How to Steal Someone’s Identity

How to Steal Someone’s Identity

(Note: This is the first post from Ev’Yan, the other half of Illuminated Mind. She’s been behind the scenes helping me with all of the content here since the beginning and this business would literally fall apart without her. I hope you give her a warm welcome. She has a lot of wisdom to share here.)

I hate flying.

So when it was suggested that I take a much needed visit to Portland, Oregon to visit family over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was forced to surrender to my fears. Namely, that of stepping onto an airplane & flying 30,000 feet in the air for almost two hours… alone.

You’d think that by surrendering to my fears I was completely at ease with my upcoming trip. But surrendering to my fears only meant getting up the courage to buy the plane ticket & to potentially get on the plane. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to be frightened during the drive to the airport, during the boarding of the airplane, during the take-off, during the flight, & so on.

Within a matter of weeks, I was suddenly standing in the middle of busy LAX, clutching my boarding pass in sweaty hands, waiting for my flight to board. The hustle & bustle of others around me only magnified my current emotion: I was fucking terrified.

But this didn’t come as surprise to me. I had known since before I even purchased my ticket that I was going to be dealing with feelings of dread, anxiety, & fear; that’s just how I operate. But as I sat on the hard carpeted floor of the main terminal, waiting for the intercom to announce my impending flight, I realized that I really didn’t want to be afraid.

Rather, I wanted to be excited. I wanted to be eager; I wanted to feel joyful at the thought of being in my family’s presence again. I wanted to be mindful & present. I especially wanted to use this rare opportunity of flying solo as a way of proving my own independence. & after it was all said & done, I wanted to congratulate myself for completing a task that I found at first daunting & intimidating.

That’s when I came up with the idea of stealing someone’s identity.

Rest assured, this didn’t involve me snatching the purse of the weakest old woman I could find, taking her credit cards & social security number, & assuming her identity for a few weeks. It meant taking the “fake it ’till you feel it” mentality & amplifying it several hundred times. It meant latching onto a kick-ass, assertive idea of myself to get me through a time where I felt meek & timid.

It meant giving myself permission to take on the personality of someone with more courage, more strength, & more self-assuredness.

It was the best idea I had ever come up with.

So as I waited for my plane to board, I started the steps in my head to stealing someone’s identity, & thus temporarily transforming into someone invincible.

At the time of my looming travels, my fearfulness & anxiety were the only emotions dominating me, & what I wanted most was to be the exact opposite of those feelings. I wanted to be brave, eager, confident, at ease, lighthearted. Once I captured the essence of what I wanted to feel — rather than what I was expected to feel given my personal history — I began to envision exactly what that would look like if personified.

I studied the people amongst me waiting for their own flights to board to if they could offer some inspiration. Most of them looked alert (if not terribly bored) at the idea of sitting in an airplane for the next two hours. They all stood up on their own two feet, looking straight ahead in determination. A few of them were so jovial at the idea of relocation that they were smiling, laughing. Several of the passengers were perfect strangers until one of them struck up a conversation & then made a joke about airplane compartments. Everyone in that circle giggled, & those who weren’t part of the circle had smirks on their own faces from finding this man’s sense of humor humorous.

No one around us was looking pale or green, wringing their hands in despair at the possibility of the plane crashing. No one fainted at the sight of the aircraft being trafficked onto the runway. No one cried as they hugged their loved ones, for fear of never seeing them again should this plane ignite into flames from some random mechanical explosion. Everyone was calm, in good spirits, &, at the very worst, sleepy at the thought of flying on an airplane.

Everything was okay.

As I witnessed the laid back nature of the people around me, I started to mimic their movements, their posture, their positive intentions. I stood up straighter, put a small smile on my face, & let my eyes dance around the large room in pure wonder. Just doing those small acts made my heart race in enthusiastic anticipation. I felt myself starting to get butterflies in the pit of my stomach; not out of nervousness, but out of the thrill of what I was about to do.

& as we began to board the plane, the fear had completely left me. My anxiety was replaced with eagerness; my leeriness with courage. I was able to experience the excitement of traveling to an unknown city all alone, in the middle of the night, doing something I was completely repelled against at first… but was suddenly full of peace & tranquility.

The transformation was complete.

By stealing someone’s identity, I grabbed hold of my wimpy-self & replaced it with a braver, bolder model for a few hours.

This habit doesn’t just involve flying on airplanes…

  • I’ve stolen the identity of a personable, social butterfly before I’m about to go to a meetup amongst people I’ve never met.
  • I’ve embraced the protective, yet poised disposition of someone who speaks firmly & directly to people that take them for granted.
  • I’ve tested out the qualities of a person who is quiet & modest (rather than being the center of attention) to let others shine all their own.
  • I’ve even stolen someone’s identity to mirror the mannerisms of a sensual, playful Sex Kitten; the kind of girl who is just as comfortable in her body as she is with accentuating it.

The possibilities of experimentation & self discovery are endless.

