Michelle Poler, a masters branding student at School of Visual Arts in New York, has set herself a challenge; to face each of her fears over a period of 100 days. It was whilst doing her studies that the idea came to her. For one of her classes, she had to write an essay about her perfect life 10 years from now.
“After doing lots of deep digging, I realized that fear was the only thing between me and my picture perfect lifestyle. I realized I was living a controlled life and I wasn’t getting the satisfaction I was looking for.”
That’s how her ‘100 Days Without Fear’ Project was born. Each day she faces one of her fears, and documents what happens using videos and blogs.
“I’ve learned so many things, things about myself and about human behavior. I learned how to transform a fear into a challenge which has helped a lot. I learned to face fears with excitement instead of horror. […] I learned that when I’m alone, I’m actually not alone, I’m with myself. I learned that facing my fears inspire other to face their own fears and that gave so much more meaning to my project.”
So let’s see some of the most greatest fears that Michelle has overcome:
Day 4: Getting her ears pierced.
“I believe that the fear of pain has been more painful than pain itself,” Michelle writes on her website. “Living trying to avoid pain at all costs hasn’t been easy. Not only do I miss out on so many experiences but I waste so much time thinking about the ones I can’t avoid like a dentist visit, a blood test or a vaccine.”
Day 8: Smoking.
“I like being in control (a lot), and that’s why I avoid drugs and alcohol. It was my first time smoking anything. I didn’t even know how to do it. […] I was excited to finally ‘chill’ for once in my life, to stop worrying and micromanaging. I guess we are not meant to be, so I’m trying meditation next time.”
Day 15: Brazilian waxing.
“[Olga] was the funniest lady I’ve met and she was super excited about me recording the whole thing and doing my project about fear,. She told me it wasn’t going to hurt, but it did! Looks like she’s been reading my blog because she told me that my pain was coming from my fear, not from the wax.”
Day 19: Riding a mechanical bull.
“Normally I would’ve never done something like this. Riding a mechanical bull seemed somewhat dangerous and hard to. Since I started this project I’m willing to do many more things and I even have a positive attitude about it.”
Day 21: Dying her hair.
“I’m generally afraid of change. I was afraid of changing my color so drastically and going blonde but [the stylist] made it work! I love my new hair… next time, pink! #babysteps.”
Well done Michelle! As she says, “the world is filled with wonderful things, and scared people are missing out on so many of them.”
See a recap of her first month below: