Use The 'Alter Ego' Trick To Fight Burnout And Lower Everyday Stress

We've all been there — we have to give a speech or a big work presentation and suddenly, we choke and can't remember the very thing we rehearsed countless of times. Or, we're at a party and can't think of anything interesting to contribute. Sometimes, we might find ourselves wishing we were someone more exciting or confident. What if you can channel your inner Madonna but still be yourself?


Many powerful, dynamic people use alter egos to get through nerve-wracking performances or meetings. Lady Gaga is Stefani Germanotta when she's not on stage and Beyoncé used Sasha Fierce as her persona. While we don't have to sing live in front of thousands of people, having our own alter ego can help us get through the everyday stressors in our lives. According to Entrepreneur, alter egos allow us to achieve our goals by overcoming self-doubt and it can ultimately help us reach the potential that we may not know we have.

Think about your alter ego's traits

The first step in creating your alter ego is determining what traits you want to bring out in yourself. Are you struggling with wanting to improve your relationship with food? Perhaps your alter ego is a trainer or runner. Maybe you wish you were more confident and able to speak up for yourself. Your alter ego could be Cookie Lyon from "Empire." Once you have your character figured out, give them a name that embodies their traits. Think about what drives and motivates them. Then, next time you're in a stressful situation, create distance from yourself and become that person. Think of yourself in the third person, such as, "What would Cookie Lyon do right now?"


Looking through the lens of your alter ego during tough times can help you take a step back from your own feelings and look at matters more objectively. It can allow you to make rational decisions instead of automatically reacting how you normally would. It also doesn't hurt to have some daily escapism and bring some fun into your everyday life.

Your alter ego can change with your needs

Your alter ego doesn't have to be someone fierce and overly confident all the time. Perhaps you find yourself struggling with keeping your stress in check. Channel your inner yogi and practice becoming a person that lets things roll off their backs. Do you need motivation to finish that last lap around the track? Think of yourself as Sifan Hassan, the Olympic medalist marathon runner. Sometimes you may need different personas to get you through stressful times and having more than one alter ego is okay.


The more you practice channeling your alter ego, the more you may find that it's easier to take on their traits. Beyoncé no longer needed to be Sasha Fierce after she overcame her shyness. "Sasha Fierce is done ... I don't need Sasha Fierce anymore, because I've grown and now I'm able to merge the two," she told Allure in 2010 (via MTV). Use your alter ego to help you through life and eventually, you'll find that you had what it takes to succeed the whole time.