There are often two things that happen when stealing someone’s identity:

  1. The person you choose to mimic has traits & tendencies that will serve you for the better in the future. You can use them a la carte to your own advantage.
  2. Or… you discover that the qualities you’ve desired to emulate were within you all along; you just exacerbated them to a degree that makes them more noticeable & naturally available.

The best part of stealing someone’s identity is that you control everything. You decide who you want to be, you decide who that person will look like, & ultimately, you decide whether or not the traits of this person’s identity will work for you.

If not, throw it away (or return it to the original owner) & find someone else to borrow from.

Practicing this simple little role play is only limited to your imagination.

My challenge for you the rest of the week: Step outside of yourself & steal the identity of someone you admire. Ask yourself why you chose this person as an inspiration. Play with different quirks & attributes; try them on, see if they’re a good fit for you. If not, take them off. & when you’ve finally decided to implement the stolen identity into your current situation, see if you can adopt some of those traits for future challenges.

Now, go out & be amazing.

——-

This was a guest-post from Ev`Yan, the other half of Illuminated Mind. Check out her new project, Sex, Love & Liberation, or say hello to her on Twitter.

photo courtesy of mugly

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Trey February 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm

This is one of the most useful and insightful posts on the site. It’s completely true that taking on certain characters can make many situations better and easier. I regularly practice role playing different characters to make it easier once the situation arises. It becomes a part of me, and the transition is effortless.

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Ev`Yan February 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Thank you so much, Trey! I am so, so glad you enjoyed it.

Als Simmons February 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

From the title, I wondered “huh”! But really good read. I felt that I was at the airport and watching your mind think and your movements and behaviour transform from a caterpillar to a vibrant butterfly.

It’s really true that most times those same vibrant characteristics that you admire in others were actually natural and in you all that time. It just needed to be let out and released.

Inspiring post… Reminding us to step out of our fearful and/or comfort zone and show our true self to the world.

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Jonathan February 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Yeah, when Ev’Yan first told me the idea I was scratching my head a bit too. But it turned out really well, and I think it builds a lot of curiosity too.

Dandy February 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hi Ev’Yan!
This is fantastic! I used to do this when I was a teenager and had zero confidence. I would pretend I was a movie character or a Jane Austen character and put on a persona that would get me through a nervous time, like giving a speach, or meeting a potential employer. I still do it today. I have always found it useful to put on a persona of carefree confidence and quiet strength. Tomorrow morning I’ll be meeting with a lady that I really need to impress. I’ll be using these techniques. Thanks for the great article!

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Ev`Yan February 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Thank you so much, Dandy, for sharing a bit about your own story! I love that you’d sometimes reference a Jane Austen character; she had some very, very good candidates to steal from.

;]

Rich Proctor February 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm

This a fantastic idea! One of the best I’ve heard in a while.

I’m definitely going to play with this idea and see what kind of results I can get. Should make for an interesting little experiment. Without a doubt it will prove useful next time I find myself in a challenging situation.

Thanks for sharing.

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Dyamond February 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Someone told me the same thing on Wednesday. I’m deathly terrified of performing by myself infront of others. When I got infront of everyone I had an anxiety attack and broke down crying. A classmate suggested I picture an artist that I look up to and pretend that they are the one performing. I hope that I can use this technique the next time I have to perform in class. Great post!

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Ev`Yan February 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

As someone who has battled with an anxiety disorder for several years, I sympathize with your situation. On the same hand, I am delighted to hear that you may have found a tool to help aid you while you’re performing! Please let me know how it goes.

& thanks for reading, Dyamond.

:]

Benito Ponce February 18, 2011 at 12:23 am

Haha. This is great. I do this all the time when I go over to the sororities on campus. My fraternity brothers call my alter ego Phillip. And to think it all started as a way to overcome my shyness.

Glad to see I’m not the only one who does this.

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Naveen Kulkarni February 18, 2011 at 2:24 am

Ev Yan ! A warm welcome and what a way to start ! I thouroghly enjoyed your story and the agree to the concept of stealing other’s identity for battling fear and anxiety ! Great job and keep writing !

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Brooke February 18, 2011 at 4:48 am

BRAVO! This is going to be printed out and placed on my memory board. I really needed this! Thank Ev’Yan. I look forward to your continued presence on this blog! AMAZING.

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Jonathan February 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I know a piece of advice is great when someone prints it out! Thanks for sharing that Brooke, I’m sure Ev’Yan will really appreciate it.

Jennifer February 18, 2011 at 5:16 am

I actually do this on a regular basis at work. I’m fairly laid-back and most certainly non-confrontational. Not to mention my size 4’8 often leads people to believe I can be ordered around even though I am a manager in the department. Daily I have customers who come in that are rude, demanding, and expect me to cater to them RIGHT. NOW. During these times I pull on my big-girl panties, imagine myself bigger, more assertive and all those take-control-don’t-give-me-any-lip attributes. Great post!

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Jonathan February 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I often rely on my underwear for extra confidence. Red is my favorite. (no panties though, sorry to disappoint everyone) :)

Alex Blackwell | The BridgeMaker February 18, 2011 at 5:26 am

Inspiring post Ev`Yan.

