Have you ever thought what life would be like if you had no fear? What would you accomplish? If you look at some of your biggest fears, you know that some of them have stopped you in your tracks making it unable to achieve a goal. Personally I’m afraid of heights, like absolutely terrified. Even going on a Ferris Wheel, I get off shaking, sweating, and completely sick to my stomach. But if I wasn’t afraid of heights, I would be more likely to go skydiving, zip lining, and more! Well Michelle Poler, who is an art director from Venezuela, decided to take the bull by the horns and overcome the fears that were holding her back in life. She recently moved to New York City and has been overcome with fear. By being fearful of her environments, she hasn’t been able to experience all that New York has to offer. She left behind a very controlled lifestyle, and moving to a big city has thrown her for a loop. She realizes that she’s experiencing a lot of frustration because she is not able to enjoy the city, or even her life, to the fullest due to her fears. That’s when she decided to start the 100 Days Without Fear project. She’s about halfway done with the project, but here are a few of our favorite situations she’s put herself in. You can view all of her fears here and see what she wants to accomplish.
Day 1: Accept Challenge
On Day 1 of the 100 Days Without Fear challenge, Michelle accepted the challenge. She said, “I’m afraid of not being able to complete the challenge, regret this project and fail. What I’m most afraid of is not being able to conquer my fears and keep living a limited lifestyle where control and comfort reigns.”
Day 3: Fur Control (Hold A Cat)
Michelle said she was afraid of animals, not just cats. She had a friend from school who had a black cat and challenged her to overcome this fear. Her friend invited her over to her house to hold her black cat. After she held the cat, Michelle said, “It wasn’t bad at all, the cat was oddly nice to me and it was even warm and fluffy so I enjoyed it :).”
Day 4: Handle Pain
Next up on the list was handling pain. But this wasn’t just pain from getting a piercing, it was all types of pain. She decided to conquer this fear by getting her ears pierced. She went to a recommended place in Soho called NY Adorned. While she suffered through the piercing, she said she’s glad she did it but it was the longest 5 minutes of her life.
Day 8: Chill
For this challenge, she wanted to chill, and for her that meant smoking marijuana for the very first time. She really enjoys being in control, so she avoids all drugs and alcohol. It was her first time smoking anything, and she had pretty high expectations. She did enjoy pigging out on pizza and cookies afterwards, but she wasn’t able to stop worrying. So she decided that marijuana just isn’t for her and maybe she’ll try meditation next time.
Day 10: JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out)
I think most of us can relate to this fear, but Michelle decided to leave her phone at home for 12 hours while she went out and explored NYC. I have a very hard time not having my cell phone right next to me, especially if my kids aren’t next to me. What if something happens and I’m not there when I’m needed? What if I miss some big news and people forget to contact me again since I didn’t answer the phone the first time. I totally get this fear! Well Michelle did it. She went out and wandered around NYC. At first it was hard for her because everyone was on their phone around her, and she felt bored. She started to realize though that she was attached to her phone. If she had a spare minute, she would use that minute to look at her phone, never allowing herself to get bored. Because of this challenge, she’s going to work on looking at her phone a lot less and look inside of herself a lot more.
Day 15: Pull It
Well this challenge goes back to pain. Michelle decided to get a Brazilian wax done. The waxer told Michelle that it wasn’t going to hurt, but just thinking about it tends to hurt. Luckily the waxer made it a fun experience, and even gave her a lollipop afterwards. She’s willing to try getting a Brazilian wax again, but she wants to go when she’s a little more relaxed so it’s not the pain that is giving her anxiety, it’s the actual waxing.
Day 19: By The Horns
Michelle is afraid of being in danger, along with trying something new, so when it came to riding a mechanical bull, it would focus on overcoming both fears. She was actually feeling a little bit excited about this challenge. It felt like she was starting to change into a brand new Michelle! She said, “It wasn’t as hard as I thought and I made an effort to ride with one hand like you’re supposed to. I really recommend this to anyone!”
Day 26: Fly
Michelle isn’t necessarily afraid of flying when she’s in an airplane, but a helicopter is a different story. She feels that it’s a little more dangerous and was worried that things just wouldn’t go as planned. Once she was in the air though, she started to relax and was able to enjoy the views below.
