Southwest Quest: How Bold People Live Through Fear


When you’re paralyzed by fear it’s easy to come up with reasons about why you shouldn’t do things or why a good idea can’t possibly work out. You get in the habit of betting against yourself and betting against your dreams.

If you don’t learn how to stop your negative self-talk, you can quickly cheat yourself out of a beautiful and adventurous life. 

I wrote about my Southwest Quest last week after reading Chris Guillebeau’s book, The Happiness of Pursuit.

Don’t think for one minute that I don’t have fears about it. I do and bold people live through fear!

I have a fear that I’ll regret spending the money. Part of me believes that I should save it for retirement.

I have a fear of getting lost, of things going wrong or being away from home too long.

I fear the changes that will happen when I’m away, and I fear the transformation that I’ll experience.

I also have a fear that I’ll get bored or won’t finish the quest. 

I could allow all of these fears to stop me, but I won’t. I'm the courageous and bold one!

I’ve always been a hippy, wild-child, free spirit, adventurer-at-heart. I’ve always wanted to travel with a backpack and no real schedule. My core desires are freedom, fun and abundance.  I’ve created this quest over a lifetime. It’s only recently that it came together.

I’m also a kind and generous person. That’s why I added the aspects of volunteering or doing acts of kindness in every city. 

I have to go. If I don’t go, I’ll always wonder what could have been. 

If you shrink and hold back from who you are, it’s impossible to be happy. I’ve always wanted to be free! 

For me, this is a bold quest.  It will require that I do many things I’ve never done before. But the Universe has my back, and I’m ready to claim both magic and miracles.

You can claim your magic and miracles now, too. Here’s how:

1. Start now. Don’t wait until you’re an expert. You have access to unlimited information. Don’t wait until you have more time; stop wasting the time you do have. Don’t wait for perfect conditions; there’s no such thing. Don’t wait to be fearless; you’ll become courageous through action.

2. Release doubt. Take the next step. Focus on the results you want to achieve. Dwell on your past successes. Use affirmations. Do what it takes to keep an optimistic mindset.

3. Push yourself through fear. Go to the edge. Do what you haven’t done before. Go where you haven’t been before. When that place becomes routine and comfortable, keep moving. Find a new “edge.” Slow growth is better than no growth at all. Keep growing and edging forward.

4. Act. Some people live in fear because they believe change involves big leaps. We only need to take penguin steps! Take one small step today and then another and carry on. A journey begins with just one step. 

5. Be okay with discomfort. Be willing to be embarrassed, nervous, fearful, and sweaty. Move forward. Success usually doesn't happen in a straight line or happen overnight. Zig zag. Switch back. Lose your way. You’ll live. You’ll learn what does and doesn’t work. You’ll survive. That’s progress.

6. Say no to excuses. 64-year old Diana Nyad completed the first swim between the U.S and Cuba without a shark tank. She told an interviewer, “You have to believe you are going across. There are no if’s. You are making it.” Her motto was, “Find a way.”

7. Expect setbacks. It’s part of the process. Unexpected things happen. You make mistakes. Others make mistakes. Tragedy happens. Take time to recover. Then simply begin again.

8. You are magnificent.  You were born for greatness.  You are worthy and lovable. You are strong and resilient. You can get through any struggle or setback. Nothing and nobody can change those facts.  

9. Invent your desired bold life. You are an inventor. You create your future with the choices you make today.  If you make a mistake, you always have the option of changing course or starting over. Invent a bright, abundant and meaningful life. There is nothing to fear.  

Like me, you only have one shot, so make this life amazing and worthwhile. For me, the best is yet to come. The rest of my life is the best of my life. I’m making it so.

Join me in your quest for greatness.  I'm here for you. Let me know how I can help.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Beth September 22, 2014, 12:23 pm

    Tess, you absolutely blow me away! Will you keep a travel journal or memorialize your adventures in some way? Please let me know if I can help YOU in any way.

    And is that your cute little grandson Henri in the photo? If so, he’s getting so big!!

    Love and hugs to you!

    • Tess September 22, 2014, 3:43 pm

      Hi Beth,
      Yes that’s Henri! He’s the tallest kid there is in his class and I’ll bet 1st grade as well. He’s sooo skinny. Adorable. Thanks for noticing. I’m going to take photos and will keep notes in a journal. I’m not a travel writer and this isn’t a travel blog. I think I’ll still write on how to get over fear and live a courageous life and demonstrate it as well.

      I’ve always said the rest of my life is the best of my life. Let the actions behind those words begin;))

  • Sebastian Aiden Daniels September 22, 2014, 1:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing your worries and doubts your quest. I think embracing them and stepping through them is so important. I constantly am pushing myself through my fear. It comes back in different forms. If you keep pushing through it though you keep growing. Thank you for the inspiration. I appreciate it. It is always good to remind oneself that setbacks are a part of life : D.

  • Peggy September 25, 2014, 7:01 pm


    I love your Southwest quest! I hope you are having a blast. If I’m not mistaken you’re in Utah visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon.

    I’ve been on a travel quest since the day I wrote down all the places I wouldn’t get to see if breast cancer killed me. Hec, I suspended caution and financial responsibility and booked a 7 day trip to Playa del Carmen for me and my girls 7 weeks after my mastectomy and 2 weeks before I started chemo. I wrote my list 10 years ago and this year my big trip was Ireland. Next year the big trip is Scotland and because it’s top of mind awareness, opportunities for different tours and trips are cropping up!

    Happy travels!!!
    PS: let me know when you plan on Manchester, NH. Southwest flies here and I live 20 minutes away. Mi casa su casa!

  • april September 25, 2014, 7:18 pm

    LOVE the idea of “tess on her southwest quest!!” have a fabulously wild and fun adventure! 🙂

  • Michelle September 26, 2014, 3:58 pm

    Take me with you. That is all. 😉

    O.k. One more thing:

    “I’ll always wonder what could have been.” Yep. That’s always my gauge when I’m stuck on a decision. You are going to have a marvelous adventure. xo

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