Michelle Poler is a 20-something young woman who has lived the greater part of her life in fear. And not just the big stuff that many of us would be fearful of, but small, everyday things that have held her back from enjoying her life to the fullest.
This year, Michelle relocated from Miami to New York to start a Master’s Degree in Branding at the School of Visual Arts. One of her first assignments given, was to do one thing for 100 days. Michelle decided that it was time to face her fears, and challenged herself to 100 Days Without Fear.
“Not doing something you want to do because you’re afraid is the scariest thing of all.”
“Living a controlled life in New York has been a nightmare. Since the unknown has proven to be so much more fulfilling than the familiar in these last months, I’m ready to let go, face my biggest fears, try to be completely vulnerable about it and enjoy the ride,” Michelle writes about the start of her project.
As of today, Michelle has completed 81 days of the 100 days. And it’s working! “When I started, I was terrified of my own shadow practically, but my confidence is making my fears seem smaller and smaller with time,” she said.
Many of Michelle’s earlier challenges were ordinary things that gave her anxiety, such as changing a diaper, frying food, needles, holding a snake, searching for a new job, and getting lost. But as the project has progressed, she’s upped the fear factor and has since jumped out of a plane, posed nude, did some public speaking, and faced other challenges that many of us wouldn’t dare.
We’ve been following Michelle’s progress on her 100 Days Without Fear website, where she writes about the challenges, posts videos, and shares her emotional status using an “Emoji–Meter” that gauges her state of mind before, during and after each activity.
The point of Michelle’s project is to live a better life, but she also wants to inspire others to face whatever scares them, and to realize that “not doing something you want to do because you’re afraid is the scariest thing of all.”