new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale
new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale__after

Description

Product Description

A groundbreaking women’s leadership expert and popular conference speaker gives women the practical skills to voice and implement the changes they want to see—in themselves and in the world
 
In her coaching and programs for women, Tara Mohr saw how women were "playing small" in their lives and careers, were frustrated by it, and wanted to "play bigger." She has devised a proven way for them to achieve their dreams by playing big from the inside out. Mohr’s work helping women play bigger has earned acclaim from the likes of Maria Shriver and Jillian Michaels, and has been featured on the Today show, CNN, and a host of other media outlets.
 
Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In gave many women new awareness about what kinds of changes they need to make to become more successful; yet most women need help implementing them. In the tradition of Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, Playing Big provides real, practical tools to help women quiet self-doubt, identify their callings, “unhook” from praise and criticism, unlearn counterproductive good girl habits, and begin taking bold action.
 
While not all women aspire to end up in the corner office, every woman aspires to something. Playing Big fills a major gap among women’s career books; it isn’t just for corporate women. The book offers tools to help every woman play bigger—whether she’s an executive, community volunteer, artist, or stay-at-home mom.
 
Thousands of women across the country have been transformed by Mohr’s program, and now this book makes the ideas and practices available to everyone who is ready to play big.

Review

Advance praise for Playing Big 

"At last. At last this very important book has been written, encouraging women to take up all the creative space they deserve in the world. I hope it will empower legions of women to step into their greatness. I couldn''t be happier about this publication."
—Elizabeth Gilbert

"Tara and I share the same philosophy: we hope inspirational ideas will ignite you to go out and make an impact in your own life. Whether she’s writing for mariashriver.com or urging others to become a change agent through her book, Tara is practicing the Playing Big words she preaches."
—Maria Shriver

"Tara Mohr offers a new model of leadership, one that acknowledges and embraces the complex realities of women''s lives. She shows us how to take the leap, even when we don''t feel ready. Playing Big is the perfect catalyst for any woman who wants to go outside her comfort zone, find her voice, and embrace the biggest possibilities of her life."
 —Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Willpower Instinct
 
"While reading  Playing Big I kept thinking of the many people I knew (men too!) who would love it. With clarity, warmth and deep wisdom, Tara shines a light on our blocks to manifesting our potential, and offers practical, well-honed strategies that move us toward fulfillment. This is a book that can transform the trajectory of your life."
—Tara Brach, PhD, author of   Radical Acceptance and  True Refuge
 
"Tara Mohr shows us how to replace self-doubt, inadequacy, and worry with confidence, self-worth, and courage. She is a brilliant writer and teacher whose warmth and passion fill these pages. Full of examples and practical tools, this is a gem of a book."
—Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence
 
"Don''t try to change the world before you read this book!  In Playing Big Tara Mohr offers you the keys to unlocking your gifts, your potential and your  power to make a difference. I guarantee that you will find yourself and your dreams somewhere in this book and when you do Tara''s deep insights, her practical action steps and her real life stories will set you free."
—Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings
 
"Luminous, deep, and practical. I''ve asked every woman in my all-woman company to put  Playing Big first on their reading list. We want to make a difference in the world, we want to live full-on, and we know that our passion is powerful. We need this!  Playing Big is like a torch that shows you where assumptions you''ve been holding could be holding you back -- even if you think you''re using your power to the fullest."
—Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map and The Fire Starter Sessions
 
"For anyone who''s afraid they don''t have what it takes to live a bigger life, Playing Big shows you unquestionably do. Thought-provoking coaching and exercises help us access our existing inner resources by grounding us in reality and possibility instead of fear. Mohr''s goal is not about getting the next promotion (although that may come too) but something much more lasting and limitless: true empowerment from the inside, and the capacity to change the world."
—Patty Chang Anker, author of Some Nerve
 
"When I was at a critical career juncture, I took Tara''s online leadership course and it was transformative. After just three sessions, I had decided to quit my current job, start my own consulting practice, and follow my passion around developing leadership for large-scale social impact. While I''d already had some success, Tara''s work was instrumental in helping me find my own inner calling, unhook from other''s expectations, and start playing really big. Her book captures the key lessons of the course in a compelling format, and is sure to help countless women and social entrepreneurs achieve even greater impact in the world."
—Heather McLeod Grant, coauthor of  Forces for Good
 
"This is  the how-to manual we''ve been waiting for. Tara cuts through our playing small strategies with every brilliant word and liberating idea.  This book will be passed from friend to friend, given as a graduation gift, and lauded in women''s lists of ''books that changed my life.'' May this powerful book help us create a more just and happy world."
—Jennifer Louden , author of The Woman''s Comfort Book and  The Woman''s Retreat Book
 
"If you''ve ever struggled (as I have!) with feeling like you have so much more to offer the world yet are unsure of the next step, Playing Big will give you the road map. Chapter after chapter I felt Tara was speaking directly to my soul... there''s not a trick for hiding and playing small that she misses. Tara''s tools will help you excavate your voice, clarify your mission & message, and fuel yourself renewably from the inside out. Playing Big is a must read for every woman with a dream."
—Manisha Thakor, CEO of MoneyZen Wealth Management
 
"There''s nothing small about Tara Mohr''s Playing Big. Deeply insightful, well-researched, and action-packed, Playing Big is destined to become a part of the canon on women''s leadership, right alongside Sheryl Sandberg, Brené Brown and Arianna Huffington."
—Whitney Johnson, author of Dare, Dream, Do
 
