Michelle Poler on Facing Your Three Biggest Fears

Michelle Poler Facing Fears

She danced onto our screens and into our hearts during Xyngfling 2020 Live.

As the keynote speaker of this virtual event, Michelle Poler gave some of the most valuable life advice you’ll ever receive, backed up by the kind of personal experience you can relate to.

Michelle is the founder of a social movement called Hello Fears, dedicated to helping anyone and everyone step outside of their comfort zones and reach their full potential.

She’s spoken to a variety of impressive organizations, including Google, Facebook, ESPN, and Netflix—just to name a few—and she’s as fearless and charismatic as her movement entails. We feel so lucky to have had the amazing opportunity to hear and embrace her message!

“Who am I Living For?”: 100-Day Challenge

Michelle began life much like we all do. She had a list of life accomplishments she began quickly checking off.

  • Graduate from high school—check
  • Go to college—check
  • Find a prestigious job—check
  • Get married—check
  • Buy a home—
  • Have kids—

As you can see, Michelle was close to completing her checklist, but came to realize that it was not her list. It was society’s list she feared she needed to accomplish. Who was she living for?

It wasn’t until she decided to move to New York—a dream she had since she was little—and enroll into an art school, that her list began to change.

One of her professors asked the class to really consider what their perfect life 10 years from now would look like. And once she came up with her new plan, the professor then asked what one obstacle would prevent the accomplishment of this plan.

After thinking for a while, Michelle realized her one obstacle—


This realization drove Michelle to kickstart her “100 Days Without Fear” project where she faced 100 fears in 100 days. Everything from karaoke to skydiving, reading online criticism about herself and public speaking, Michelle checked it all off her list.

Three Types of Fear

As she took on her 100 fears in 100 days, Michelle quickly came to a realization: there are three types of fear:

  1. Universal
  2. Cultural
  3. Personal

Universal Fears

Universal fears keep us alive and safe. Everything from avoiding poisonous snakes to staying far away from cliff edges protect us from harm.

Cultural Fears

Cultural fears keep us from becoming outliers. It stems from a sense of wanting to belong. Like only dressing a certain way, not speaking up during class or meetings, having a common hairstyle—all these make up cultural fears.

Personal Fears

Personal fears keep us from disappointing ourselves. Personal fears stop us from accomplishing goals and stretching ourselves.

But what Michelle teaches is that the enemy of success is not failure, it's comfort.

“People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo Davinci

Michelle encourages us to consider fear our ally.

“Every fear is an opportunity to grow and become more.”

What’s the Best That Can Happen?

Did this journey mean that Michelle no longer fears anything?

Not at all.

Instead of asking yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” take control of that fear and ask yourself, “What’s the best that can happen?” And soon you’ll begin to see the opportunity in every fear you face.

There are really only two outcomes to facing your fears:

  1. Comfort
  2. Growth

Although comfort is often the more desirable outcome at first, growth allows you to get what you deserve out of those fears and possibly even more.

If you remember back to Michelle’s original “society-made” list, it was through the 100 Days Without Fear challenge that she was able to complete her updated personal list during that time. She faced her fears and received way more opportunities than she would have thought possible.

So the next time you’re faced with a fear, ask yourself, “What’s the best that can happen?” We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome—

We invite you to take action and begin embracing your fears and uncertainties of the future today! It’s time to run, and we’ll be by your side every step of the way.

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