Tara Sophia Mohr | Playing Big

Tara Sophia Mohr, Playing Big. Find Your VOICE, Your MISSION, and Your MESSAGE.

Can You Picture It?

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Good Morning!

Sometimes women find it hard to envision how an experience like the Playing Big course actually happens, day to day – especially if you haven’t been part of an online course before. So today, I’d like to share how the course works.

I designed the Playing Big program with these guiding principles in mind:
 

Community

When I was taking major steps toward my own playing bigger, being connected to other women who were also on that path – discovering or following their callings, speaking up more – really helped me. I realized that, dear as my friends and family were to me, I needed a slightly different community than what I already had. I designed playing big as a group program because I see again and again that women start playing bigger with the greatest ease, speed and momentum when they are connected to other women on parallel journeys.

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Practical & Experiential

This program is practical and the curriculum keeps you regularly applying the new concepts and tools. I designed this as a longer experience so that you’d have time to implement what you learn. For example, you won’t just learn information about how you can communicate more powerfully. You’ll get structured guidance from me for day-to-day practices for developing new communication habits over the week that we are diving into that topic. That’s how change really happens – supported, repeated, small but meaningful actions.

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Flexible

Playing Big is flexible so you can fit it into your busy schedule, whether that means listening on a commute or doing a quick practice while waiting in the school parking lot. Though there is a logical order to the modules, if you need to skip a module during a busy time, you can absolutely jump in with us in the next module and return to what you missed much later when you have time.
 

Only the most powerful and effective tools

I’ve spent so much time working with women around their playing bigger. Over the years, I’ve seen what doesn’t really work, what only works for some women, or what usually gets so-so results. Everything in the Playing Big program is there because it consistently brings about remarkable results for diverse women. You are getting the most powerful and effective material only.

With that context, here are the nuts and bolts of how the program works:

   •  We have a lovely course website for participants only and an online discussion forum for sharing successes, learnings, and fostering connection

   •  Every week, we start a new module on a rich topic like “Discovering Your Inner Mentor,” “Unhooking from Praise and Criticism” or “Getting Wise About Fear.”

   •  Each week, we have a 90-minute session together with teaching from me, Q&A, and exercises that get you living the learning right away. You can attend our video calls LIVE, or you can watch or listen to a recording.

   •  Participate in our sessions via phone, tablet or computer from anywhere

   •  In addition to the calls, you’ll get video/audio lessons, readings, worksheets, and more

   •  If you want a smaller group experience, you can join an optional small group with a few other women in the course. I provide small group agendas for going deeper with each topic.
 
I love what program graduate Jodi had to say about how it all fits together…

jodi“This Playing Big thing is amazing! … and unsettling, too. Here’s the thing, I listen to the calls, do the handouts, and listen to the recordings (many times!) — I think I’m getting it, I feel like I’m getting it. So I go about my day. And then I have a moment in my day when I {know} I’m getting it. And I realize that I am that girl that I have been trying to be. I am leaning into the better part of myself. O. M. G.” ~ Jodi Riddick, Playing Big Alumna

Registration is open – and closing this coming Monday! You can get all the details and sign up here.

Warmly,

Tara

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Understanding feedback

Good morning!

Today I want to share with you a short audio that I recently recorded for Emerging Women. They have a fabulous series called “Power Practices” of 10-20 minute audios. What I love about this series is that each one offers something you can do in your own life – a “practice” that can help you day to day.

The Power Practice I share here is a powerful one for recovering from difficult feedback of any kind, whether you got that feedback last week or ten years ago (and it still haunts you). It’s also great if a fear of criticism that might come your way is keeping you playing small.

Just grab a pen and paper, and hit play to try this exercise.

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And, I’m so thrilled that I’ll speaking at Emerging Women Live 2016 in San Francisco. It’s an incredible conference that I’ve spoken at before that I always treasure attending. You don’t want to miss this event.

This is the last month to save $400 on the registration! Click HERE to get your spot.

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Playing Big: What You’ll Learn

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Good morning!

Today, I’m excited to share some of what you’ll learn in the Playing Big course, and what will be different in your life and work as a result.

If you aren’t yet familiar with the Playing Big model, you’ll be introduced to a whole new world of concepts and tools for your daily life.

If you’re already familiar with the Playing Big concepts through the book, the course will enable you to more powerfully apply them to your life, put your playing big center stage, and get support from me and our community.

You’ll get:
   •  in-depth material on each of the major topics
   •  live coaching, discussion, Q&A sessions with me on every topic
   •  new material and my latest thinking on the topics, not shared anywhere else
   •  support, learning and camaraderie from our global community of participants
   •  worksheets and exercises to help you apply the tools
   •  fun ways to keep your playing big front and center when life gets busy, from inspirational art downloads to daily reminders to keep you on track

Let me take you through an overview of the course modules …

Quieting the Inner Critic

Just imagine for a moment – really imagine – what you’d be doing if that voice of “I’m not ready yet,” or “I need to get a PhD in that topic before I can do that,” or “I don’t really know what I’m talking about here,” wasn’t present anymore? Through our work together, you’ll understand how the inner critic skillfully functions in your life (whether in the domains of career, body image, parenting, romantic relationships, finances, or your creative life). You’ll learn what to do in the moment when self-doubt arises, to ensure that it doesn’t hold you back.

