Everybody’s afraid of something. It might be a common fear like heights, public speaking, spiders, or natural disasters, for example. Or it might be a more unique one, like arithmophobia (fear of numbers) or genuphobia (fear of knees). But no matter what it is, there’s always that one thing that sends dread straight to your heart and makes your stomach twist into knots.
What if you had 100 fears? Hey, maybe you do, if you think about it enough—but one person who definitely does is Venezuelan art director Michelle Poler. And she’s decided to face every single one, one a day, for 100 days. Um, hello, bravest person EVER.
“Thinking about it, living with fear worked out pretty good for me,” Michelle writes on her website. “I got to live a controlled lifestyle where things would normally go according to plan, I would achieve my goals and find my way of getting the things I wanted. Until now.”
Michelle moved to New York, where she attends the School of Visual Arts working a master’s degree in branding. “Trying to control New York has been a nightmare,” writes Michelle, “but what really pushed me to pursue this project was not the controlled lifestyle I left behind, it is the frustration of not enjoying this city and life in general to the fullest.”
A prompt that the school gave its students was to do something for 100 days, so she decided to focus on her fear. “Since the unknown has proven to be so much more fulfilling than the familiar in these last months,” writes Michelle on her website. “I’m ready to let go, face my biggest fears, try to be completely vulnerable about it and enjoy the ride.”
Michelle’s project, 100 Days Without Fear, aims to conquer one of her fears every single day. And she has quite a few interesting fears, such as going rollerblading in Central Park and spending a whole day wearing headphones. But it doesn’t matter how big or small they may seem–the point is that she is getting past them and proving to herself, as well as thousands of others, that there is a life beyond fear, and it’s a beautiful life.
Michelle is 40 days into her project, and she’s documented every single one with a video, a description, and an “emoji meter” that demonstrates all of her feelings during the experience. Below is just the video covering the first month, but you can watch all of her experiences here (the ones in yellow are the ones she’s completed so far!). You go, Michelle! Way to be super brave and fabulous!