This is an interview with Tess Marshall of The Bold Life, a juicy mix of spirituality, inspiration and personal development. Tess has just launched a new ecourse entitled: “Take This Fear and Shove It: Be Bold, Play Big, Shine Bright.” She likes to think of herself as a speaker, author, and “fear-shattering, calculated risk taker obsessed with being bold”.
Chris: This is an outstanding course, Tess. Absolutely beautiful. Could you tell me, please, what inspired you to create this course and what you hope it will achieve?
Tess: Thanks! I’m happy that you found “Take This Fear and Shove It” helpful. That’s a big compliment coming from a wise person like you.
Too many people today are paralyzed by fear. We are bombarded with negative media. Feeling anxious and fearful of the future has become the norm. I’m often asked, “How do you do what you do?” My ecourse provides the answers to that question. The purpose of the course is to give others the tools and techniques to dissolve their fears and live a bold life.
Chris: Could you share a little bit of personal background with my readers? Where were you born, who were your parents? What were your ambitions and challenges when you were young?
Tess: I was born in Michigan on an 88 acre produce farm. My mom had a 6th grade education and my father went through 8th grade. I have nine siblings.
The biggest challenge when we were young was the work that was expected of us. As young as five years old we were either working in the fields or selling produce at the Farmers Market, sometimes seven days a week. My ambition was to leave the farm when I graduated high school!
Chris: Your brave, generous spirit is an inspiration to me and many. Why are you so passionate about this theme of courage? Has it always been such a critical issue for you?
Tess: Yes it has always been critical. At the Farmer’s Market, my siblings and I were told the trucks better be empty at the end of the day. Without adult supervision we talked complete strangers into buying produce for eight hours straight...it took courage. We were successful.
I got married when I was 17. I was mom to four little girls by the time I was 22. It took courage to stick it out, go back to school, and start a business while raising them. I was only 38 when all four girls were in college. My life has been on easy street ever since;)
Chris: You explain in your course how fear is a story we tell ourselves and how we can learn to change our story and take action in spite of our fear. Is there a story from your own life that illustrates these essential principles?
Tess: Yes, when the twins began kindergarten, I decided to go to college part-time and get my bachelors degree. I was terrified. I didn’t think I was smart enough. Work on the farm was more important than studying. Consequently our grades suffered.
A family friend convinced me I could do it. The first two classes I took were How to Study and Speed Reading. I changed my story in order to succeed.
Chris: You speak of greatness and how fear is the only thing that keeps us from experiencing our greatness. Could you enlarge on this please?
Tess: We hold ourselves back by letting our fears decide for us. We can do great things despite our fear. We have a responsibility to use our talents and gifts. Fear is a cop-out! Greatness lies on the other side.
Chris: When you look out at our world, how well are we doing, as humans, in dealing with our fear?
Tess: I think we are doing very well. Getting to know others from all over the world through blogging has taught me this. I think the world is rapidly changing for the better. It appears to be scary and messy but transition always is.
The best part is we all get to have a hand in creating the changes we want to see!
Chris: Could you share one or two examples of "the bold life" in action that particularly inspire you?
Tess: Well let’s begin with you Christopher! I think technology is difficult for me but you’ll be 80 in May and you have created a successful blog in order to share your wisdom. I would call that a big bold life!
I’m also inspired by the young people who work and live on their own terms these days, often traveling the world with a laptop in their backpack. I think I live vicariously through many of them. It wasn’t an option when I was young. I do love reading their stories.
Chris: When you look at your life are you surprised at the direction it has taken? Is there anything that you would change if you had the chance?
Tess: I wanted to make marriage work. Check. I wanted to work as a therapist in private practice. Check. I wanted to move out of Michigan and its dreary, cold, and snowy weather. Check. I want to be a successful blogger. Check?!?
Sometimes I wish I would have been more careful with money. When the girls were growing up we took trips, paid for part of their college tuition, and had a lot of fun. When I look at it that way my memories are worth every thing we spent. So I can’t say I’d do it differently.
Chris: Thank you so much for your input Tess. Your course will be a real boon to many people and I wish you a ton of success. Any last thoughts to share?
Tess: In order to live a bold life you have to be willing to do what it takes. In Arizona my psychology license isn’t valid. In fact I would have to get a new degree here! My dream was more important than my work. We moved anyway.
I will leave everyone with one question: “What do you know you need to do that you are unwilling or unable to do?” My ecourse will help you get to the other side of your fear.
Please click here for more information about Tess Marshall’s new ecourse.