Can Creating An Alter Ego Empower You?

Can Creating An Alter Ego Empower You?

Taking a practical lesson from Beyonce and Clark Kent.
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For those who aren't sure, the definition of an alter ego is a "second self," or a version of a person that is completely distinct from their normal persona.

In the past, various well-known celebrities have taken on alter egos, either to make themselves more marketable or appealing, or to become more confident. Most famous are artists like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. At one time, Beyoncé had an alter ego named Sasha Fierce, who she said made her able to be more comfortable and sexy during performances. On the other hand, Lady Gaga is an alter ego of Stefani Germanotta, the "ordinary" woman behind the huge sensation that Lady Gaga has become.

Additionally, many beloved superheroes (think Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker) have two separate identities that they maintain to separate themselves from the fame and questioning they'd face if they were "heroes" all the time. In the superhero films and comics, these are often referred to as "secret identities" (aka the person behind the hero). Superman is slightly unique from the others in that his alter ego is the average man, Clark Kent. Most others, like Peter Parker, are normal at first and then later create their heroic alter ego.

But can average people use an alter ego to make themselves more outgoing, confident or successful? According to many people, the answer is yes.

Many people are afraid of the word "ego." It often comes with a connotation of pushiness and aggression, making people hesitant to consider anything related to it. However, in it's truest form, "ego" simply means "the 'I' or self of any person." And in many cases, people who tend to be more passive or introverted find that creating an altered persona can make them feel willing to fight for what they want in their careers or personal lives.

According to some, the key to creating an alter ego is a slow evolution. The process won't happen seamlessly overnight, and in fact, it may take quite a while to develop a "second self."

It is important to know what qualities you want your alter ego to take on. Whether you want to be more outspoken, more confident or more unique, the first step is always to realize your specific goals in creating this persona. What do you want to get out of it?

Naming your alter ego or deciding his/her mannerisms can be helpful steps to make your "other you" a more concrete and reachable ideal. It may also help to create some details about this ego to make it more realistic to you. Though people don't have to know that you have an alter ego, the more true to life yours can be, the more easy you may find it to inhabit this confident, fascinating character.

For the most realistic of uses, an alter ego is merely a tool to enhance the features of yourself that you wish were more present, or to help you strengthen relationships or become more professionally successful. I truly believe that every person has it within them to be the version of themselves they want to be and that it is possible to take on characteristics you value simply through diligent focus. However, an alter ego may be the easiest or most fun method of shifting your mindset and creating a life you love.

So if you're looking to create a positive change in your life and are interested in creating a Sasha Fierce or Batman of your own, check out this fun, illustrated guide. For a more psychological perspective on altering your ego, this is a fascinating article.

And ask yourself this ... why shouldn't you be your own inspiration?

Cover Image Credit: Philosophy for Life

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12 Gifts To Give Your Girlfriend On Valentine's Day

All of these gift ideas will for sure win over your girlfriend's heart this year!
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To all the last-minute gift givers of Valentine's Day:

Don't panic. While I know how stressful it can be to get the perfect gift for your significant other, there are so many gift ideas that people always forget as an option. The best part about Valentine's day is not the gifts you get, but rather the romantic time you get to spend with your loved one. So don't worry about how expensive the gift is, just worry about how much thought you put into it. If you are still stuck on a gift to buy for your girlfriend, here are 12 ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Chocolate



Chocolate is every woman's best friend. It also can be your wallet's best friend for this Valentine's Day season. A box of chocolate can warm your girlfriend's heart for a low price.

Buy a box on Amazon.


2. Flowers



Flowers. Another common, but romantic gift for your girlfriend. Get creative with it. Throw rose pedals all over the bed, or hand her a giant bouquet all at once. Either way I am sure she will love it.

Buy them on Amazon.


3. Giant Teddy Bear



This is a gift that I always found so adorable. While it can be obnoxious to purchase and carry around, the look on your girlfriend's face when she sees it will make it all worth it. She can cuddle the bear when you're not around. ;)

Buy one on Amazon.