" Playing Big enables the modern day woman at ANY age to face her career and life with a sense of curiosity and confidence rather than fear and regret."
—Sarah Brokaw, author of Fortytude
 
"I have been searching for a book to recommend that will solve the epidemic in women of thinking they''re not enough.  Playing Big is that book. It''s an answered prayer for me and women all over the world. Smart, practical, profound, and heart centered—Tara Mohr nailed it"
—Kate Northrup, author of  Money: A Love Story

"Tara has her finger on the pulse of what holds too many women back—and, even better, she''s got concrete tools to help us face the fears that keep us from seizing our potential. If you’re ready to look inside and claim your power and potential, this is the book to read, and the partner to work with."
—Rachel Simmons, author of The Curse of the Good Girl
  
"I have seen hundreds of women with big dreams get stuck behind wall of fear just as they are about to create something great. Playing Big holds the key to gently and firmly pushing down the wall so that no woman is held from her rightful destiny."
—Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work
 

About the Author

Tara Mohr has an MBA from Stanford and an undergraduate degree from Yale. Mohr has been a columnist with the Huffington Post since 2010 and has been featured on the Today show, in MORE, ForbesWoman, Harvard Business Review, Whole Living, The Financial Times, and numerous other media outlets. She lives in San Francisco.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

INTRODUCTION

You know that woman. She’s a good friend or a colleague from work. She’s smart and insightful. She gets it: Whatever the situation at her company, or in her community, or in the news, she has great ideas about what needs to happen. She’s high integrity too—no greed, no temptation to corruption, no big hunger for power. And she’s funny, warm, and trustworthy.

Sometimes, you listen to her talk and think, if only people like her were in charge . . .

So here’s the thing: The way that you look at that woman? Someone looks at you that way. In fact, many people do. To us, you are that talented woman who doesn’t see how talented she is. You are the woman who—it’s clear to us—could start an innovative company or pull one out of the dysfunction it’s in, improve the local schools, or write a book that would change thousands of lives. You are that fabulous, we-wish-she-was-speaking-up-more woman.

Playing Big is about bridging the gap between what we see in you and what you know about yourself. It’s a practical guide to moving past self-doubt and creating what you most want to create—whether in your career, in your community, or in a passion you pursue outside of work. It’s not about the old-school notion of playing big—more money, more prestigious title, a bigger empire, or fame. It’s about you living with a sense of greater freedom to express your voice and pursue your aspirations. It’s playing big according to what playing big truly means to you. And if you don’t know what playing big looks like for you yet, the ideas and tools here will help you discover that.

This playing big is not about climbing the ladder within broken systems. It’s about learning how to use your voice to change those systems. It’s not about “opting in” or “opting out” according to our society’s current thinking around what women should and shouldn’t be doing. It’s about turning away from those narrow labels, refocusing your attention on your longings and dreams, and playing big in going for them.

This book was born out of a frustration and a hope. The frustration? Brilliant women are playing small. The hope? That the world could be changed—for the much, much better—by our greater participation.

Nisha was one of my first coaching clients: in her early thirties; long, flowing black hair; always in bright colors that brought to life her beautiful face. Nisha was a midlevel program manager at a nonprofit organization. She was known there as a quiet, organized administrator, good at implementing others’ plans.

Yet in our coaching sessions, I got to know a very different Nisha. It turned out she was an avid learner who spent much of her free time reading the important journals and books related to her field. She was a creative thinker, full of ideas for how her organization could improve its work by incorporating the latest thinking in the industry. I happened to be very familiar with Nisha’s employer and, after just a few meetings with her, could see that she was thinking about the future of the organization in a way that was at least as sophisticated and smart, if not more so, as the CEO and board were. But no one in Nisha’s workplace knew any of this. Nisha’s ideas and gifts were hidden. They were not making it out of her head and heart and into her organization.

Among my coaching clients, friends, and colleagues, I kept encountering women like Nisha: brilliant women who couldn’t quite see their own brilliance, women who were convinced their ideas needed more perfecting or refinement or time before being put into action, or women who—for reasons they weren’t sure of—were not moving forward toward their greatest aspirations and dreams. It bothered me, a lot, because I wanted to live in the better, more humane, more enlightened world I knew these women could create.

There was Elizabeth, another client, a dynamic former magazine editor who had adopted four children from abroad. She wanted to write about her experiences of adopting. “Tara,” she said to me, “I feel like I’ve learned so much about what motherhood is really about and what life is all about. Yet everything I know and have learned from the past years of raising these children—well, when I look out into the world, it’s like it’s invisible. No one is talking about it.” I read Elizabeth’s blog posts—essays she wrote quickly in between carpool shifts and swimming lessons. Her writing was powerful, and she was indeed talking about motherhood and love across borders in new and important ways. I wanted to see her perspective in newspaper op-eds and on bookstore shelves. And yet despite Elizabeth’s many connections in the publishing industry, she was stuck—held back both by bouts of insecurity and by a sense of overwhelm and confusion about the practical steps to take.

And then there was Cynthia. Cynthia was a director of sales at a Silicon Valley tech company. Super sharp and hardworking, Cynthia also had an incredible gift for mediating conflict. But Cynthia was relatively bored in her job—having worked in the same kind of role for over a decade and never having enjoyed it much to begin with. There was, however, another arena of the company’s work that she was excited about, exploring a new line of business she felt could be very successful and bring customers a valuable new service. When we talked about Cynthia pitching to the senior leadership that they invest in such a position and put her in it, she couldn’t believe she’d be able to get that kind of special opportunity.

