated with some great stories about the elite athletes that Todd has coached and successful people he has interviewed or mentored. There's science to support his theories, but more importantly there is a process that lets the reader reflect and learn about the way they can use a mentor or token to help them show up the way they want to in the areas most important to them.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Very helpful as a leader and parent. I couldn't wait for the book to come out. It challenges us to tap into a version of ourselves that is already there but, in most cases, has been forgotten because of the inner critic in all of us. It's the inner strength in all of us. Todd explains his powerful Field of Play Model. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to confidently become the best version of yourself, no matter what challenges come your way.
DADpreneurr-raz 9 months ago
I've loved reading since I was a kid. I've read thousands of books - many really good books. This is one of THE best books I've ever read. If I could give it 6 or 7 stars I would. I'm studying it, and I'm determined to put everything I'm learning from Todd into practice in my life. I'm going to come right out and say the one thing I never expected to say in a review: If in your life you're only going to read one book that will mess you up and set you right, you can't get better than this one.
Anonymous 9 months ago
The power of the Alter Ego Effect is brilliantly captured in this book. Todd Herman talks through how to use the power of your creative imagination so you can, within minutes, start to shape a narrative about you that serves you. As an athlete I've unknowingly used Alter Egos for years to perform on the hockey field. But by consciously going through Todd's Alter Ego process I've been able to launch a successful podcast, start a coaching practice and push myself outside my comfort zone. This has helped me achieve goals that I had forever though were just "good ideas". I'd highly encourage you to read this book and use Todd's principles to pull out the YOU whose capable of greatness.. whatever your Field of Play.
Maureen-Lake 9 months ago
I learned so much by reading this book and I can't recommend it enough. The author takes you on a journey that helps your self-esteem while digging deep into your "why". Plus, the real-life stories are inspirational and life-changing. This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to learn from an expert. I think it's perfect for parents, teachers, entrepreneurs... anyone who wants to make positive change.
Anne-Laure_Schneider 9 months ago
What I loved about this book is how versatile and down-to-earth it is. Versatile because it applies to every field: you can use an alter ego in sports (that is Todd Herman's first background), but also in business, or, as I did, for parenthood. And down-to-earth because there is absolutely nothing woo-woo about this book, as I was fearing at first. Quite the opposite, everything is backed down by research in psychology (I had no idea what "enclothed cognition" was but it is fascinating!) and then by the 20+ years of Todd Herman's experience as a coach on the mental game for high-performing athletes and entrepreneurs. I loved all the anecdotes that allowed me to see alter egos being used in so many different situations, which inspired me to use in my own life. Then most of the chapters are action-oriented, it is extremely easy to follow the steps and create your own alter ego. For me, it was the perfect balance of intellectual/psychological /scientific content and how-to guidance. I have already bought several copies as gifts...
Trivinia 9 months ago
In an incredibly relatable journey that guides you through the process to show up in every opportunity or situation in your life, (in ways what you know you are capable but struggle to overcome self doubt, family stories, or past trauma), this book is darn good. I’d heard about Alter Ego’s before from Todd Herman, and even put them into practice in my business, but Todd’s stories, examples and framework for putting into practice these secret identities has shifted my view of how I can use DIFFERENT Alter Ego’s in the areas I struggle most. Interestingly, it’s not only “work” that I am challenged to show up how I need to, it’s at home, too. I’m on chapter 11 of the audio book right now, and can tell you, this book is a game changer for me as a mom, a wife and a leader. I Highly, highly recommend!
CKWindy 9 months ago
Powerful…this is what I need to level up When I first heard about the concept of alter egos, I was intrigued. But I wondered if this would really apply to me, so I decided to read the book and find out. I am impressed and highly recommend this book. 

First, the author Todd Herman is an expert in this space and has been coaching top performers for decades. Second, he explains the concepts in an engaging and relatable way with many examples of people who have used this—people you may be surprised about. The story of the kid who snuck out of his home in DC and traveled up to NYC to see the author is awesome. You have to read it for yourself, and you’ll be inspired. You may already be using an alter ego. I realized I was (trying to), but Herman gave me the tools to really amp it up and use it in a way that’s consistent. Also, great takeaways from this book were the 5 bridges to progress and moments of impact. Since reading this book, I’ve started thinking about my career and relationships in those terms and already see a huge difference.

I love the way this book contains actionable steps for you to apply the alter ego approach in your life. There are so many areas of my life—fields of play—as Todd Herman calls them, where I can use this.