A grad student named Michelle Poler recently started a project called “100 Days Without Fear”, where she faces one fear every day. Some include getting drunk for the first time, getting a Brazilian bikini wax, riding a mechanical bull, etc.
It started when she had write an essay about her perfect life 10 years from now. She said, “After doing lots of deep digging, I realized that fear was the only thing between me and my picture perfect lifestyle. I realized I was living a controlled life and I wasn’t getting the satisfaction I was looking for.”
I feel like everyone has two fears. One is your surface level fear, like heights or spiders. The other one is your deep, inner turmoil fear. That’s the fear that your entire storyline would be based around if you were a character in a novel. Like going through life without accomplishing anything of any meaning, or dying alone, or being too ordinary.
My surface level fear: Alligators
My inner turmoil fear: Being stuck in one place, profession, relationship, etc. that I’m not satisfied with, without ever experiencing the alternatives.
This is another inner turmoil fear I often think about:
“I most fear that the wonderful way I live my life today will ruin life for generations of people to come.” – Hank Green
Other things that scare me:
- Public speaking
- People who go to crossfit gyms
- The fact that Jennifer Hudson has an Oscar and Glenn Close doesn’t
- Walking barefoot
- Getting a tattoo or committing to anything at all
I’ve gotten over a lot of my fears throughout the years. I like traveling alone, I’ll go on roller coasters, I watch horror films, I’ve performed trapeze for an audience, I tolerate beer, I’ve dyed my hair, I’ve failed a class, and I can almost muster up some courage and ask the waiter for extra sauce.
I’ve always liked the idea of having a bucket list of silly, pointless, or even ill-advised experiences. They’re mostly seemingly meaningless accomplishments that have nothing to do with my long term goals in life, but each time I’ve done something stupid that was out of my comfort zone, it made me a slightly better, less afraid version of myself.