Each of these women had the potential to be shaping her organizations and communities in a much more significant way than she was. Each had the talent, intelligence, and training to easily achieve the dream that felt out of reach. And each one was missing out on a lot of joy, fulfillment, and professional success as a result. I believe that most of us are in some way like these women—not seeing how possible our big dreams are, not seeing our own capabilities, and not yet having careers as successful, easeful, and exhilarating as we could.

I was personally frustrated by what I was observing in my clients. Nisha had powerful ideas and critiques that could help move her organization forward. Cynthia was the kind of dedicated, ethical, collaborative leader we need more of in the corporate world. Elizabeth’s writings about service and mothering told an important story too hidden in our cultural conversation. I wanted to see these kinds of brilliant women and their ideas impacting our world. So for me, the question of how to get their voices out was personally urgent. It was also professionally urgent, because they were coming to me for help.

My coaching practice became a laboratory to discover: What would enable these women to create the careers and lives they really wanted? In coaching sessions, the rubber meets the road. It’s not enough to give advice that sounds good; together with the client, you’ve got to produce the change that the client is seeking.

I needed to figure out: What had to happen so that Nisha could become a respected leader in her organization? So that Elizabeth’s writing would reach people beyond her friends and family? So that Cynthia could do work that energized her each day?

There are the conventional answers: more confidence, good mentors, some accountability around the steps toward their goals. I quickly learned by working with clients that none of those things helped much. Tactics and tips—how to write a résumé, interview, negotiate, speak in front of a group—didn’t do the job, because women couldn’t use all that new knowledge if the inner foundation for taking risks, overcoming fears, and dealing with self-doubt wasn’t in place. Helping women develop relationships with mentors was mostly ineffectual, because without the tools to trust their own thinking and be discerning about mentors’ advice, they’d get lost in others’ opinions and depart from the course that was truly right for them. The conventional supports didn’t go deep enough; they didn’t get to what was holding women back or what they needed to move forward.

What did help women play bigger was a set of concepts and practices that changed how they thought about themselves and the kind of action they took. It was a set of movements—away from listening to the voice of self-doubt within and instead listening to a voice of calm and wisdom; away from perfectionism and overplanning and toward a new way of taking quick action; away from worrying about what other people thought and toward a focus on their own fulfillment; away from self-discipline and toward self-care. All those pieces worked together to create an inner infrastructure that supported women to go for their dreams boldly, to both overcome internal blocks and better deal with external challenges.

The same set of tools and practices helped diverse women play bigger: young women and older ones, corporate women and start-up entrepreneurs, women in business, the social sector, and the arts. After a few years of coaching women, I took the work I’d been doing with my clients and created a group experience, a leadership program called Playing Big. From its first session, it received rave reviews. Today, over one thousand women from around the world have participated in the program. Some have applied the work to playing big in high-powered careers, others to a pursuit outside of work, like a creative passion or volunteer activity. I’m proud that participants report that as a result of the program, they


   • feel more confident.
   • share their unique ideas, questions, and critiques more frequently and more boldly.
   • are less afraid of criticism.
   • are more powerful communicators.
   • can tap into their inner wisdom more easily.
   • feel a greater sense that they have and are “enough” to do what they want to do in their careers.
   • see themselves as a part of a global network of women seeking to make positive change.
   • are playing bigger according to what playing bigger means to them.

As a result of those inner changes, they’ve made the career moves they desired, received promotions and raises, launched and grown their businesses, and taken on leadership roles. They started changing their communities—and the world—in the ways they longed to but didn’t think they could before. In this book, you’ll learn what they learned so that you can walk your own path to playing bigger.

My Story

In some sense, this book began its journey into being more than twenty years ago. I was a fifteen-year-old, short-shorts wearing, Red Hot Chili Peppers–loving, wannabe rebel teenage girl. On the first day of a new school year, I waited through chemistry lab (nothing could have bored me more), Spanish class (so-so, I thought), precalculus (hated it), and, worst of all, P.E. to get to the promised land: English class. English class: the realm of characters and stories and poems and big ideas—everything I loved.

Little did I know I was about to be very disappointed.

Our teacher gave his first-day-of-school introductory speech, leaning against a decaying metal desk with his arms folded and resting on his big belly. “This year we’ll explore the theme of ‘Coming-of-Age’—the transition from childhood to adulthood. We’ll read diverse stories of coming-of-age: Black Boy by Richard Wright, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Lord of the Flies by William Golding. We’ll uncover the universal themes and challenges around this rite of passage.”

At first, I just noticed that I didn’t feel very excited about any of the books. Then I realized why. None of the books were about a girl coming-of-age. At fifteen years old I knew that girls’ coming-of-age and boys’ coming-of-age made for very different tales. I wanted a story I could relate to.

Then I noticed none of the books were written by women either. I thought to myself, here was this grown-up telling me we were going to learn about this subject fully, while we were really hearing only male voices. I knew, even at fifteen, that my English class was not the only place like this. In a thousand ways in my life, I could see, boys’ and men’s stories were being told as the whole story.

I felt a kind of pang in my chest and a rush of energy. I knew I had to do something about this. I went over to the teacher’s desk after class. “Mr. Haverson? Um, I wanted to ask you about something. I noticed that none of the books are by women, and none of them are about girls coming of age. It seems . . . unbalanced.”

“These are the books we have. I don’t have the budget to purchase any other books,” he told me.

“Well, how could we raise the money?” I heard myself ask back.

Within months, a committee had been formed, a few thousand dollars raised, and a curriculum plan approved. The following year, new books written by women and featuring female protagonists were added to a number of English classes taught at the school.

