How to Create an Alter Ego

Alter egos aren't just for superheroes. Mere mortals can have them too.Alter egos aren't just for superheroes. Mere mortals can have them too.

How to Create an Alter Ego. It is never too late (or too early) to give yourself a new identity. If there are feats you wish to accomplish in life that seem to be too out of character for your current name, perhaps it's time to give yourself a boost with an alter ego.

Step 1

Tap into the buried talents you'd like to bring to the surface. In Latin, alter ego means "the second I" or "the other I." Thus, by naming an alter ego, you breathe life into those parts of yourself that you would like to expand and move to the forefront.

Step 2

Take a hint from the pros. It's common for actors and musicians to create alter egos with a stage name. A stage name can help performers ease nerves and portray a persona with ease. It also turns clumsy or forgettable names into phonetic gems that roll off the tongue and stick in the mind. Robert Allen Zimmerman created Bob Dylan; Erica Wright changed to Erykah Badu; Alecia Moore chose Pink; Paul David Hewson decided on Bono Vox and Vickie Lynn Hogan became Anna Nicole Smith. Think of your alter ego as the stage name for your life.

Step 3

Get emotional. Your alter ego can be silly or serious, spiritual or secular, obscure or obvious. It can represent a complete overhaul of your life, or just offer a self-esteem boost when you need it. Whatever assistance you need from your alter ego, make sure the name you choose stirs the right emotions. Hip-hop star James Todd Smith built a compliment into his alter ego name when he dubbed himself Ladies Love Cool James or LL Cool J.

Step 4

Develop a character. Your character can be beautiful, confident, sassy, flirty or fearless--or all of the above. Whenever you find yourself tongue-tied or in need of dating direction, ask yourself, "What would my alter ego do?" Since you can make up an entire persona around your alter ego, this question almost always will offer the clarity and confidence you need.

Step 5

Celebrate. Naming ceremonies are common in many cultures and religions. Welcome your alter ego to the world by lighting a candle, cooking dinner, reciting a poem or dancing on a bar top. Invite loved ones or do it alone.

Step 6

Dress the part. Buy a wig, fancy dancing shoes or knee-high boots. Wear your chosen item out to the clubs whenever you need a break from your stressful, yet slightly mundane job. Whenever you wear that piece, you are no longer yourself, but you are your confident alter ego.

Step 7

Ignore naysayers. If you choose to announce your alter ego to the world, be prepared that some people will laugh, critique your name choice and potentially call you a crazy eccentric pain. Ignore them. They are boring and unimaginative.

Step 8

Bid farewell when the time is right. An alter ego can get you through a rough breakup or other life circumstance. But there will come a time when you no longer need her. At that point, encourage her to chase the man of her dreams to Argentina where she can spend her time surfing and dancing the tango.

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  • They say "you are what you eat." Well, you're also what you call yourself. While you can't choose your family or your skin color or your height, you can choose your name. So give it plenty of thought.

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