Day 28: Root
With this challenge, Michelle was going to root for the opposing team. She decided to go to a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and cheer for the Milwaukee Brewers. She was nervous that she’d get yelled at or that a beer would be thrown at her, but then she realized she was no longer in Venezuela. She said everyone was really decent and they did mess with her but were nice about it. She was really scared people were going to get mad at her and be mean.
Day 31: Share
While in Chicago, Michelle took a photograph of a stranger smoking a cigarette while taking in the views. She took the photo, edited it, then showed her friend. Her friend thought she should go and share it with this man. Michelle thought her friend was CRAZY for thinking this was a good idea, but to get over the fear, she went up to the man and showed him the picture. He ended up really liking the picture, and they ended up talking for a bit.
Day 33: Poop
Nobody likes to change a dirty diaper, but Michelle HATES to be dirty, especially when it comes to bodily fluids. She had a friend named Sharon who had a little girl named Saritah. Saritah was sitting on Michelle’s lap, being very cozy. When babies are cozy, they get very relaxed, and this sometimes ends with a very dirty diaper. So she decided to change the diaper for Sharon, and decided that it felt really good to take care of someone other than herself.
Day 35: Present
Michelle has a fear of screwing up while speaking in public. How this challenge came about was that her friend emailed her about a portfolio review Behance was having. She decided that she was going to sign up and use this networking event as a way to overcome her fear of talking with strangers. When she went to register, it was sold out. Rather than being defeated, she decided to email the event organizer, letting her know about the 100 Days Without Fear project. The organizer LOVED this idea so much that she ended up inviting Michelle to speak at the event instead of being just an attendee. She designed a presentation that she would show, along with a short video, and practiced. She repeated the speech all day until it was time to present. Practice made it perfect, because she didn’t forget a single word and ended up feeling very comfortable in front of the crowd.
Day 38: Chug
If you have ever drank in your life, do you remember the first time getting drunk? Michelle had never been drunk before and for a friend’s birthday, she decided it was the perfect time. Here is how Michelle described the experience, “We all ordered one pitcher of Caipirinha and I hated it immediately. I knew I had to face my fear and keep drinking even though 1. the taste was super strong for me, and 2. I wasn’t thirsty!! I know it’s not an excuse and that’s not the reason why people drink, but I need to be thirsty in order to drink as well as I need to be hungry to eat! Anyways, I added water and tons of sugar to my drink and drank who knows how many glasses. We ended up ordering 4 big pitchers in a period of 5 hours and we were all pretty “happy.” Even though I really disliked drinking, I had the best time with my friends and alcohol did help, maybe. In conclusion, I much rather spend my money on shopping and dessert but it was an experience I’m glad I had.”
Day 44: Spend
Since Michelle started this challenge, lives in New York, and has tuition to pay, she’s going broke! She’s not all that great at budgeting in the first place, so she decided to set a challenge where she can only spend $5.00. She left all other money behind at home except for a $5 bill. She found out that if you do want to eat healthy, this challenge might be a bit difficult. But for $5.00, she ate one boiled egg, 3 bananas, 1 slice of pizza, fries, and a burger.
Day 46: Freeze
A lot of people suggested that Michelle try holding a snake, since she isn’t all that fond of animals. She really wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to do this or not. After seeing the video, she realized she just let the snake rest there more than hold it. She was terrified while she did it, but was happy to report that nothing bad happened.
Day 49: Shake It
For this challenge, she decided to dance like nobody is watching! She said she never felt so good, comfortable, and confident. She did say, “I love dancing more than anything but I never do it, except when I’m in front of my mirror. From now on you’ll find me dancing everywhere 😉 Beware!”
You can really see Michelle Poler’s attitude change as she gets further into the challenges. She’s becoming a happier, less stressed out person. Maybe all of us should look into our fears a little bit more and work on overcoming them. You would hate to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime because there is a fear getting in your way. Michelle is also posting videos on her blog daily showcasing her 100 Days With Out Fear Project. Visit her website here to view them all and let us know which one was your favorite so far.