By Adam Zwig, PhD
Despite the many drawbacks of our celebrity culture, one positive aspect is that it gives people lots of opportunity to project their inner heroes and heroines onto real figures. In this exercise, we’re going to use your hero / heroine to help you work through a problem. Of course, your hero / heroine doesn’t have to be a celebrity; he or she can be a family member, a partner, friend, or acquaintance, or even a fictional character.
Think of a problem you're working on, and take a few moments to reflect on it. If it’s helpful, write down everything relevant about the issue. Then, go through these steps:
Step One: Ask yourself, “Who could solve this problem?” Think of a hero or heroine, someone you greatly admire, someone with powers beyond yours, a person or even a fantasy figure who could deal with what you’re facing.
Step Two: Playact you hero / heroine. You may want to embody everything about them, or you might just wish to focus on the features you’re most attracted to. Either way, start by visualizing what he or she or it looks like. Take your time to study every aspect—face, body, hair, clothes, as well as the details of their behavior.
Step Three: Feel what it would be like to be this figure. What kind of bodily and emotional feeling sense does your hero / heroine have? Feel into it.
Step Four: Listen to how this figure speaks. Pay attention to the pitch, tone, tempo, and volume of their voice. Then, experiment with talking this way.
Step Five: Stand up and walkaround the room embodying this character. Really get into their movements and gestures.
Step Six: Replace your mind with your hero / heroine’s mind. Think like he or she does.
Step Seven: Be your hero / heroine with all your senses. Forget yourself and totally become this great spirit in all his / her power, beauty, and confidence.
Using this figure’s attitude and energy look at the problem. As the hero / heroine how do you deal with it? How do you view the issue? What kind of thought process do you go through? And what kinds of solutions do you come up with?
Great work! You’ve just learned how to use your hero / heroine to help you deal with a problem. You did this by playacting— seeing, feeling, moving, and thinking like him or her—and then using this way of being to provide solutions to your problem.
Dr. Zwig—psychotherapist, singer-songwriter, educator, and author holds a PhD in clinical psychology, is an internationally renowned workshop leader and lecturer, and has had 9 Top Ten hit singles on the U.S Adult Contemporary charts. He has has been featured in Billboard, Huffington Post, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, Forbes, Gibson, and many other publications, and has over 70 million views on YouTube. Dr Zwig has released 7 albums and his songs can regularly be heard on NBC, Fox, and Fuel TV. His forthcoming book, Music in the Mayhem: Tales of Total Transformation from a Rock n Roll Psychotherapist, arrives soon.
DISCLAIMER: The content contained herein is for inspirational, educational, and entertainment purposes only. Nowhere in this Exercise does Dr. Zwig diagnose or treat a viewer with any kind of psychological, mental, emotional or physical disorder as might be diagnosed and treated by a personal psychologist or other professional advisor. The content is not intended to be a substitute for working with a therapist but is for the purpose of educating the viewer about new approaches to working on personal problems. Viewers should use this Exercise at their own risk, with the understanding that Dr. Zwig is not liable for its impact or effect on its users. Viewing this Exercise does not form a practitioner/client relationship between the viewer and Dr. Zwig. Dr. Zwig is not responsible for any action taken by a viewer based upon any information in this Exercise. Never disregard professional medical advice or stop taking psychiatric medication based on something you have read in this Exercise without a doctor’s supervision and ongoing therapeutic support. Dr. Zwig is an educator, author, and life coach in the U.S., and a psychotherapist in Switzerland. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology. He is also a rock n roll musician.