That was the beginning of what has become a lifelong calling for me: to recognize where women’s voices are missing and do what I can, in my corner of the world, to help bring them in.

After high school, I went off to Yale and experienced in a different way how women’s voices were missing. Large portraits of the school’s leaders graced the walls, but those portraits were never of women. The tenured faculty was mostly male, and none of the books required for English majors to read—not one—was written by a woman. Whenever someone got up to give a speech to the student body, it wasn’t someone who looked like me. Women were new arrivals—present for only thirty of the school’s nearly three-hundred-year history. They had been allowed to join the institution and participate in it, but there had been no inquiry into how to significantly adapt the institution so that women and men would thrive equally there.

When I graduated from college, I teamed up with two other women to create an anthology of Jewish women’s writings about the Passover holiday, enabling families to add women’s perspectives to a liturgy that—despite being about freedom and oppression—traditionally included no women’s voices.

A few years later, I surprised my friends and family by deciding that my next move would be to get an MBA. I wasn’t the typical business school candidate, but I was eager to learn the tools to grow mission-driven organizations to significant scale. Stanford Business School allowed me to do just that. It also gave me a kind of crash course on the culture surrounding women in the corporate world—a culture which all too often resembles that of a frat house. At both Yale and Stanford, I saw very clearly that it’s simply not enough for institutions created by and for men to open their doors to women. Much more needs to change—the norms, the practices, and the face of its leadership—to create a place where women can truly succeed.

In all those experiences, I found myself longing for an environment more equally shaped by women and men. And there was a second kind of change I wanted to see as well: that all the expertise about the external world these institutions had to offer would become integrated with wisdom about our inner lives, the internal reality that shaped external events.

I had an unusual childhood. I was seven years old before I learned that not all children analyzed their dreams each morning at the breakfast table with mom and dad, diagramming the archetypes on a yellow pad, next to the bowl of oatmeal. When I came home with a childhood complaint like “Johnny teased me at recess,” I was usually met with “What do you think is going on at home for Johnny that would cause him to tease other kids?”

My parents weren’t psychotherapists, religious fanatics, or even hippies. They were regular people who believed that understanding oneself and others was an essential part of living a happy life. From an early age, I was encouraged to learn about psychology and spirituality from all traditions—Eastern and Western—and apply tools from both areas to my daily life. Our house was full of books on those subjects and I grew up reading them. By the time I was a teenager, I was attending spiritual retreats and hanging out in the psychology section of the bookstore in my free time. I used meditation, journaling, and therapy to help me survive the storm of adolescence—and they helped, a lot.

In a thousand ways, my parents taught me that what happens in our inner lives shapes our outer realities. At the same time, I navigated a very different landscape: school. At home I was being told all human beings were equally miraculous creations of the divine, but at school there was a lot of ranking of kids, classes for the “gifted” children and, therefore, the presumably not-gifted ones. At home I was taught that people’s inner lives and unconscious motivations drive their behavior, but the teachers’ lessons on presidents and prime ministers certainly never discussed their inner lives. I couldn’t figure out why at school we weren’t talking about how Lincoln’s early childhood impacted his decisions, or why we never discussed the underlying psychological dynamics that led to every escalation to war.

Throughout my childhood, I often felt that I was living with one foot in each of two very different worlds. One world was about thinking, the other about emotion. One was about knowledge, the other about intuition. One was about what we can see and touch and hear, the other was about the inner life that created that tangible reality.

As I sought to weave together these two worlds, I moved between what I’d now call times of playing big and times of playing small. During some periods, I could remember what I truly loved—writing, the arts, spirituality, entrepreneurship, creativity, women’s empowerment, and being a part of a community—and I could build a life that was about those things. But during many years, I was lost from all that. My education helped develop my intellect, but the artist in me became lost along the way and I neglected my spiritual life. I became a bit cynical about personal growth work, taking my cues from the academic culture around me rather than listening inward to what I knew to be true. Worst of all, I developed some fabulous “critical thinking” skills but then applied them to my own dreams for my future, playing the skeptic instead of being an ally to myself.

In my early thirties, I started to feel a disconnect from self that felt too painful to ignore, and I entered a process of significantly changing my life so that it reflected my real aspirations, both for my life and for my work. I also began to look closely at my own self-doubt and find my path to a more confident way of moving through the world. Many of the tools that helped me became tools I later used with my female coaching clients and in my leadership programs for women—tools now included in this book.

Helping Women Play Bigger

After business school, I went to work at a major foundation with two billion dollars in assets. One of the things I loved about the foundation, and one of the reasons I’d taken the job there, was its many strong women leaders. Nearly every part of the foundation was run by a talented, hardworking woman. But the very top position of CEO had been held only by men for the one hundred years of the organization’s existence.

While I was there, a new CEO was brought in. He was a young man who didn’t have experience managing large organizations but had a great deal of talent, charisma, and potential. Over the months that followed, his newly hired team launched major new initiatives quickly, without much research, testing, or planning, and allocated major dollars to them. The senior women who had been slowly rising in the ranks as they painstakingly gained more experience were overruled and passed over for promotions. On more than one occasion I heard those senior men ridicule the hardest working of those women as having no personal lives and call those who were most resistant to their decisions “difficult.”

I was stunned, and I was learning. I watched men move massive amounts of money and see their projects realized—even though they hadn’t done much homework on them—while highly qualified women with important ideas to share stood on the sidelines both because they weren’t listened to and because they didn’t feel those ideas were ready for prime time.

