Did you know that the best way to know yourself if by facing your fears? Well, I had no idea.
For 26 years I really never gave myself the chance to get to know me. I kept avoiding my fears and that way, I kept avoiding myself.
By facing 100 fears I uncovered skills I had no idea I had, limitations I was surprised about, and over all other things I was able to understand my potential. Knowing your potential only gives you the confidence to move forward, trust in your instincts and dream even bigger. Now, I feel like Sia's song, Unstoppable. I know what I'm capable of and I know the tools that I have to get where I want to go.
These are all the things that I learned, in no specific order:
1. Sadly, I thought I could sing, but after facing my Karaoke fear I realized that I can't. Maybe in the shower.
2. I have a problem with motion sickness, I thought that only cars and boats would give me the feeling of vomiting, but now I see that small planes, skydiving, parasailing and other stuff make me dizzy as well. Surprisingly, rollercoasters didn't give me motion sickness!
3. I'm stronger than I thought, physically and emotionally.
4. After so many people sharing their fear of heights with me I can assure you I don't share that fear. That being said, I do fear jumping from a high place. Doing cliff diving was the scariest fear of them all.
5. I realized I have the most supportive husband I could ever dream of. He not only faced many of my fears with me, but he helped me plan all of them. Now, he is supporting my dream of becoming an entrepreneur and helping out in more ways that I can count. He is my unsung hero, my secret ingredient, my motivation to keep fighting.
6. My whole life I've been considered a funny human being but in a non-intentional way. By facing my fear of doing standup comedy, I realize that I can make people laugh intentionally!
7. I never considered myself a compassionate person until I faced my fear of approaching people in the street to ask what I could do for them. It's not that I wasn't compassionate before, I was just too comfortable not going out of my comfort zone. That's when I realized that I do care a lot about others and I care about doing something about it. Now that the project is over, I still make time to help people in the street in any way I can.
8. I was so surprised in a positive way when I held a tarantula that I would consider having one as a pet.
9. When my project went viral I started to received millions of views and thousands of comments, not all positive. Even though I wanted to focus only on the positive I decided to listen to the negative comments as well, that only made me improve, challenge myself and get farther. That's when I learned that criticism helps way more than praise.
10. I always loved to dance, mostly in front of my mirror. By facing a couple of dancing challenges and having such good response I realized that I do know how to move!
11. My fear of getting lost was sometimes overshadowing the fear I needed to face in some cases. When I went to fly a plane by myself I was freaking out the night before, not because of the thought of flying a plane, but the thought of going by myself to this place 3 hours away from the city!!
12. I never really considered doing nature related adventures, they seemed uncomfortable, sticky and somewhat dangerous. When I faced my fears of camping, rafting, hiking, rappelling and ziplining I realized I was only focusing on the negative. These plans were way more fun, engaging and challenging (in a good way) than staying in the city and going for brunch.
13. I spent all my life avoiding to spend time by myself. I was too afraid to get bored. So I would ask people I don't even like to be with me so I didn't have to be by myself. How sad is that? By obligating myself to spend some alone time I realized that I can have fun by myself. I now appreciate every alone moment and try to make the best out of it.
14. For some reason, and I do know the reason, I've always been afraid of being outside by myself during sunrise hours so I always avoided it. For one of my challenges, I decided to go to the Brooklyn Bridge and appreciate the sunrise by myself. I was so deeply happy that it became my new favorite time of the day.
15. One fear I still can't face, confrontation. I'm too afraid to make others feel bad but the only thing I'm accomplishing by not confronting others is making me feel bad. Some fears take more time than others, and I hope someday I can overcome this fear.
16. I like to know that I have an exotic accent, I used to be embarrassed to not speak perfect English, now I'm proud. Also, I love that no one can tell where my accent is from, some people say Israel, others Brazil, what do you think?
17 + 18. I tried pot and alcohol for two of my challenges and I honestly rather not mess with my brain in those ways again. I enjoy life as it is way too much to think about altering the way I feel.
19. I think one of the reasons why my project made it so big internationally is because I don't speak too much. I try to convey my emotions and feelings through my facial expressions. This is because I hate to speak to the camera! But, I want to do it more and more until I become comfortable at it.
20. If you watch my TEDx Talk you will see that I talk about my past as a big factor in my fears. By doing this project I learned that we can deal with our past as a way to not let it determine our present or our future. I was raised with lots of fears, but now I'm changing the way I perceive fear and the way I will raise my own kids.
21. By sharing my 100 experiences online, I was able to inspire other people to go after their fears and limitations. Who knew I had the power to inspire people? Well, I didn't. And you know what? We all have that same power so let's use it.
22. Finally, and going back to the beginning, I learned that the only way to get in contact with myself is by facing all of my fears, so may the journey continue.