For thousands of years, people have carried around certain small objects to give them an extra boost of confidence, luck, protection or inspiration in times of trial. Native Americans, Celts, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, the Japanese, Middle Easterners -- all cultures held the belief that specific talismans conferred empowerment upon their owners. (The British Museum owns an Egyptian shell amulet dated 1965-1920 B.C.!)

Modern people have talismans, too, of course. Some enjoy widespread use (Chinese good luck coins; rabbits' feet), but others are much more personal -- and meaningful.

The slideshow below features the "fearless charms" worn -- or carried -- by various HuffPost staffers. What's your fearless charm? Comment below, or tweet us all about it @HealthyLiving using the hashtags #becomingfearless and #fearlesscharm. If you tweet, you will automatically be entered into Toyota Corolla's Most Fearless Tweet Contest! (Click here for the Official Rules.)

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  • Helping Hand

    <strong>"I keep this with me when I travel. It stays in a little pocket of my briefcase. It was given to me by a dear friend years ago. I really like the idea of carrying an open hand... reminds me to keep mine open to friends and strangers." <em>-- David Kiley, HuffPost auto industry editor</em></strong>

  • The Freedom of Choice

    <strong>"Last summer I got a tattoo of the word 'choice' (in my handwriting) on my left wrist. I did so because the times I experience the most fear -- in my body and mind -- are when I forget that I have options and instead feel stuck. The stuckness feels like fear. Choice feels like freedom to me. Having this reminder helps me live with fear and not let fear stop me. It's like a visual Xanax." -- <em>Alana B. Elias Kornfeld, senior editor, HuffPost International</em></strong>

  • Encouraging Aunt

    <strong>"This is a picture of me and my Great Aunt Theodora (i.e., my mother's aunt), taken about a year before she passed away. She was my inspiration. Despite a 65-year age difference, she taught me what a leader truly was, raising her sisters as the oldest of the five and teaching me to follow my dreams. I take this picture everywhere I go and whenever I'm afraid, I remember that it's there and feel better." <em>-- Daniel Koh, HuffPost chief of staff</em></strong>

  • Circle of Strength

    <strong>"I have worn a bracelet for many, many years every single day that says, 'Fortune sides with she who dares.' My cousin gave it to me and I love the daily reminder -- I've consciously thought about it when I've taken risks (moved out of the country, quit jobs I've been comfortable in, etc.)." <em>-- Laura Schocker, senior editor, Healthy Living</em></strong>

  • Bold Bills

    <strong>"For some reason multiple people have given me $2 bills as gifts. I carry them around in my wallet at all times with the confidence that I have at least two bucks to my name!" <em>-- MacGregor Thomson, HuffPost community standards manager</em></strong>

  • Stone of Support

    <strong>"My father gave me this stone many years ago. After I graduated college, I was freelancing for a while and -- not surprisingly -- making enough to cover my rent and not much else. There were some scary moments when I doubted my decision to pursue journalism, but the stone, which I still keep on my desk right next to my laptop, was always a reminder that I would be unhappy doing anything else." <em>-- Sarah Klein, associate editor, Healthy Living</em></em>

  • The Dork Who Dared

    <strong>"I keep this photo of my dorky 13-year-old self in my wallet. The perm, the glasses, the braces, the flat chest, the plaid, the vest -- oh my god, <em>the vest</em>. My past self totally owned it (as you can tell by the grin). No matter how difficult or stressful things might get today, I know that the girl in this photo would think my life as a New York writer kicks extreme ass!" <em>-- Elizabeth Kuster, editor, Becoming Fearless</em></strong>

  • Orange You Feeling Fearless?

    <strong>"I often keep an orange with me when I'm feeling nervous or stressed out. When I was studying for big tests in college, I would make sure to bring an orange to the library, so I wouldn't get too overwhelmed. I know it sounds sort of crazy, but there is just something about the weight, smell, texture and freshness of an orange that really affects me!" <em>-- Jessica Leader, assistant editor, HuffPost Green</em><strong>

  • Key to Bravery

    <strong>"A little over a year ago, I fell while walking to my car and managed to break both ankles. In the flood of get-well cards I received during the three months I was off my feet was one that contained this metal charm, with a wine-colored stone in the center. It's a hamsa, and it is worn widely in the Mideast for luck. I put it on my keyring when I was finally permitted to drive again. Over the months since then, the stone has fallen out, and the edges of the hand have scuffed and dinged, but I will never replace it. It's a reminder that anything can happen at any moment -- and that I can get through it and get back on my feet." <em>-- Lisa Belkin, senior columnist on life/work/family, HuffPost Parents</em></strong>

  • Time To Be Gutsy

    <strong>"My father's watch. I've associated it with him since as long as I can remember. It's nothing fancy, but when he passed away two years ago, I started wearing it as a reminder of him and it has turned into my fearless charm." <em>-- Kerstin Picht Shamberg, HuffPost social media editor</em></strong>

  • A Shaman's Blessing

    <strong>"This beaded bracelet was given to me in Peru. I was blessed by a shaman one night on a ranch in Cusco. I'm known for having really bad luck and when I mentioned this to the shaman, my wrist was wrapped in this bracelet. I'm a big believer in charms, but this one sticks with me because it reminds me of the howling coyotes, the warm knit blanket and the hundreds of stars over us in the Peruvian sky." <em>-- Annemarie Dooling, HuffPost community editor</em></strong>

  • The Power of Pearls

    <strong>"Whenever I have a stand-up comedy show I'm especially nervous for, I wear these pearls. I feel fearless in them because... well, I wore them the first time I ever did stand-up. And it doesn't get scarier than that. These pearls make me fearless!!"<em> -- Vicky Kuperman, senior producer,</em></strong>