Growing up in the eighties and nineties, I had been told that women had equal opportunity in the workplace now, that young women like me had nothing to worry about, that if anything still stood in the way of women’s career advancement, it was only the inevitable tension between work and family. Yet what I saw happening at my workplace was something else entirely—something that had to do with power, bias, confidence, and risk-taking.

As I talked with friends about what was occurring at my organization, I heard similar stories, again and again, about theirs: stories about charismatic male leaders at the helm, men who made bold but often rash decisions. Their organizations too were full of talented, hardworking women in lieutenant and other senior roles. Those women worked longer hours, were more attuned to the details, and had more experience and knowledge. Yet they were not leading at the highest levels, both because they were not being put in positions of leadership and because they weren’t sharing audacious ideas or initiating big plans. Their employers were utilizing their strong work ethic but not their brilliance—their unique ideas, insights, and talents.

While I loved many aspects of my work in philanthropy—my colleagues, applying my MBA education to a social mission, and working with inspiring philanthropists—after a few years, I started to have the sense that it was not what I wanted to do long-term. I faced the truth that many of the real dreams I had for my career—to do something highly creative, entrepreneurial, and in the personal growth field—had gotten buried during my time in college and graduate school.

I’d been exposed to the field of coaching while at Stanford Business School and was intrigued. Coaching was a way to work with people’s inner lives but with a focus on action and impact. That was just what I was looking for. I got trained as a coach and I also started blogging about personal growth. For a couple of years, my life looked like this: wake up at five; write a blog post; jump on the train; go to work at the foundation all day; and then, around six, head over to the office that I rented for a handful of hours each week to meet with my coaching clients.

It was around this time that I started to notice again and again brilliant women around me playing small. I first saw it in my clients, women like Nisha, Elizabeth, and Cynthia. I also saw it in my friends. One day, I was on a Saturday-morning walk with three of my girlfriends. I listened as Jessa talked about what she thought needed to be done to fix the dysfunctional school board in her kids’ district. I listened as Britt talked about some questionable practices happening in her company. I listened as Abby told the most remarkable story about a game she’d created for her nieces and nephews to help them learn about their family history. I listened as the whole group shared their sorrows and hopes about the news headlines of the week. I listened to them talk, in awe of their intelligence, their ideas, and their character—their honest concern for others and their commitment to doing the right thing. I kept thinking, these are the kind of people I wish were in charge: hardworking, wise, ethical women and men who care a great deal about people.

I said something along those lines—that I wished Jessa would join her school board, that Britt would get into a leadership role at her company, that Abby would write a book about parenting. They chuckled in response to my suggestions. They thought of themselves as amateurs pontificating, not as people whose ideas were ready for a larger stage.

Then the thought struck me: On that particular Saturday morning, around the country, there were thousands of groups like ours—women walking and talking about what was wrong with the status quo, what was needed, women sharing alternative visions of how things could be. Those ideas and critiques were being left on the sidewalks and trails, heard only in intimate conversations among friends. Leaps of imagination, important ideas and questions, and visions for change were not making it to the bigger stages where they could be heard and where they were desperately needed.

Of course, I was so attuned to this phenomenon of women playing small because I was struggling with it myself. All the support, education, and success I’d had somehow had not added up to confidence. It hadn’t left me eager to pursue my dreams. Instead I was petrified of failure, embarrassment, not being good enough. As a result, I was not doing the work I longed to do. I’d grown up seeing again and again how women’s voices were missing from the world, and now I was seeing the inner side of that dynamic—what caused women, including myself, to hold back our ideas and our voices.

A couple of years into juggling part-time coaching with full-time employment, I decided to leave the foundation. My blog, which had begun with thirty-eight friends and family subscribers, had grown to a readership of a few thousand women. I started to think about bringing the coaching work I did to the larger audience of these readers, and I wanted to know what kinds of workshops or courses would be most useful to them. So in a survey, I asked them, “What’s the biggest challenge in your life?”

I offered a big multiple-choice list of answers, a list of the challenges we typically talk about as looming large in contemporary women’s lives: work-life balance, stress, not enough time, financial problems, health challenges, relationship issues. But then, because of what I’d seen in my clients, my friends, and myself, I added one more challenge to the list: “I’m playing small.”

When the survey responses came back, “I’m playing small” was what the largest number of women deemed their most significant problem—yes, more than work-life balance, stress, or relationship issues. There was indeed a larger phenomenon reflective of what I was observing: Bright, full-of-potential women were playing small, and they were aware of this and they didn’t like it. In fact, many saw playing small as the most pressing challenge in their lives.

In some sense, what I’m now doing is the very same thing I did that day in high school when I decided to try to change the English curriculum. I’m working to bring forward women’s voices where they are absent, because I believe those voices will help us create a better world.

On Doing Inner Work

A year ago, I was appearing as a guest on a live morning news show. Fewer than ten minutes before my airtime, the producer of my segment walked in. “Here’s the introduction the anchors will be using for you,” she said. She showed me a bright purple piece of paper with a script that said, “Recent studies show that even though women account for 51 percent of middle managers in the US, they are only 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Our next guest says there’s no one to blame but ourselves. . . . She says women tend to do things that undermine us and our work. Welcome, Tara Sophia Mohr!”

Uh-oh.

In any moment of the day, I would not have looked forward to standing up to the producer, and I especially wasn’t in the mood for it in my early-morning, pre-TV nervous and exhausted state. But I heard myself think, I’m not going down like that.

