All the World’s a Stage

Every expectation we fill in life can be seen as a show on a stage. Photo: Matthew Wordell

Would you consider yourself a performer?

You may not be a performer in the same context as Prince, but I’d have to agree that we each play a role on various stages in the course of a day. Or, as author Todd Herman puts it in The Alter Ego Effect:

You may not be “performing” in the context of a Beyonce, Ellen DeGeneres or David Bowie (or, hello! Prince. – editor), with thousands of people expecting a “show,” but if you think about “show” as simply a fulfillment of expectations, you’ll see the parallels very quickly.”

In other words, we each have roles to play on various stages during a day, and responsibilities to be performed in each role. Herman says we can equate the performance of those responsibilities with “a show.”

I went through my day today with the idea in mind that I was putting on a show in performing my responsibilities in various roles.

What shocked me was how many roles I played in a day, especially given my limited acting ability! Ha! I played the role of mom to a sick kid, at the doctor’s office. Concerned homeowner of an aging HVAC system speaking with the heating and cooling company. Pup mom at the park. Content consultant for a financial services company working from my home office. Member of a woman’s group. And an author and suburban mom living like Prince. But thinking of each of these roles intentionally made me show up for them. No hiding, no lurking in the background. No spectating in my own life.

The concept of an alter ego can be used to prompt you to show up as the “heroic” version of yourself, as Herman calls it. For beginners, he suggests choosing one stage or “field of play” in which to create your Alter Ego. I’m choosing the stage of this blog and Living Like Prince as the playing field for my Alter Ego, but you might choose parenting or your paddleball league. Wherever you want to see greater success, having the secret identity provided by an alter ego can help you do daunting things on your chosen stage.

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