Tag Archives: #PamelasPeriProject

5 surprising things I learned from #pamelasperiproject

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Nothing is ever as it seems.

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?

  1. Consistency
    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:
    Zig Ziglar quote on motivation and bathing 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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 . . .
  4. 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.
    imperfect action better than no actionNow, 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. :)

  5. 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:

  6. 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!

Has this inspired you? Which of the five lessons rings truest to you? Leave me a comment and follow me on Periscope and Twitter! My usernames are @ciaoPamela and @strokeduplife.

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#pamelasperiproject week 1 reflections: the importance of being seen

Pamela Hsieh birthday 2012

My birthday (2012) — the one day a year I felt safe to be seen.

I didn’t think I’d be guilty of this.

I used to be a cheerleader on my school’s spirit squad — which meant that at halftimes and at pep rallies, the crowd had their undivided attention on my team and me. I’ve performed onstage in many capacities, from dance to piano to flute to musical theatre. As a high school senior I found solace in drama club, and I was nominated by the members of my public speaking class to represent them in front of the village.

It might be a natural conclusion to make that I have no problem with standing center stage — all eyes on me.

Before my stroke, perhaps that would have been the case. But once I felt myself turning inward as a protective response from the attack on my brain that was the stroke, I found a safety there that I still to this day return to when I need a little grounding.

The unconscious decision to amble through my young adulthood more internally than I ever had before hasn’t provided only safety and grounding, though. It has come with a price, and that price is pretty steep.

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It’s cultivated a newfound fear of being seen. What does that look like?

It’s when I find myself in a crowd and choose not to speak up for a need I may have. A need for the people standing in front of me to move so that they no longer block my view. It’s never asking someone not to smoke while we’re outside together, internalizing my discomfort at the smell and effect to my health. How I’ll find a seat in the back of a classroom or training audience even when I voluntarily chose to be there to learn. Trying to blend in and not be noticed — not speaking up in classes or Facebook groups or against emotionally manipulative people. Or even not mentioning past accomplishments or experiences — when they would contribute to the flow of conversation — for fear of bragging or out of glorification of being low-key.

It’s any time I mute myself or when I subconsciously believe the authentic me might be “too much,” and I trade that natural me for a diluted, quiet version of myself I don’t recognize as me.

And this fear of being seen absolutely manifested when I did my first “real” Periscope broadcast on Monday afternoon (i.e., me speaking directly to the camera). My heart was racing; I felt the flood of overwhelm as I saw the anonymous viewer count go up — and go down — as though any of that actually mattered.

fear of being seen

This first scope was flawed — it probably took me the first three whole minutes to get my phone set up on the tripod and you could feel my nerves running through my body — but at least I did it.


I’d rather imperfectly and unapologetically express myself than continue to play small in my little corner of the Universe. It’s the only way humanity can flourish, if the voices for good and for personal power gain strength rather than getting shut down. Shut down not only by “the other side,” but by themselves and their own fears! Which is what playing small is all about.

It’s what the other side counts on — that our Higher Selves become silenced without intervention. It’s their most insidious secret weapon against us.

I’d had this mounting frustration, this nagging theme running through my life — a voice saying, “Why doesn’t anybody know how awesome I am? Or what gifts I have to give to the world?”

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This whiny voice of the martyr could have defined me, but my Higher Self wouldn’t have any of it. The reason why no one knew was because I had cowered in the corner, played the People Pleaser, worshipped humility at the expense of my authentic self.

I believe we all are entitled to generous self-expression, and this fear of being seen can kill so many good fricking ideas. It can numb people from their dreams.

Quieting down our passions helps no one. I, for one, know firmly that I want the world to be better because I lived in it.

That isn’t possible if I don’t up the game. So terrifying myself by forcing myself to be seen — to create, to put myself out there — in order to make myself stronger not only serves me,  but gives you permission to do so as well.

Periscope heartsYou can follow #PamelasPeriProject on Periscope, live, and you can catch my replays on Katch.me. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter; I’m @ciaoPamela.

Did this resonate with you? How do you struggle with being seen? Leave a comment and let’s explore this some more.

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#pamelasperiproject launches this sunday!


Psst. Did you know there was a new social media platform in town?

Even though the last thing I needed was a new social media distraction to sponge up all my spare time and get me off track, Periscope is actually really something special.

It’s a live video broadcasting platform — and because it’s owned by Twitter, it’s already widely available to many of us. The amazing thing about the livestreaming is that people participating in your broadcast are able to directly comment in realtime. What a great way to develop a relationship with all of you!