I figured this was a news show, so I’d try an accuracy angle. “Oh, you’ll want to change that because it’s inaccurate,” I said casually. “I’d never say that women have no one to blame but themselves for those statistics, because many external factors—like discrimination—lead to those numbers.”

“Oh, okay . . . ,” she said reluctantly. “I can ask the executive producer about changing it, but it’s doubtful . . .”

I could tell that if I wanted this to get changed in the next ten minutes, I needed to supply an easy solution. “How about if we change it to ‘Our next guest, Tara Sophia Mohr, says women can do something to change those numbers’?” I asked her.

“Hmmm, I’ll check,” she said.

They changed the introduction.

The script the producer originally showed me perfectly reflected our collective confusion about the question of “external” versus “internal” barriers to women’s career advancement. Our usual cultural conversation divides the challenges into two categories: unfair external barriers to women’s advancement that women are victims of (discrimination, bias, poor work-family policies, pay disparities) and internal, psychological things that women “do to themselves” and for which women are therefore to blame. A rather ridiculous debate follows: “Are the internal or external barriers more important? Is this all women’s responsibility or is it not ‘their fault’?” The producers’ assumption was that if we were talking about what women do to undermine themselves, “it’s women’s fault.” It was “their choice.”

I see it differently. Centuries of women’s exclusion from political, public, and professional life have had many effects. Some of those effects were external: legislation, formal policies, pay disparities, lack of legal protections, and the denial of women’s basic rights. But inequality of men and women has also left internal effects in us. Over generations, it shaped how we think of ourselves and what we see as possible for our lives and work. It shaped our fears—fears of speaking up, of rocking the boat, of displeasing others. It caused women to develop a number of behaviors that enabled them to survive in environments where they had no legal, financial, or political power—behaviors like conflict avoidance, self-censoring, people-pleasing, tentative speech and action.

While we’ve done a great deal of work collectively, especially over the past forty years, to remove the external barriers to women’s empowerment, we have not taken the same close look at the internal legacy of inequality and how to change it. We have a lot of inner unlearning and relearning to do.

The tools you’ll acquire in this book are for playing bigger in the ways you most want to; but at a deeper level, they are tools for unlearning the lessons that centuries of women’s marginalization have left in each of us.

About the Book

People often ask me, “Where does the Playing Big material you teach come from?” It’s a hybrid. Some comes from my business school training. Some comes from twenty years of learning about psychology and personal growth. Some comes from the wisdom of the spiritual texts I grew up reading. Some comes from the lessons I’ve learned on my personal journey. And of course, much comes from what I learned working with women to help them play bigger.

What often felt like a disjointed split in my childhood between heart and mind, intuition and education, right brain and left brain, has become a unique blend that I bring to my work. There’s the MBA in me and the spiritual seeker. The part of me that loves intellectual rigor and the part that loves poetry. So in these pages, you’ll learn tools as tactical as research-based communication techniques and as soulful as a two-thousand-year-old spiritual teaching about fear. I teach both because both can help you play bigger.

We’ll begin by talking about what most fundamentally gets in the way of women playing big. It’s the voice of self-doubt, of “not me”—the voice inside that is sure you aren’t the one to lead, to write the book, to take on that bigger role, to speak up in the meeting. It’s the voice that tells you that you aren’t qualified enough, smart enough, experienced enough, good-at-x-enough . . . to ever play big. I know you are familiar with this voice, and you probably have some sense of how self-doubt has held you back in your work or in your personal life. In chapter 1, you’ll learn what to do when you feel insecure or self-critical, so that all those thoughts no longer get in your way. I love teaching women this because it’s actually relatively easy to change how we relate to self-doubt—once you have the right understanding of your inner critic and the appropriate tools to use the moment it acts up.

Once you’re not listening so much to your inner critic, you have the opportunity to listen to a very different voice within. After working with thousands of women to help them play bigger, I know this: Every woman has at her core unfailing, perfect wisdom. When you have a dilemma, the wise part of you knows what next step is right. When you are feeling confused, the wise part of you has clarity. When a problem seems overwhelming and complicated, the wise part of you has a simple, elegant answer. I call this core your inner mentor, because it’s like having an advisor and supporter inside your own mind—and therefore available to you around the clock. In chapter 2, you’ll learn how you can access and start taking direction from this part of yourself.

Learning how to listen to your inner mentor instead of your inner critic is the first major movement toward playing bigger. Playing big doesn’t come from working more, pushing harder, or finding confidence. It comes from listening to the most powerful and secure part of you, not the voice of self-doubt.

Then we tackle the other obstacles that most commonly hold women back from playing bigger. First: fear. Whether it’s fear of failure, of standing out from the crowd, of conflict, or of greater visibility, fears hold back most women from sharing their voices and ideas. And yet, not all fear is problematic. In chapter 3, we’ll cover two types of fear. One kind of fear keeps us playing small; one kind is an essential ingredient for playing big. The task before us is to shift out of that limiting type of fear and welcome the positive kind. You’ll learn how to distinguish between the two and what to do when each one arises.

Next we turn to unhooking from praise and criticism. Attachment to praise and avoidance of criticism keeps us from doing innovative, controversial work and—more simply—from following the paths we feel called toward, whether or not those around us understand or approve. And powerful women are often met with hostile criticism, so we need to learn how to receive it and not be paralyzed by it. We also need to learn to interpret feedback so that it propels us forward rather than hurting or immobilizing us.

