The founder of a social movement helping people tap into their full potential by moving out of their comfort zones will set the tone for Emergency Nursing 2022 as the opening session keynote speaker.
Michelle Poler of Hello Fears will challenge attendees to ask themselves what actions will enable them to achieve the lives they want.
“It’s not about necessarily success in the way society frames success, but it’s what is success to you. That’s what I want people to be really honest about,” Poler explained on the ENA Podcast.
A self-styled “fear facer,” Poler grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, before coming to the United States with her now-husband to attend college and start a career in advertising. Soon, she confronted her unhappiness in her professional life and started contemplating how to find a more fulfilling path. That journey led to New York City, where she pursued a master’s degree in branding.
“That changed my life,” Poler said. “That’s where my life starts.”
One of her assignments in her graduate school coursework was a project that required her to do the same thing for 100 days in a row. She chose to tackle one fear a day, sharing all 100 experiences on YouTube.
“This was a very personal thing, but I thought if this can benefit other people just watching a very fearful person go through her fears, why not put it out there?” Poler explained.
After about six weeks, the project went viral. Poler believes her videos gained traction because they are relatable.
“Fear is so universal. It’s so personal at the end of the day, but it’s also so universal,” she said.
Her initial project culminated in Houston, where she shared her 100th fear at TEDx.
“I went from wanting to face a fear to realizing this is my passion,” said Poler, who is now a social entrepreneur, branding strategist and author of “Hello Fears: Crush Your Comfort Zone and Become Who You’re Meant to Be.”
She has brought her message of empowerment to events hosted by Google, P&G, ESPN, Toyota and many others.
“It’s through my fears — it’s not avoiding my fears — that I’m going to reach the level I want to reach,” she said.
The bigger one sees the fear, the more important they are in one’s life.
“It goes way beyond holding a tarantula or doing skydiving,” Poler said. “It’s not about those once-in-a-lifetime fears that you face. It’s the real fears that matter, the important decisions that we delay for years and years like a change of career, a divorce, just raising your hand at a meeting to suggest a risky idea or ask for a promotion.”
The conference opening general session will be from 8 to 9 a.m. Mountain time on Oct. 1 in the Mile High Ballroom.