I don’t often write about social media trends or offer business development advice in my posts, but Periscope calls for an exception. Periscope offers a whole new way to peer into yourself – in some unexpected ways.
For those of you familiar with Periscope you may find yourself disagreeing with this statement and insisting that it is a medium in which other people peer into your life or you into theirs, but coming from the unique perspective of a confidence coach, I beg to differ. One of Periscope’s unsung features is the way in which it can teach us to see ourselves with more confidence for just being who we are, unfiltered, unedited and unashamed.
In case you aren’t familiar with this newly released live streaming video platform, Periscope is a new social media app supported by Twitter that is taking the virtual world to a whole new level. Its live streaming allows you to jump into broadcasts of people’s lives – people you don’t know and people you want to know – all around the world. In my case, when I hit the broadcast button for my own stream and record the irresistible cuteness of my puppy and my infant playing together I am essentially inviting anyone in the world to join me live in my living room. Periscope offers no editing, no filters and no do-overs. Once you hit record, you are in front of an invisible, and very real, audience.
The more I have explored and studied Periscope, the more I love it. As someone committed to developing deep confidence in others, Periscope offers me a unique platform to do live streaming, on-the-fly coaching sessions to mass amounts of strangers anytime I find myself with a free ten minutes on hand. Typically I offer an open Q&A session on the subjects of confidence, time-management, motivation, weight loss, workouts and body image; in many ways, my ‘scopes are simple extensions of my podcast show and my personal coaching. Since the app allows viewers to interact with you, to ask questions and to virtually high-five, or hug you, with hearts, you don’t get the creepy feeling that you’re talking into an abyss. You actually feel like you are with others, even though you can’t see them and they can see everything you are doing.
This blog post is not a tutorial on Periscope, but rather a challenge. I am always looking for ways to help my clients and my community to deepen their confidence and Periscope lands itself as an unexpected tool to do just that. I challenge you to change the way you see Periscope in relation to your own personal development. I challenge you to use Periscope to develop, deepen and hone your confidence.
I have identified 6 major ways Periscope trains and develops the confidence muscle in our minds:
Confidence Growth #1: You have to get on camera.
Too often in life we overthink what we look like – what we are wearing, what our makeup or hair looks like that day and whether or not we look fat. If you Periscope you have to get over that. Periscopes offer a glimpse into the “real” you. It shows the world who you really are in motion, which, let’s be honest, is much more beautiful and authentic than the edited, cropped and filtered photos you post on Instagram.
Confidence Growth #2: You learn to speak unscripted.
The first time I hit Periscope’s broadcast button I panicked. I wasn’t ready to be recorded and I had no clue what I was going to say. It was good for me. It forced me to think on my feet and to just start talking. In many senses, Periscope is live, on-the-spot public speaking training to an audience you can’t see (but to numbers you can, since Periscope posts the number of actual attendees are with you at any given time during a ‘scope.) It’s challenging at times to be unscripted, but this trains your confidence and your self-efficacy, in such a way that as you continue to ‘scope, you learn to trust yourself that you can think quickly on your feet and that what you have to say – perfectly scripted or not at all – matters.
Confidence Growth #3: You get love from strangers.
There is nothing more confidence evoking than seeing the beautifully colored stream of happy hearts dance up the right side of your screen as you speak or share your life. In Periscope viewers give a heart by the tapping of their screen and it means that they like you or like what you are saying. The more hearts you get, the more love you get. Essentially, hearts are giant virtual high-fives telling you that you are doing a great job and to keep going. Because you see these hearts in action in direct response to what you are doing, they hold much more weight than a simple “like” on any other social media platform. From the confidence perspective, these hearts are likened to live-streaming affirmation to tell you that you are good enough and that what you share with the world matters.
Confidence Growth #4: You are seen for who you really are.
Right now Periscope is only available in iPhone and Android app formats, and, when starting a ‘scope you must start with the screen facing away from you, meaning that if you want to flip the camera around so that your audience sees you, your audience is in for quite a treat of funky and unflattering angles. It takes a few seconds to flip the view around, get your face far enough from the phone lens that people can see beyond your pores and then set up the phone somewhere – either propped against something or extended by your arm, selfie-format – that the world has seen the real you…that is, the goofy and just regular you. It builds confidence to be okay with this whole momentarily awkward process and then to resist the urge to primp and position yourself appropriately to look your best on camera. On Periscope it matters less about how you look and more about who you are, what you are doing and what you have to say.
Confidence Growth #5: You get to practice handling rejection with grace.
Since Periscope displays just how many people are in attendance with you during a ‘scope it offers a unique way to practice confidently handling what could be perceived as rejection through a series of micro-rejections. The mere nature of the platform means that it is inevitable that people will leave your broadcasts. Sometimes they only had a minute of free time to spare, sometimes they leave to take a phone call and sometimes they just don’t like you or what you are ‘scoping about, so they leave. Furthermore, since everyone, not just you, can see the number of attendees, your pride is on the line as your attendance drops. It hurts when you see your number of viewers drop from 27 down to 24 and then to 19 and then eventually to 7, but the oscillation of attendees and the variance of engagement provides you with the opportunity to practice letting such micro-rejections just roll off your back. As a result, you will become more adept at handling real rejection in life, elevating your confidence to a whole new level.
Confidence Growth #6: You learn to ask for what you want.
There’s a lot of vulnerability involved in Periscope and in this particular case, Periscope can help train you to be bold in asking for what you want. Periscope accounts are tracked by number of subscribers, or followers as well as number of hearts received. Though both statistics are visibly displayed for anyone to see, Periscopers are ranked in accordance to the number of hearts, or love, they receive. The most well received broadcasts are the ones in which the host directly asks viewers for hearts and support. It takes a type of innate confidence to seek out affirmation and support, and I love that the Periscope platform sets hosts up to grow this facet of their confidence.
On that note, I invite you to send me loads of hearts on Periscope, follow me so you don’t miss any of my live coaching sessions and share my ‘scopes with others so together we can spread confidence. You can find me on Periscope at @trainerTRISH or by searching “Trish Blackwell.” See you on the ‘Scope!