Michelle Poler

Born and raised in Caracas-Venezuela to a family of holocaust survivors, Michelle was accustomed to living with fear. It was what kept her safe and comfortable. But when she moved to New York to...

Overcoming fear in 6 steps

This week I saw for the first time the video of the little penguin trying to jump into the water from a diving board at a Zoo. Besides being the cutest thing ever and penguins being one of my favorite creatures, it clearly demonstrated the way we all approach our fears. Who knew animals felt the same way? By facing 100 fears I learned that there's a natural, sort of predictable process of facing fear, so I decided to compare the penguin's behavior to my behavior when I attempted to jump off a cliff at a waterpark about a month ago as part of my fear #95.

First, comes the discovery stage. It is that moment where you identify something you’re scared of. Then, we move into the denial stage where we completely ignore the fact that we’re indeed scared of this thing. Most of the people stay in this stage making their own lives easy and comfortable. A small percentage of the people decide to move into the next phase: the determination stage. This is when you decide to go for it, so you make all the necessary arrangements to go for it. Between determination stage and action stage there’s a hard-to-avoid-stage I call the WTF Am I Doing stage. Here’s when you start to overthink the decision you made to face your fear. You exaggerate every possible outcome making it look like the worst case scenario. Many people stop the process right here. Some of us, for some weird reason decide to move past our worst thoughts and land into the action stage. This is when, no matter how nonbeliever you are, you turn to g-d and ask him to be with you while you face your fear, and you go for it! 
This brings you to the celebratory stage where you want to tell everybody what you did, and you experience what feeling proud of yourself actually feels like. I also I call this stage, the “sheepish or shameful,” here’s when you really regret your foolish behaviour during the WTF stage and realize that it wasn’t as bad as you thought; trust me, I’ve faced 100 of them already. These 6 steps repeat themselves over and over again.


So, what's your process when it comes to facing a fear? Let me know in the comments if you can relate to mine or if you go a different route! 

Source: 100dayswithoutfear.com 

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