Why I Leverage the Power of Multiple Personalities and Why You Should Too
Someone asked me recently what I thought the difference is between the (many) women who dream about their big goals and the (relatively few) who actually accomplish them.
In a word: grit.
When it comes to making your big, audacious dreams a reality, you cannot underestimate the importance of grit.
The trouble with grit, however, is that is comes and goes. At least, my grit comes and goes. There are mornings I wake up brimming with zest, energy and positivity. There are other days — yesterday comes to mind — where I feel almost completely overcome with a nagging, impossible-to-locate fear that would have me spend the entire day bundled in a blanket, eating cereal and watching reruns of Gilmore Girls.
Grit is amazing when she’s around, but what to do when she vacates the premises?
In this, as in so many things, I invite you to research WWBD. (What Would Beyonce Do?)
You know, Beyonce, the fierce woman who lit up two Super Bowl halftime shows with incandescent performances. Beyonce, who is currently peerless as a performer. Beyonce, the powerhouse CEO and the only entertainer to make the Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women in Business List.
It’s easy to look at someone like Beyonce and believe that she is fundamentally different from you and I, that she has a “success gene” that fuels her every move. Now Beyonce is undoubtedly an above average human being in terms of raw talents and gifts.
But what makes Beyonce fascinating to me is neither her talent, nor her gifts. Rather, it’s the coping strategies she has put in place to help her deal with the nagging fears that can so easily derail us.
Here’s the thing: the powerhouse performer you know as Beyonce is actually an alter-ego she created named “Sasha Fierce” — an alternate persona who is bolder, brasher, and more confident than little old Beyonce. Sasha Fierce is the alter ego who shows up to perform when Beyonce, a naturally shy woman, lacks the grit or desire to get on stage and perform like the boss she is. As Beyonce describes,
"I turn into Sasha. I wouldn't like Sasha if I met her off stage. She's too aggressive, too strong, too sassy, too sexy! I'm not like her in real life at all. I'm not flirtatious and super-confident and fearless like her.”
I too have an alter-ego — several in fact. The one I call on most often is Warrior Queen Shaniqua. I need Shaniqua because I routinely commit to projects and goals that are outside my comfort zone. Shaniqua and her fierce backbone show up when I’m tired or riddled with self doubt. She steps in and gets things started on my behalf. Sometimes she starts my keynote talks for me. Sometimes it’s her finger pressing the buttons when I need to make a difficult phone call. Often it’s her popping off the first five pushups when my arms are too chicken to get the set started.
Alter egos are helpful not only to help you harness courage at critical moments — they are also helpful in recognizing and working through fear. I have another alter ego, Rumplestiltskin.
Rumplestiltskin is my inner cave-dwelling gnome who has an uncanny ability to identify the worst case scenario in every situation. When it comes to making my Big Moves, he’s generally first on scene, eagerly pointing out all lurking dangers.
I love Rumplestiltskin as much as I love Shaniqua. Shaniqua helps me take the plunge, Rumple supports me in identifying and minimizing risk. I don’t need them often — perhaps a couple of times a month — but cultivating alter egos as a way to circumvent the inevitable fear that arises any time I pursue a big goal, and has been invaluable in maintaining consistency and momentum.
This week, I encourage you to dream up your own “Sasha Fierce”, “Warrior Queen Shaniqua” or alter ego to help you crush your goals in 2017.
PS. We’re getting ready to launch the January 2017 cohort of the Impact & Influence for Women Leadership Lab. If you’re ready to step into the spotlight as a woman of prominence this year, this 6-week group coaching program is for you. Register by December 31, and you’ll also get a private 2017 strategic planning session with me to help you rock out the year. Click here for information and to register.
Want more Advice Like this?
Sign up and follow me on Facebook to get more advice on achieving the personal and professional success you deserve!
Read this next
When life hands you a stage — whether at your sister’s wedding, a conference, or at your company’s AGM — you’ve got to own it. Here’s how.
7 lies that hold us back from creating the lives we want.
When it comes to success in business and at work, investing in yourself is a crucial key indicator for your future success. I know this now. But I didn’t always.