I use a similar technique in my life. I struggle with self confidence, so when I face a situation that shakes my confidence, I take a step back and ask myself, “what would a confident man do in this situation?”

Projecting like this helps me find the answer – and my confidence.

Thanks for sharing,

Alex

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Jonathan February 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

That’s a good way to reverse engineer a trait, and you can do that with almost anything. “What would a person with a lot of money do to make an extra $2,000 this month?” or “What would a really successful blogger do to create a great manifesto release?” etc.

Great to have you hear as always Alex.

Brandy February 18, 2011 at 6:55 am

I sometimes do this. I do it to get through a situation in which I would be uncomfortable. I also use it to get through boring situations/conversations that I have little interest in to give me something fun to do. I use a combination of characters from Masterpiece Classic.

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Nicole Appareti February 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

I, too, was intrigued by the title.

It is incredible what the mind will do once it becomes consumed with an idea or feeling (positive or detrimental). We can instantly change our situations with a quick and simple perception tweak.

I love this article! You have a pleasant and engaging writing style and I look forward to more inspiration from you.

Do you ever wonder if the ones you are stealing from (that sounds odd) have taken those same characteristics from their idols? Perhaps the calm group boarding the plane were doing the same thing you were?

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sarah February 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

“No one around us was looking pale or green, wringing their hands in despair at the possibility of the plane crashing. No one fainted at the sight of the aircraft being trafficked onto the runway.”

good thing i wasn’t in the airport ;)
i have the same fear as you, only i allow myself to live much deeper within it. i wouldn’t have even made it to the airport. the thought of buying a ticket reduces me to tears. glad to see your experiment worked for you!

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Jasmine February 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Ev’Yan,

Thank you. I adore playing games like this and discovering that we can shift our perceptual experience and transform our lives. Moving in our bodies in a new way, thinking new thoughts we can do the unthinkable.

I love hearing your voice and wisdom. I hope we’ll get to hear lots more from you.

Warmly, Jasmine

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Jonathan February 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I hope Ev’Yan starts posting regularly too. Thanks for stopping by Jasmine. You’re always welcome here. :)

anagirldee February 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

wow…I loved this post…This situation is happening to me right now actually. I’m 20 years old so I’m still trying to transition into adulthood from teen-aged years. I’m learning to become a bold person so I have to step outside myself for a bit and it helps so much. Your post is lovely evyan!

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Hodan February 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

From the title alone, I was curious and intrigued. I don’t think I’ve consciously mimicked the traits or personality of someone else, but I must have done it subconsciously. I used to be terrified of public speaking or being the center of attention. So, I learned to project an image of a confident self assured person and after few years, my anxiety disappeared. Great advice Ev’Yan, thanks for sharing it with us.

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Steve Errey - The Confidence Guy February 20, 2011 at 5:01 am

I’ve seen that it’s possible for people to turn the “stealing someone else’s identity” thing into a negative. They can say to themselves, “Dammit, why do I need to jump into someone else’s shoes? Why can I do this myself?”. If you’re lacking in self-esteem or self-confidence it can become another way of beating yourself up and labelling YOU as not good enough.

This can be a great tool to take yourself out of the fear, anxiety or drama of where you are and focus on the kind of experience you want to have instead, but there’s that little “but” to consider too.

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Parisa February 21, 2011 at 5:44 am

This is my first time on Illuminated Mind . . . and I really enjoyed this post!! I’m going to try it from now on! Thank you so much for sharing your experience :) !!

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Laurie February 21, 2011 at 7:29 am

Hi Ev’Yan,
I love this, and I’m going to start putting it into practice. I love to fly…but what I’m terrified of is missing flights and being stranded in airports. And in June I’ll be flying alone to Portland for the World Domination Summit, and it’ll be the first time I’ve had to land at an airport without someone to meet me, and I’ll need to navigate public transportation in a big city all on my own. Scary stuff for a country girl! Your post will help me on my way. Thanks so much, and hope to read more of your voice in the future here. :)

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Sergio Felix March 15, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I’m not sure about this but I believe you may have just unveiled a really cool character for an action movie starting with a plane.

Definitely someone we could have used in Lost ;-)

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WendyB March 24, 2011 at 11:46 am

Reminds me a bit of some great advice I got long ago re being nervous at parties … just pretend (privately!) that you’re the hostess. Then you have a reason to go and talk to everyone and make sure they’re having a good time.

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Maaike Quinn @ A Gorgeous Life May 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

Oh, I do this too! Some people tell me I’m crazy since I do this, but it has helped me so much. And it’s great fun too. Thanks for sharing :D

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JanetBrent September 11, 2011 at 2:57 am

this is brilliant except that I’m not very good at acting :(

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cocarroll October 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I’ve done this in social situations many times, and also on occasion to face fears. But reading this today made me think about other areas of my life where I could use a ‘borrowed’ identity to be successful in other areas of my life, even if only for a few hours. Thank you for writing this.

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Taren May 10, 2013 at 3:36 am

Exactly what does it signify after you dream about your ex boyfriend?

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