Do you remember the shyest kid at school?  You know the one who didn’t have much to say for themselves.  The one who kept to the back of the class whenever possible, or was happy to be the last in line for anything.  That was me.  Hard to believe I was once that shrinking violet since I turned into quite a blabbermouth.  But true.

As a small child, Mum was so worried about my shyness level that she seriously considered taking me to see a psychiatrist.  A psychiatrist.  In Britain.  When I was a kid.  Unheard of.

As a young teenager, walking into a large room full of people I had to walk around the sides, there was no way I could walk right down the middle where everyone might notice me.

[success] He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson [/success]

You could think I must have been an ugly duckling, but I wasn’t.  Perhaps you might imagine there was something detrimental about my appearance.  Nope…looking back at old photos I was actually a cute little thing.  I’m sure a psychiatrist would have had a field day with me.  But Mum didn’t follow through on her thought.

What was I afraid of? What was in my consciousness?  I have no clue, and I don’t even recall when I began to view the world differently, but what I do know is that if I’d had a Tess Marshall in my life, encouraging me to:

‘Play full out, to be brave, to speak up, to feel my emotions, to lighten up and participate in adventure.’

Or I’d followed her recommendations to:

Look at things you have never seen before. Go places you have never been before. Do things you have never done before.’

I might have become a more adventurous little soul a heck of a lot sooner.  And I’m here to tell you that life truly is a most magnificent adventure and there’s really nothing to be afraid of when you tune in to the greatness of who you are.

But there are times when moving from a state of mind filled with fear and doubts takes a huge leap, and requires a lot of encouragement sprinkled with a little inspiration.  So, if you’re ready to take off your mask and put down your fears, weep a little and dream a lot, Tess is ready to walk through fire with you, to encourage you and remind you of your greatness.  She has an awesome e-course that offers the opportunity, the tools and the plan to discover your bold self and live your life with courage and ease and to experience your true desires.

30 days to bold

Tess is one of my heroes, living life on her terms and sharing her wisdom and inspiration with kindness and gentleness.  I’m in awe of the being she is and feel blessed to know her.

Let me share our conversation about her course and you’ll see what I mean.

For those who haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting you, would you tell us a little about yourself.

I blog at The Bold Life and work as a coach, helping others to unearth their innate courage and live bold lives. I’ve written 3 books and  have a masters degree in counseling psychology. I got married when I was 17 and I’m still with the same awesome guy. I’m love to travel, run, and hike.

Was there any one experience where you decided enough was enough and embraced your concept of boldness?

Yes, I grew up with nine siblings. I was the sixth born. It didn’t take me long at all to realize I was in competition for our parents attention, food at the table, who would ride in the front seat, who decided on the TV channel, pretty much everything. Crazy! I was a loud and obnoxious kid (some would say I still am)!

Wow, Tess that’s some competition – no time to be shy and retiring in your household.  And what about today?  How much do you rely on boldness in your every day life?  How do you use the principles of being bold?

In my everyday life, I speak my truth and I love to do the unexpected. I demonstrate bold principles by living on my own terms. Except for a couple of years after grad school, I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Most of the time I have a courageous and confident attitude.

I so admire those qualities in you, and you speak your truth in such a wonderfully inspirational and gentle way.  

And given that we’re both inspired by quotes, what would be your all time favourite quote on being bold or fearless?

[success] Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. ~ Goethe[/success]

Who doesn’t want genius, magic, and power?

Love that quote it’s such an encouragement to step out and take the leap of faith that you teach so well.  And now we have the opportunity to grab the magic and power of being bold through your new course.  What led you to create it?

I felt like I was holding back.  I’ve never included videos, group coaching, interviews with others and a private Facebook page in a course before.  I wanted to be more available and more brave.

So you’re practicing what you preach?  Love that.  

As you’ve embraced boldness in your life, what’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about yourself?

That I’m human, I still deal with fear and I still hold back.

Well I think it’s safe to say we’re all a member of that little club.  So who would benefit most from taking your 30 Days to Bold course?

Anyone who is living in fear and wants more courage, confidence, and creativity. Anyone who is tired of settling. Anyone who wants to shine and care less about what others think. Anyone who is ready to do the work and wants to take their life to the next level.

Well that’s just about all of us out here.  I’m signing up myself!  So tell me, what’s the one biggest thing you hope we’ll experience after taking your course?

I hope people will finally recognize and own their greatness and use it to do good and have fun.

So there you have it Dear Ones, I urge you to join me and sign in by February 1 2013 and you’ll also get some free goodies.  There’s a link in my sidebar just click to find out more, because I’m so convinced that with Tess Marshall as our guide, we can fly higher than ever.

