The Alter Ego Effect with Todd Herman

by Scott Barry Kaufman, February 6, 2019
“At the end of your life, you won’t remember the thoughts or intentions you had. You’ll remember the actions you took. You’ll judge yourself by how you showed up, by what you did, what you said, how you acted, and whether you performed the way you knew you could in any of the stages of life.” 

Today we have Todd Herman on the podcast. Herman is a performance advisor to Olympians, pros, and business leaders, and he creates proven systems to help teams & achievers win with less stress. Herman’s latest book is “The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life.”

  • How alter egos are part of the human psyche
  • The difference between childish and childlike
  • Why having an alter ego is about being the best version of yourself
  • Multiple self theory and the importance of context
  • The Core Self vs. The Trapped Self vs. The Heroic Self
  • How to go from an ordinary world to an extraordinary world
  • How to activate the person you truly want to become
  • How to get into the “wow” mindset
  • Todd’s traumatic backstory and how it has led to his superpower
  • The hidden forces of the enemy
  • How the creative imagination is like the backdoor to performance


2 Responses to “The Alter Ego Effect with Todd Herman”

  1. Alexis Anderson says:

    Wow! One of my all time favorites for sure. Thank you for this. Cheers to using your powers for good and putting it out there into the world both of you. And I so appreciate the personal share to my core.

    I once created something that was a media sensation and as an intorvert as one of my personas (because I view it more now as a part of my personality that I can take on and on off like clothing thank the gods;) it was a bit of nightmare! I recieved hate mail. At the end of the day though, I feel proud if that was my 15 mins if fame I will take it. I do look back now and think gosh if I only I was in the place I am now with the personal power, inquiry and self discovery that have occured in the last 3 years… well it would have gone a different way thats for sure. And live with no regrets! action is where its at!

    At the time though, I then created something of a shadow alter ego to that experience and I can see it now. Time to create something new;)

    Also, as an asside, I used to be a server and I bought fake glasses and earned more gratuities so it really does work. I am totally going to buy non perscrip glasses again tomorrow 😀 feeling inspired and brighter.

    Human Care Bears are very important you gave a certain grace to that for me thank you again.

  2. Shawn O'Brien says:

    I’m a school psychologist. I know disability labels can be damaging, and I wish we could provide services in schools, and get insurance companies to pay for therapy, without diagnostic labels. We’d need to totally change the system, both insurance (requires a DSM label) and IDEA (requires an IDEA label). But it may not matter, because as Todd revealed, he had never been labeled in school, but he labeled himself internally (a person who can’t read), and he developed coping strategies which were both adaptive, but also maladaptive (prevented identification, and thus the provision of needed services). It’s been my experience that even when we don’t label kids due to parental lack of consent, they still label themselves, and their own labels are often worse (e.g., “dumb,” etc.) . Scott, you need to do a show on how we can do a paradigm shift! One major issue is that students can be easily discriminated against without the protection of a disability label, and I’m not sure how you’d change that. I do want to correct something Todd said, which was, “There are 29 types of dyslexia.” I don’t know where he got that, but that’s not supported by research. If anybody wants to know the much more limited types of reading problems (dyslexia is one of them), I recommend a book which integrates all of our current evidence-based knowledge about reading problems, “Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties,” by David Kilpatrick. (I have no financial interest in the book). To be clear on terms, researchers define dyslexia as word-level reading difficulty despite adequate student effort and learning opportunity (and not attributable to blindness, deafness, or a severe intellectual impairment). Here’s a link to a brief article by Dr. Kilpatrick: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327951387_PLL_2018_Kilpatrick-Causes_of_RD

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