4. Wine



Again, another luxury that is a woman's best friend. You cannot go wrong with buying your girlfriend a bottle, or bottles, of wine. The only question you have to ask yourself when buying it is, red or white?

Buy a set of glasses to match on Amazon.


5. A Couple's Massage

Um, hello. Who wouldn't love this gift? Not only is it a gift for her, but it is one for you as well. This gift can also be surprisingly cheap. Many places offer amazing deals during the Valentine's Day season!


6. Dinner

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just taking your girlfriend to a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day. Dinner can be expensive enough as it is, the important thing to remember is to make memories that will last a lifetime during the meal.


7. A Movie



Again, nothing wrong with just going to a movie for the night. Sometimes a movie can set the level of romance you need for Valentine's Day.

Buy an AMC gift card on Amazon.


8. A Necklace



I know what you're thinking, too expensive! Don't throw away the necklace idea just yet. There are so many stores that sell such elegant necklaces, and they are decently priced as well. Check out stores like Alex and Ani, or Pandora for great deals, or just order from Amazon!


Buy one on Amazon.


9. A Ring



While this gift may only apply to a select few, imagine how memorable this day would be for your girlfriend. Do not think it is too cliche to propose to your girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Who cares how many other people do it, think about the joy it will bring her.

Buy a diamond ring on Amazon.


10. Clothes



Plan and buy your girlfriend's outfit for the night! It saves her time figuring out what to wear, and you just bought her clothes that she will absolutely adore!

Buy a sweater she will love on Amazon.


11. A One Night Stay at a Hotel



I don't think I have to say anything about this gift. You all know how romantic this is.

Buy a Hotels.com gift card on Amazon.


12. Personalized Picture Frame



A gift that is beyond thoughtful. Taking all of your pictures of memories from before and putting them together for your girlfriend is a gift that will for sure have her in tears.

Buy one on Amazon.


Please note that all items are in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: Chip Party Ideas

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5 Things To Look For Before Signing A Lease

"Does it have a hallway closet?"

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Spring is an exciting time of year. The trees are starting to get leaves again, flowers are blooming and the weather is starting to get nicer. Spring Break seems to be right around the corner. However, Spring also brings the dreaded apartment hunting season. Once your lease is up you can either renew it or find a new place. Finding a new apartment can be stressful but that shouldn't take the fun out of it. So, here is a list of things I wish I had known to look for before signing the lease.

Check for hallway closets

Once moving in you realize how much you miss that closet in the hallway and how much stuff you really put in there. That closet was the perfect place to stash those pesky cleaning supplies, the vacuum, and the broom. Those odds and ends like the extra paper towels and water bottles so nicely fit into that hallway closet you took for granted. Living without storage for these items has made our living area and kitchen look a mess and a nuisance when having to move it just to use the table.

Noise levels

Noise levels are something that is often forgotten about when walking through an apartment. You shouldn't be able to hear your roommates Netflix binge through the wall. What about the floors do the creak? Does the door make an annoying screech when opening it? What about the traffic outside does it bother you? Remember once you sign that lease you're stuck until it is up. Living with creaky doors and floors makes going to your 8 am class so much worse knowing you might wake your roommate by accident.

Damages

Damages are something most people notice before moving in but is there water damage? Water damage often means a leaking roof or dripping pipe that could become a worse issue later. Taking note of these damages before signing can prevent you from having to pay for them later.

Neighborhood

It's college everyone parties it seems, but living by the parties can be annoying especially if you're trying to study. Partying usually happens a couple nights of the week but those couple nights seem like every night when attempting to study for an exam on Thirsty Thursday. Studying feels nearly impossible when you hear a raging party going on next door.

Kitchen storage

Storage in general as mentioned in number one is important. A place for your food in the kitchen makes a difference in how much you actually cook. When having a place for cans or boxes of pasta you feel less overwhelmed when you do cook them. Cooking with stuff on the counters isn't only annoying but it makes a mess to clean up. Storage for all your kitchen gadgets and dishes makes for an easier life and not just piles laying around.

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