I just wrapped my 21-day Periscope challenge on Monday, and it turns out this thing I committed to was actually all about integrating the “stuff” I was wrestling with — stuff that was keeping me small and hiding my purpose from the world. As though my gifts and talents were meant for hoarding in the private attic of my soul, rather than to be shared with humanity.
The 21 days went by in a flash. After the first week, I really settled into a groove where scoping became a daily activity as given as brushing my teeth. Some days were awesome; I had other days where I had absolutely no inkling of what the hell I wanted to say.
I definitely haven’t mastered the art of scoping — half the time I forget my hashtags (#duh) — but the Peri Project was an awesome challenge for me, personally. Whodathunk something as silly as a daily social media practice would be so enriching?
This one’s the obvious one. I mean, you don’t do a 21-day challenge on anything without teaching yourself about consistency. But like, seriously? Consistency is the key to success in anything. ANYTHING!There’s this quote I love:
Is there anything else to be said about this you haven’t heard a million times before? Here’s a great one I got from Alex Beadon: Be the 1% of people who follows through. Really, the difference between the excellent and the outstanding (e.g., between gold and silver medals) is often just a millimeter of a difference (this one’s from my homeboy Tony Robbins). I’m learning, firsthand, a new level of esteem for myself simply thanks to finishing what I start. (This was why I began my weekly Style Tip Tuesday video series, and as of this writing, I now have 20 videos! BAM!) All that a painting is is a collection of brushstrokes, added one at a time, over time.
- Keeping my goal at the forefront
I can’t emphasize enough just how much of a difference I felt by keeping myself accountable to doing this daily. Sometimes I’ll blow hot air and say something noncommittal, like, “Oh, I should tidy my room.”Yet, months later, my room will still (mysteriously) not be clean. This is because I don’t spend my entire day in my bedroom — it’s totally out of sight, out of mind. I definitely kept my Periscope challenge metaphorically in sight. This made all the difference, especially on days I had no idea what I wanted to say. Because I had a daily scope on my mind every day, I’d find something to say!
- I had the right to speak up
Right at the end of week one, I had an ingenious idea. I’d been tuning into a scoper named Ian’s show — as a Ph.D student in neuroscience at UPenn, he broadcasts about four times a week on the topic, which I love as a young stroke survivor-turned-brain-enthusiast. One day, he scoped about the “neuroscience of free will,” which was both intriguing and difficult for me. His argument was that free will is just an illusion — and that everything we do is the result of what he calls “the conspiracy” between nature (brain chemistry and health) and nurture (our experiences). This didn’t sit well with me, and not for obvious reasons, but because, as a person to whom her spirituality is of utmost importance, I felt that free will was absolutely essential to higher consciousness and self-actualization. I realized that somebody needed to voice “the other side.” (As an atheist and primarily a neuroscientist, Ian did not leave much room for disagreement on the topic the first time around.) Once I started noticing where in my life I had been afraid of being seen, I stepped up and allowed myself to be that voice. No apologies. Of course, I often felt as though I’d thrown myself to the lions, as I jumped in rather off the cuff — which leads me to . . .
- Imperfect action is better than no action.
As a recovering perfectionist, I know intimately the internal pressure to do outstanding work whenever it comes to creating something out of nothing. I still face my inner Bitchety Cricket every day — and sometimes, she wins. (This is partly why I still love blogging and writing, because I get to proofread, edit, and even re-edit already published content.) But Periscope is raw. It’s unedited, it’s “What you see is what you get,” and it’s downright scary sometimes.
Now, I’m saving this for a much more in-depth post, but Gay Hendricks has introduced me to a concept that doesn’t sit well with Bitchety Cricket: It’s an idea that takes the whole “Be gentle with yourself” concept to another, altogether foreign, level. It’s the practice of being playful with your imperfections. Bitchety Cricket is not a fan of this practice, and to be honest, I’m not even sure what that could look like in my day-to-day life. But something tells me therein lies the cure to perfectionism (and therefore emotional self-flaggellation).The beauty, and the darkness, of Periscope is that it is unforgiving in its realness. And fortunately, if you mess things up really badly, there’s always DELETE.
- Success Begets Success
I celebrated the fact that I’d made a voice of myself in my response scopes on free will. I actually surprised myself by creating a second Periscope account so that I could start an entirely new show called #STROKESCOPE. Not only did I now have double the Periscope fun — apparently I am officially a full-fledged addict! — but I now had a clearer purpose.
I also found that the momentum I gathered by scoping daily also had other side effects: There were networking opportunities. Like-minded scopers and viewers started talking to me (my Twitter account hasn’t seen this much action since, well, ever) and following me. I’ve met some wonderful people through the platform, and there’s a new sense of pride and accomplishment that wasn’t there before I began the challenge. I see the results of this seeping into other areas of my life, too. People I once wouldn’t speak up to, I now do (graciously). I’ve become more assertive; no longer do I cower in the back of rooms or swallow the thing that really needs to be said. I feel more true to me.BONUS:
- The end is just the beginning
Now that #PamelasPeriProject is over, I do feel lighter. Lighter because I’ve had a taste of success, discipline, and possibility, and now it’s like dropping a to do list on the ground — that piece of paper with all the shit begging to be done isn’t necessarily left behind. I can always pick it up again.It’s a beautiful balance of push and pull, and it just amazes me that all this Periscoping was actually a big lesson in self-care.
You haven’t seen the last of me yet!