So I was a bit skeptical at first. “Really? But why?” Then I tuned in to some people’s scopes and fell in love. I could search scopes by location, and my first time poking around the app, I was able to sit in on a Second City performance or even hang out with some Italians in Tuscany and Rome. I hitched a ride to work through the rolling hills of England with a guy who walks his mile commute every morning.



And then the floodgates opened. But besides being a great way to get value, whether from the “free travel” voyeurism aspect or from fun thought leaders and entrepreneurs sharing lifehacks in their scopes, I quickly realized that Periscope is significant to me for other, less obvious reasons.


It actually represents certain levels of discomfort that I need to break through. As surprising as this may sound, I have a slight block against being seen.

Seen and recognized in the world for the gifts I have to give. I first noticed this manifesting on Periscope when I found myself hesitating any time I wanted to comment on someone’s scope.

What? I had no problem leaving comments on Facebook or people’s blogs — why the stage fright all of a sudden? It was because scopers were responding directly to commentary in realtime, interacting with viewers as in conversation.

I got over it. Soon I found myself commenting whenever I felt called to — and leaving streams of hearts! (Periscope hearts are addicting — they’re basically social “currency” within the app, like applause.)

Periscope hearts

And then I hit a sort of standstill. I felt like I needed to progress. How else could I participate in Periscope besides simply consuming the content? How could I become a content creator? Of course, I could do my own broadcast.

I dipped my toe in by broadcasting my local fashion show last Monday, which debuted the new fall jewelry line in my business, but it was a bit of a flop. Which was fine — because I made a very last-minute decision to broadcast it, I knew very few people would be able to attend live. However, because I hadn’t prepared exactly where to scope from physically, the viewpoint wasn’t the best. It also ran pretty long. (And interestingly, I did have a small number of live viewers!)

And although Periscope allows people’s replays to stay up for 24 hours, the cool thing is as a scoper, you can also save the footage from your scope. The great thing about this is you can then repurpose your scopes for something else — blog posts, podcasts, Facebook, Instagram . . .

So all isn’t lost! But . . . I did kind of feel like I cheated myself of the Real Periscope Experience.

I hadn’t really put myself out there. My audience never even saw my face! (If you follow my Style Tip Tuesday videos, you know from my slogan, “When you know you look good, you feel good.” And I felt good on Monday. :))

Truly putting myself out there has been a painfully slow work in progress for years. It began with my itty bitty Rehab Revolution blog in 2010, and then gradually, expanded to this blog and to YouTube thanks to Marie Forleo’s demanding (worth it!) video scholarship contests. Back in March, I challenged myself to begin a weekly video series for my jewelry business, and as of the writing of this post, I now have 17 Style Tip Tuesday episodes up. (Woohoo!)

So I told myself, “Good job, you scoped once. But you have to step it up — do it for real!” And then . . . crickets.

What would I even scope about? 

You know where I’m going with this, right?

I have this great habit of forcing myself through discomfort (remember my series on networking?) — which I understand is fairly uncommon — so naturally, I’m declaring the need for a #PamelasPeriProject challenge.

I’ve written down a broad list of topics I could scope about, and I’m committing to broadcasting myself on Periscope once a day, every day, for an indeterminate amount of time. Or, more accurately, for two days.

Why only two days? Because I’m keeping it as unscary as possible.

If I told myself I’d scope daily for a month, I already feel myself withdrawing into my little Pamela cave — as the most introverted kind of extravert, when I feel myself being “too seen” too quickly, I go into hideout mode.

Let’s skip all that, shall we? I’ve already (half-)scoped once, so to do myself one better, I’d like to scope once a day for two days. And if I enjoy it (which I believe I will), I’ll extend the challenge to three days.

To be honest, the number of days I have in mind is 21. But I’m starting small. Two it is.

Is there any structure to #PamelasPeriProject?

This is really just an experiment. After brainstorming possible Periscope topics, I’m just going to test them out on my broadcasts to see what the response is like. You guys get to tell me what you want to see or chat about. :)

I’m so excited! We can have coffee/tea/brunch together — go to events (with wifi) together — have masterminds together. The possibilities are endless . . .

Will you help me? You can join Periscope on your iPhone or Android — be sure to do it with your Twitter account, not your phone number — or even tune in on the web!* #PamelasPeriProject begins this Sunday the 26th. (Why? Because we’re going to a bunny spa day and I want to scope that.)

As of today, my plan is to scope at different times — my sweet spot will most likely be during the afternoons, but I’d like to play around and see what times work best. (If you miss one, remember, you get 24 hours to check out the replay and you can still give hearts!)

If you’re interested in doing your own #PeriProject, I’d love to support you with my own share of heartstreams and comments — please comment below if you’d like to come play with Periscope with me.

“See you” on a broadcast!

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*You can watch replays from the web, you will not be able to give hearts unless you are watching from the app.