Then we look at what we’ve all learned in school and how it can stand in the way of our playing big. I started to notice a surprising phenomenon in my work with women. I expected that women who excelled in school would also excel in their careers. After all, wasn’t school—particularly college and graduate school—preparation for the work world? Yet again and again I saw that women who were stars in school ran into major, self-imposed walls in their careers. As I dug deeper, I understood that they were struggling because school cultivates and rewards a particular way of working that not only doesn’t help us play bigger but often gets in the way of our playing bigger. Chapter 5 is about how to leave behind the good-student habits we are conditioned in for our many years in school and that we need to unlearn in our adult lives.

Product information

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Videos

Help others learn more about this product by uploading a video!
Upload video
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who bought this item also bought

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
713 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Misha
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must read for all women who want more
Reviewed in the United States on March 24, 2019
This is not just another self help fluffy book. She really investigates the thought processes that holds women back and why. I am not a knee jerk feminist and do not agree women are at a complete disadvantage (some things yes, but not EVERYTHING), but social conditioning... See more
This is not just another self help fluffy book. She really investigates the thought processes that holds women back and why. I am not a knee jerk feminist and do not agree women are at a complete disadvantage (some things yes, but not EVERYTHING), but social conditioning is areal thing that forms tendencies from a very young age that doesn''t help us in the long run. And we feel it!

She does a great job of untangling thought patterns and behaviors that work against playing big. Specifically, the good girl at school and fear of criticism analysis was extremely poignant.

One critique is that Tara seems to reinforce these tendencies in her examples of "callings." Her examples of callings almost exclusively included "helper" work: caring for older people, social work, selling jewelry, aesthetics. And many were of women leaving more traditionally powerful professional jobs (lawyer, PA) to do this work. What about the women who just want to be real estate moguls? In other words, there were no examples of profit-driven work which I think is a shame and a larger issue in feminist thought. Women feel a need to justify making money as a goal by itself.

The woman who refused a promotion was strange to me too. Why not take the promotion and do the work from within the organization? That was an example of martyrdom to me.

In any case still 5 stars due to the really important, very developed ideas I will be implementing in my own journey. Thanks!
19 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Jill Hinton Wolfe
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of the most useful books I’ve read in a long time
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2018
I loved this book, and wish I could give it to every woman I know — every woman I meet on the street! Each chapter offers a wealth of thoughtful perspectives and practical ideas for reaching your most authentic, realized self. I wish there was a workbook that went along... See more
I loved this book, and wish I could give it to every woman I know — every woman I meet on the street! Each chapter offers a wealth of thoughtful perspectives and practical ideas for reaching your most authentic, realized self. I wish there was a workbook that went along with it!

I particularly liked the chapters on working with your inner mentor & identifying your inner critic (both concepts I had heard of before but not described so effectively), as well as getting unhooked from praise and criticism. But I could see other chapters being more valuable as I move forward in the work I was called to do, particularly the Leaping chapter.

I’m a small entrepreneur who has found some success, but there are things I want to do in this world that are so much bigger. As I finished this book on my 43rd birthday, I see this book being the turning point on which everything from here on out changes — for the good of myself, my community & the world. Thank you, Tara, for writing this book. You’re a game-changer for generations of women. <3
9 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
gustafeaux
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
YES.
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2017
I highly recommend this book. This is a book that asks the reader to examine long held feelings and beliefs about herself, and about what it means to be a woman in life and society. Unlike many other books for women, the author, Tara Mohr, encourages us to search for our... See more
I highly recommend this book. This is a book that asks the reader to examine long held feelings and beliefs about herself, and about what it means to be a woman in life and society. Unlike many other books for women, the author, Tara Mohr, encourages us to search for our inner wisdom with effective tools and guidance to turn inward for personalized solutions and stability instead of subscribing to a mantra developed by someone else for someone else. This is a game changer of a book.
5 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Heather K
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book is a must read for any woman!
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2017
This book is a must read for any woman! It should be taught in middle school or high school, even. The book is full of every day scenarios and can be used as a guide for overcoming any situations where we get in our own way. With sections at the end of each chapter... See more
This book is a must read for any woman! It should be taught in middle school or high school, even. The book is full of every day scenarios and can be used as a guide for overcoming any situations where we get in our own way. With sections at the end of each chapter dedicated to journal prompts that get you thinking and help you make your next big move.
7 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
T2Reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hard to believe so much wisdom captured in one easy to read book
Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2017
I can''t say enough good things about this book. The author shares what she''s learned in her own experience and her coaching practice. If you are ready to make smaller or bigger changes in your life, you''ll find support here. The chapter on Communication alone is worth the... See more
I can''t say enough good things about this book. The author shares what she''s learned in her own experience and her coaching practice. If you are ready to make smaller or bigger changes in your life, you''ll find support here. The chapter on Communication alone is worth the price of the book and more. Also the concept of Leaping - concrete steps you can take in the next two weeks to get feedback from your intended audience. The ideas are presented in straightforward and practical way, but I''m constantly amazed at how much great, actionable info is packed into this one volume. I gifted this book to two friends and got very positive reactions from both.
3 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Sonia
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I loved her very grounded and rational approach
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2017
I want to give this book to EVERY woman I know. Often, I suspect that these kind of books are going to be a bunch of recycled advice I''ve read before. This one isn''t. I guess we probably know much of it, or maybe have heard it, but Tara manages to un-earth some stuff... See more
I want to give this book to EVERY woman I know. Often, I suspect that these kind of books are going to be a bunch of recycled advice I''ve read before. This one isn''t. I guess we probably know much of it, or maybe have heard it, but Tara manages to un-earth some stuff that''s new, relevant and practical. Mostly, I loved her very grounded and rational approach. She is spiritual, psychological and doesn''t give pat advice. It''s well-researched and wonderful. Highly recommend.
5 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Foo Fish
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
which was awesome. I got to meet Tara in person when ...
Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2018
I''ve read this book half a dozen times and I also took the Playing Big Course, which was awesome. I got to meet Tara in person when she did a speaking engagement, and she is very genuine. This book was a game-changer for me - I''ve bought several copies for my friends and... See more
I''ve read this book half a dozen times and I also took the Playing Big Course, which was awesome. I got to meet Tara in person when she did a speaking engagement, and she is very genuine. This book was a game-changer for me - I''ve bought several copies for my friends and colleagues, as I hope it helps them as much as it opened my eyes and started me on a much different, bigger, and better path in my life and career. This book is amazing. It really resonated with me. The information was practical and useful. Some of it was things that you could just do right away to change, and others were ways of thinking about things in new ways. Highly, highly recommend.
6 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
L. Schreiber
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Learning What it Means to Play Big!
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2019
Playing Big is one of the most inspirational, powerful and actionable books on overcoming the fears that hold us back that I''ve ever read (and I have read a lot of them)! I came upon Tara Mohr in an incredible interview with her and immediately had to buy this book. And it... See more
Playing Big is one of the most inspirational, powerful and actionable books on overcoming the fears that hold us back that I''ve ever read (and I have read a lot of them)! I came upon Tara Mohr in an incredible interview with her and immediately had to buy this book. And it did NOT disappoint! It was even more empowering then I imagined it would be. She spurred me to really start thinking about what playing big looks like for me, and how to begin working through the demons that have held women in particular back for most of their lives. I could feel the author''s compassion and felt like she was a personal cheerleader throughout the entire book. Prepare to be inspired and ready to take action!
One person found this helpful
Helpful
Report

