To help her live life to the max, Michelle Poler has decided to confront 100 fears in 100 days. The Venezuela native, who moved to New York to study at the School of Visual Arts, embarked on her social experiment as part of her graduate degree in branding. Some of the spine-chilling, toe-curling challenges the 26-year-old has done so far include riding a bike around New York, donating blood, and dancing like no one's watching in a public place. Poler the rates every experience through an ‘Emoji-meter’. “I’ve really enjoyed some of them and I'm still keeping my distance with others, like snakes,” Poler told Metro of her “100 Days Without Fear” project.
Q: 100 fears… you must be a really anxious person.
– I don't think there is such thing as 100 fears, but there are even more than 100 challenges that could help me overcome my list of fears. So if I'm afraid of being by myself there are many ways I could face that, either by attending a self-defense class, learning how to confront another person, challenging myself to do things by myself like going to a networking event or to the theater.
Q: Is it beneficial?
It is giving me lots of confidence about myself, it is pushing me to enjoy my life while I'm in it.
Q: Are there challenges you leave for afters?
– I’ve done already 50 challenges. I’ve really enjoyed some of them and I'm still keeping my distance with others, like snakes.
Q: Tell us about the most cringeworthy ones…
For example, singing karaoke with a live band. We found the authentic place to sing, but they only offer rock songs and that's definitely not my genre. I finally found the one song I knew but had to practice, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. I knew I was taking on a huge challenge but if I was going to go on stage and make a fool out of myself, I had to do it the right way. After tormenting my neighbors a couple of nights a week I decided to go and just face that fear. I have to tell you that I was ashamed to go on stage. The good part is that I enjoyed singing like a rock star so much that I want to make it a weekly plan till I get better at this.
Another one is dancing like no one's watching in a public place. This was one of the best experiences I've had in my life. I honestly never felt so good, comfortable and confident. You must do this at least once in your lifetime. Sounds super silly and you're thinking “no freaking way”, but I swear it is so worth it.
Q: Was it hard to overcome these fears?
– All of them are hard for me in some level or another. That's why I created the “Emoji-meter”, to help the audience understand my emotions before, during and after.
Q: How would you advise people who want to face their fears?
– To go do it, star with the smaller things that limit your day-to-day to gain the confidence to face bigger challenges.