Moments of nerves, overthinking, and fear of messing up. We all have those, right? Moments that require us to show up in spaces we are not comfortable in. It can be because of a class presentation, a meeting, or a speech. It can also occur just through daily living, if you are a person who enjoys alone time, and the idea of socialising tires you out.

According to Business Insider, while “main character syndrome” isn’t an actual mental health diagnosis, in pop culture and on TikTok it’s defined as someone self-centered, who believes the people around them live to support them and who views themself as the main character of their life.

That’s what it is by definition, but like everything else, you take the parts of something that work the best for you. If you are a person who isn’t usually confident in themselves, using main character syndrome helps your anxiety. Beyoncé did it with Sasha Fierce (Her alter ego) when she had to get on stage and perform because off the main stage she is an entirely different person. In a famous TikTok sound, an interviewer asks Rihanna what she does when she doesn’t feel confident. Rihanna replies simply, “Pretend.” This is where the main character syndrome can be helpful.

Main characters in shows like Sex and the City, Legally Blonde, and Emily in Paris are always seemingly confident. They do as they like and are fearless in doing so; not many people can be like that in real life because there are consequences, and as we get older, some of us go back into our shells. I am an Introvert, but those who don’t know me assume the opposite because of my personality in some social settings. 

The misconception is introverts are always quiet and always shy, while introverts can also be the people that can work rooms full of people and then run away home to be alone, drained from all the people they had to deal with.

So, in moments of anxiety, when having to do things I am uncomfortable with, I count:

“One two one two…Deep breaths; you’re fine; no one is looking.”

“One…two…three…four…five…Like Beyoncé, find your Sasha Fierce.”

“One two, one two…two deep breaths in, one deep breath out. You are fine, and you did it; as you do many times,”

I say these till I believe them. Also, I imagine I am Beyoncé and must perform in front of the Beyhive. 

Main characters can be selfish and self-centred, but why not be a Cinderella for a day if you want to be? We did that as kids; we would create make-believe worlds that we wanted to live in. We can still retreat to those worlds; even now.

Tell us: Who is your alter ego?