Top reviews from other countries

4 children + 2 hairy babies
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Simple, profound, pragmatic.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2017
This must be the 10th copy of this book that I have bought. I keep giving it away to friends, family, colleagues who are brilliant women and yet who continue to be more loyal to their fears than their deepest desires. Playing Big is not about ''climbing the ladder'' or ''doing...See more
This must be the 10th copy of this book that I have bought. I keep giving it away to friends, family, colleagues who are brilliant women and yet who continue to be more loyal to their fears than their deepest desires. Playing Big is not about ''climbing the ladder'' or ''doing loads of public speaking'' or ''shouting about your strong opinions''. It''s about you finding and creating your biggest self, whatever that means for _you_. I have been using the tools now for about 2.5 years and have brought about remarkable change in my life. I am very lucky I chanced upon it in a railway station bookshop at a time when I was feeling seriously underused and overlooked in my job, confused about my role of mother, and conflicted as a wife. These days, I''m Playing Big(ger) and immeasurably more fulfilled for it. Thank you, Tara Mohr.
40 people found this helpful
Report
Helena Holrick
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A brilliant book to help you go beyond your own limitations
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2018
What a great read / listen - i started on Audible, and then purchased the paperback. A must read for anyone wanting to make a better life for themselves and others. Playing Big is more about staying compassionately focused on what you want to do, and taking that into more...See more
What a great read / listen - i started on Audible, and then purchased the paperback. A must read for anyone wanting to make a better life for themselves and others. Playing Big is more about staying compassionately focused on what you want to do, and taking that into more of what you are called to do. This book has many exercises and much wisdom that will get you beyond yourself and your hesitation/fears. Well written, and well read, it''s an excellent companion for anyone stepping into a new role, taking on a task that feels like it will thwart them. It''s packed with tips and good stories / examples of others who have Played Big to inspire you too. An excellent inspiring book.
10 people found this helpful
Report
Helen Joy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I love this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 30, 2018
I love this book, it has motivated to take action on my internal negativity and banish those fears of what ‘might’ happen if I take a risk. Well worth buying if you hear the inner critic on a regular basis and are looking for ways to banish them.
11 people found this helpful
Report
Jayne P
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good book overall
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 31, 2019
The good - I liked the feminist angle. The chapter about communication very useful indeed. Book is ideally suited to someone wanting to set up their own business. The not so good - felt like I was being sold a retreat type programme. Some of the stories not believable at...See more
The good - I liked the feminist angle. The chapter about communication very useful indeed. Book is ideally suited to someone wanting to set up their own business. The not so good - felt like I was being sold a retreat type programme. Some of the stories not believable at all. Would have loved some practical advice on how to deal with others who don’t like women who play big!
7 people found this helpful
Report
Christine brown-quinn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Outstanding read offering concrete strategies on connecting with your purpose & playing BIG
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2021
Truly an inspiring read with impactful journaling questions and summaries at the end of each chapter. Packed full of insights & tips on how to connect with your purpose & be as BIG as you''re meant to be! Christine Brown-Quinn Amazon #1 Best Selling Author Unlock Your...See more
Truly an inspiring read with impactful journaling questions and summaries at the end of each chapter. Packed full of insights & tips on how to connect with your purpose & be as BIG as you''re meant to be! Christine Brown-Quinn Amazon #1 Best Selling Author Unlock Your Career Success/Step Aside Super Woman
Report
See all reviews
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Explore similar books

Tags that will help you discover similar books. 10 tags
Results for: 
Where do clickable book tags come from?
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Pages with related products.

  • coaching business
  • the big island
  • gifts for working mom

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale

new arrival Playing lowest Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak 2021 Up, Create, and Lead online sale