Michelle Poler Speaks to Students and Parents about Fear
On Monday, February 5, Michelle Poler, a speaker, researcher, and influencer known for her blog 100 Days Without Fear and for the social movement Hello Fears, spoke at Nashoba Brooks School.
Poler spent the afternoon with Nashoba Brooks Middle School students talking to them about her viral project 100 Days Without Fear, where she did something every day for 100 days that caused her fear.
Poler, 29 years old, said she was raised in fear by her parents. She came from a family of World War II survivors with half of her family killed by Nazis in concentration camps. Michelle also lived in Venezuela, a country of political unrest. It is no wonder that her parents insisted on a sheltered life.
In her talk, Michelle pointed out that most kids who are limited by fear ask the question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” They predict the consequences in their heads, and if they feel that they are doomed to fail, chances are they will no longer pursue it.
Michelle urged the girls to switch the question. “Start asking yourself, ‘What’s the best that can happen?’” That is when you will see the possibilities that can happen when you conquer the fear.
In an evening presentation to the larger Nashoba Brooks School community, Poler directed her message to parents. She spoke specifically about how parents can lead by example in helping children overcome fears. She encouraged parents to acknowledge that all children and adults have fears. By modeling the idea of taking action even though one is afraid, parents can show children that facing one’s fears can be both exciting and liberating.
“My message is about taking on every day, small challenges--such as raising a hand and suggesting an idea,” Poler stated. “Say ‘Yes, I’m afraid, but I’m still going to do it,’” she explains. This, in the end, will add up to conquering bigger things.
Poler is currently touring the world. As part of her tour, Michelle has spoken at TEDx, Google, Facebook, and The World Domination Summit. She is also the host of YouTube/Podcast series Dear Younger Self.
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