Could Work Annie get up and give a Ted Talk next week? Maybe. That’s how strongly I feel about creating an alter ego to reach our untapped potential.
- Andrea Key
Like no other species, humans have an innate ability to imagine. Our creative imagination is what drives innovation and catapults us into the future. We must first imagine we can get to space before we figure out how to get there.
My 9 to 5 has me doing something I never thought I would be doing… I’m a corporate trainer. I stand up in front of a class of adults and teach them how to use a healthcare revenue cycle application. I probably lost half of you to boredom just thinking about it. Exciting stuff, I know. But for real, It’s the public speaking thing that I never in a million years imagined I would ever do. As a natural introvert, it’s just not my thing.
That said, when the opportunity for the position crossed my path, I knew I couldn’t it pass up. The money was great and the hours couldn’t be better, so of course, at the interview, I said I was I was Born to Teach!!! Fine, there was that crippling fear of speaking in public, but I would figure that out later.
The moment I took the position, while I was learning everything I needed to about healthcare revenue cycle and the application I would be teaching, I was also wrapping my head around the whole fear of public speaking.
How Do I Pull This Off?
While I was learning all the technical stuff I had to learn, I was spending a lot of time also thinking about how I was going to pull this off. This was the birth of my alter ego. I thought about someone that I felt was the epitome of public speaking. I came up with a long list and whittled it down to one name, John Maxwell (shout out to the .5% of you who know who that is), and I made a list of all the attributes this person had that I wanted to adopt. I also made a list of reasons why I thought he was a great public speaker. I imagined what he would say to me before I taught my first class. The advice would he give me and all the encouraging words. I imagined he would give me a blue pen to take notes because it’s easier for your mind to remember words written in blue. (This is my imagination, so there’s no need to fact check that). I pictured myself clicking this blue pen as he turned to walk away from me.
When I say I spent a lot of time on this, I’m not kidding. At first, I would meditate on this for at least an hour a day. As the days went on, I abbreviated the narrative, but I would always end with me clicking the blue pen. By the morning of my first class, I had it down to just a few moments. I imagined John Maxwell was sitting in front of me giving me my blue pen. He would tell me all the ways I was going to be successful and how important it was that I was there because there were people that really needed to hear what I had to say. Right before I let the moment pass, I clicked the blue pen and became “Work Annie.”
Work Annie Works
Could Work Annie get up and give a Ted Talk next week? Maybe. That’s how strongly I feel about creating an alter ego to reach our untapped potential. I’m telling you this in hopes that you start thinking more about this idea because it literally transformed such a big area of my life. Think about what areas you wish you could be more successful in and think about what’s holding you back. Now think about how you would change that if you could, and finally just try to create an alter ego that actually does those things. Have fun with it. Use your imagination and tap into your potential.
And Works at the Gym, Too
Since starting this two years ago, my alter ego, Work Annie, has brought me much success at work, because Work Annie works (also good to have a mantra). I have also used this with the athletes I work with, and it has always been a ‘value add’ in terms of helping them reach their athletic goals. So much of our success is limited by what goes on between our ears, so I encourage you to explore this idea and see how it can help you reach your next goal or next 20 goals. Find your inner workout alter ego. Pull your hat down low and take your fitness goals to the next level. Find a personal trainer, do that extra set, push that extra interval. You are capable of far more than you are aware and creating an alter ego is a great way to explore just how much of your potential is yet to be untapped.
About the Author
Andrea Kay is a longtime FI member, Tri-Athlete, 50k runner and a regular contributor to Fit to Print.