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Unhustle Podcast

What Causes Fear and How to Shift Your Relationship With Fear

Milena Regos

In a world obsessed with busyness and chasing success at all costs, we end up burnt out, stressed out, and lonely. At Unhustle, my vision is to shift this paradigm. It’s about finding the sweet spot between doing and real living, embracing a lifestyle that balances life enjoyment with purposeful achievement. This is the future I’m creating with Unhustle—a sustainable, prosperous future for ourselves, our families, communities, teams, companies, and the planet.

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Hi! I'm Milena Regos, the Human behind Unhustle®.



Reading Time: 4 minutes

What is fear and why we want to fall in love with fear? – A podcast interview

Kristen Ulmer - shift your fear

It was a beautiful Baja evening. A few of us had gathered over at a friend’s house to get to know each other better over fish tacos from the white and blue “Baja Bites” road truck that has become a local’s favorite. She walked towards me from the other side of the party, tap me on the shoulder and said softly: “Hi, I’m Kristen. Rebecca thinks we should meet. I’ll be over there” – and she waived towards the open air patio with concrete benches and blue pillows.  Little that I knew we were going to explore our relationship with fear that night. 

We immediately hit it off. Kristen Ulmer is a lot more than another working entrepreneur living in Baja.  She’s a badass.

Meet Kristen Ulmer – a fear and anxiety expert

In her past life, Kristen conquered mountains –  by skiing them. For 12 years, Kristen was considered the best female big mountain extreme skier in the world and the most fearless woman in North America. No small accomplishment. She now translates lessons she’s learned from expreme sports as well as real life, combined with Zen principles into helping people shift their relationship with fear. Kristen’s expertise and experience offer a brand new way to look at how we approach fear and anxiety – by falling in love with the fear. 


Not even a week after I met Kristen, coronavirus hit the world hard. Schools closed, people lost their jobs, hospitals filled with people gasping for air. A 30% drop in the S&P index, the fastest slide in history indicating a possible recession worse than 2008. The country’s overall depression and approaching elections add to our state of threats we are dealing with on everyday basis. Panic sets in and we go out and buy toilet paper by the truckload, engaging in “retail therapy” to ease our emotional state like experts say. 

The fear is real

It’s no wonder that our feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, and tension have increased tenfold. We have turned into the United States of Anxiety. My low back, for example, has been hurting a lot in the past few days. Is it from too much sitting or is it fear-induced?

When I decided to pivot from being a highly paid marketing consultant to creating Unhustle, I had my share of sleepless nights. “How am I going to pay my bills? How long would it take before I make enough money to support myself? Am I doing the right thing? What if I fail?”. My mind spinning out of control. 

I’m not immune to fear but I have learned how to deal with it. From my ski racing background, to immigrating to the US, starting businesses, my mindfulness-based stress-reduction training, and having a consistent mindfulness and meditation practice, the teachings from Mark Atkinson from the Human Potential Coaching Institute where I got certified, I’ve had a lot of help along the way. it’s been a journey. 

This is why, when I met Kristen Ulmer, a fear and anxiety expert, I knew I had to dive deeper into the topic of fear with her, especially in this moment of time. 

“Sometimes we humans need a gentle shift to continue our journey in the right direction that supports our growth. Ending the un-winnable war with fear and making friends with it instead, is one of those shifts.”

Kristen Ulmer, The Art of Fear


Can this be our opportunity to slow down and learn how to manage our relationship with fear?

Can we fall in love with the fear and turn it from our enemy to our friend?

We’ve been trained to think that fear is an enemy. That we need to fight it. We need to overcome it. We’ve been socially conditioned to deal with fear by resisting it, ignoring it, avoiding it or replacing it with love and calm – “spiritual bypassing” like Kristen calls it. 

But what if this was just a bandaid. And all these meditations, breathing exercises, and therapy sessions are not getting us anywhere. 

What if there was another way? 

In our interview, Kristen talked about a four-phased approach that most people use to deal with fear: 

  • Resist it 
  • Accept it 
  • Embrace it 
  • Become intimate with it

Most people are stuck in the first step. What if you could go all the way? It is this last step that changes how we deal with fear not only in extreme situations and sports but also in everyday life. 

Start by practicing the following:

  1. Understand that fear is normal and natural.  
  2. Close your eyes. Do a body scan. Where do you feel discomfort? What are the emotional components of what you are feeling?
  3. What is your relationship with that feeling? Are you trying to replace it with something positive? 
  4. Honor the resistance. 
  5. Spend some quality time with whatever it is that is trying to get your attention. Fall in love with it. 

Listen to the podcast with Kristen Ulmer to learn what fear is, how to identify it, and how to deal with it in a very unique way – by falling in love with the fear. 

To connect with Kristen Ulmer: 


Book: The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead 



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