Do you have any fears that might be holding you back?  Are you ready to move beyond them?   Me too.

Let’s do it.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. I too was an incredibly shy child. I’ve mostly grown out of that now, but I still have my moments. The course sounds quite interesting. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    • Elle

      Hello Lovelyn…I think many of us could have used a Tess in our lives as children and as you say, we matured into different people…but the course does sound really cool, so I’m jumping in. Hope to see you there. 🙂

  2. Elle,
    That is so interesting! At our preschool we look at the Nine Intelligences by Howard Gardner. One of them is to “Intra-personal”. This is not necessarily shy but one who hold back, observes and needs time alone to re-charge their “batteries”. I am an intrapersonal person, too. The opposite would be an interpersonal who needs people around them, goes into a party very easily and needs to be around people to recharge their batteries. I think it’s very natural to hold back if you’re an intra-personal person. People like Tess can help us burst the bubble we sometimes live in.

    I’m very excited for your class, Tess. This is a great interview you two!!

    • That’s interesting, Betsy. I think I’ve switched between intra and inter – as I grew up, depending on my comfort levels in the situation I was in. Like Elle, sometimes I too wish I could have read Tess’s words earlier. My Mom was a great mentor to me, yet, sometimes, a little outside intervention can be welcome, perhaps because naturally, Moms can be subjective.

      Great interview Elle. Now, I do wish I could see you. 🙂

      Enjoyed your interview here, Tess! Love you!

      • Hi Vidya,

        I think there is a balance to it all. I personally have gone the other way. People often think outgoing people have it easier. Not true in my eyes. We spend time reigning our energy in and allowing others to share the floor. I do anyway.

      • Elle

        Well Vidya, you know I’m coming to visit one of these soon days and I’m ready to taste some of your wonderful recipes and get a tour of your city that I see through the pics on your blog. 🙂

    • Elle

      I haven’t heard of Howard Gardner Betsy…I suppose being educated in the UK and the rest of the world might be the reason why. But now I’m curious to find out more so I’m heading off to Amazon! I love your visual of Tess bursting the bubble we sometimes live in…whatever that bubble is. 🙂

  3. Joseph Appaloosa

    Fear certainly does present itself to us in so many ways. All of them limiting us in some form or fashion.
    BOLDness, emanating from Love, is always victorious over fear.
    And thus, we become free of smallness and limitation.
    So, Tess and Elle, kudos for disseminating the powerful and wonderful truth of being BOLD !
    Thank you.
    Write on, Elle !

  4. Elle- I need to get in on this conversation.

    To Betsy – I am so impressed that you bring Howard Gardener’s 9 Intelligences into your classroom. I saw him speak – dare i say 15-20 years ago- when it was a new concept. when I heard him and read his first book, I felt like ‘YES…this is what it’s all about’

    Vidya- When I look back at all of the input and worlds that people offered me and I turned down at a young age, I used to think ‘Did I ever lose out on opportunities’. Now I am able to look at that young, fearful woman ….me from age 18 and up….and feel compassion for the young me – knowing that I was doing the best I could at that time. I use my memories of that scared girl as a reminder to keep on walking through my fear.

    I have come to a place where I believe we are exactly where we need to be. It helps to keep me grounded in the present.

    Elle and Tess – great interview. Elle – I’m not surprised that you were shy as a child.
    Tess- the course sounds outstanding. You know what I think of you and your work – your are one exuberant and inspiring woman. 🙂 Fran

    • Elle

      Another reason to check out Howard’s book Fran. I love what you say about feeling compassionate towards that younger you and given the things that you’ve done lately in your life, you are truly living it to the full in every way. Kudos to you. I’ve always loved your gardeninggonewild blog. 🙂

  5. It’s funny because I was mostly taught that you have to be a crazy, loud outgoing person to get somewhere. I was shy as a kid and had alot of issues with that myself.

    Now i’m much better but i’m also much more comfortable with myself. I don’t feel like I have to be the loudest or craziest person around anymore and I am fine spending time alone. When I feel like socializing I can go and do it with no problems.

    But the facing fear is definately a good thing to do to grow.


    • Elle

      Ben, I had to laugh at your comment, because I always wanted to BE that person, the crazy, loud one, the funniest one, and now…well it’s all good, I understand what you say about being comfortable with yourself.

      I’m not sure when the changes happened, probably because it’s little by little and we don’t even notice it and today my friends look at me in shock and disbelief at the thought that I was that shrinking violet. Isn’t growth and expansion great? 🙂

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