Discovering Your Inner Mentor

After doing the Inner Mentor work, you’ll have an inspiring vision for where you are headed. Whenever you are feeling confused, stuck, or overwhelmed, you’ll be able to access a calm, wise voice within you that has a very different perspective on the tough situations you are facing, and that can show you the way forward. I’ve witnessed this happen for thousands of women, and it can absolutely also happen for you. We also cover the latest research on women and mentoring, who you should seek out as a mentor, and the ways in which effective mentoring relationships for women are dramatically different from what the typical advice says.

Unhooking from Praise and Criticism

After this module, you’ll be a lot less dependent on praise, and a lot more comfortable with criticism and potential criticism. This frees us to speak up, share our ideas, be controversial when it’s needed, and in doing all that, make positive change. You’ll also come away with a new and liberating approach to giving and receiving feedback.

Your Callings

This is one of my favorite topics to teach about, because we have so many misunderstandings around our callings. And yet with some simple ideas and tools, women can start experiencing the huge joy and fulfillment that our callings bring. If you aren’t sure what your callings are, this module will give you a very specific way to figure that out, with coaching from me to help if you get stuck. If you already know what your current callings are, you’ll learn tools to fulfill them in even more satisfying and bold ways.

The End of Hiding

In my work with women, I started to see some very clear patterns in the ways brilliant women hide and stall on playing bigger. These hiding strategies aren’t obvious. They often look, from a distance, like really great career moves. In this module, you’ll discover the unconscious ways you are hiding and start stepping forward instead.

Leaping: The Art of Imperfect Action

Most women I know hold some false assumptions like these: that the more they prepare for something important, the better that something will go. That the more polished their work is, the more favorably it will be received. These assumptions are misleading (if not entirely wrong), and stem from how women and girls are conditioned to act in ways that don’t serve us. In this module, we’ll take a rigorous look at our default good-girl, good-student ways of working and discover a bolder, quicker, more experimental way of working called leaping. Leaping gets us playing bigger right away.

Navigating Negotiations and Difficult Conversations

Do you dread negotiation conversations, feel like you aren’t a great negotiator, or simply know you could be a much better one? In this module, I share a powerful framework that can help you love negotiations and difficult conversations. (It really is possible.) A negotiation isn’t only the once a year conversation over your salary, or client rates. In playing big, we explore negotiations as any conversation in which the parties have differing goals and interests. Negotiation is a skill we all need for our careers – and lives – every day. In Playing Big, you’ll learn and practice a positive, collaborative, step-by-step framework for negotiations, with support from me and from our guest expert on women & negotiation.

Communicating with Power

You’ll learn how you can come across as more competent, compelling and confident in your written and spoken communications. You’ll also learn about important new research on gender and communication in the workplace, and what it means for you. We cover what speech and writing habits to let go of, and what new language you can use instead. I’ll also support you in a day-by-day habit change process, so that your communication is truly more powerful by the time this module comes to a close.

Playing Big while Caregiving

I’m the mother of an active toddler, and am also involved caring for my parents. The past few years have been a deep dive for me into the dance of pursuing my aspirations, while at the same time, showing up in the ways I want to for those I love. In this module, we’ll look closely (and realistically!) at how you can weave together caregiving and playing big.

Let It Be Easy

We’ve all been there: we tried to accomplish something simply out of willpower and self-discipline, failed to do so, and then ended up disappointed in ourselves. This module is about alternatives to self-discipline. I’ll take you through setting up a “success architecture” of supports and routines that allows you to achieve any goal in a sustainable, kind-to-yourself-way.
 
 
This is a snapshot of our course modules (you can review the full curriculum HERE), but I hope this gives you a sense of some of the ways your work and life will be different after Playing Big.

If you’re ready to play bigger, we would love to have you join us!

Love,

Tara

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Playing Big Registration is Open!

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From the age of about 5 or so, I would sit down with my mom at the breakfast table in the morning and, over oatmeal and orange juice, we would analyze my dreams. My mom believed dreams were important, and that even at a young age, a person could start to understand themselves better through them.

And if I came home complaining about a kid at school teasing me, my mom would say, “What do you think is going on for her at home that would cause her to tease other kids?”

I was raised in a house where I was encouraged to look at my life, and the world, through a psychological lens. I grew up immersed in learning about the inner life, psychology, and spirituality from all traditions.

But that was only one half of the worldview I was being taught. The other half was very different.

I went to school in competitive academic environments. There, I was being educated in a culture that sharply contrasted with the one I’d learned about at home. School emphasized mind over heart, learned knowledge over intuitive knowing. I went to Yale, I went to Stanford Business School. I learned how to play by the world’s rules.

This is my hybrid path, and it informs the approach I now use throughout my work. Mind and heart. Practical but not cynical. Knowledge and wisdom. Outer action and inner reflection.

The tension between two worlds that was often difficult for me to navigate when I was growing up is no longer a tension, but a fusion. I’m so happy that this fusion is one of the things people find most helpful in my work.

I know this: When you mix inner work with practical skills training, you get power.

Being alive in this remarkable time of new possibilities for women, we benefit so much from doing inner work in areas like unhooking from praise and criticism, clarifying our callings, and learning to manage self-doubt and fear.

But if we only have those tools, we can’t play to our full potential. We also benefit tremendously from learning “skills for world-changing” — such as how to communicate effectively, negotiate without apology, deal with feedback (and pushback), and get our messages out.

Registration opens today for the Playing Big program, my course for women who want to play bigger in their work and their lives.

The Playing Big course offers this hybrid of both inner and outer work. It includes powerful training to manage self-doubt and fear, connect with your inner wisdom, and uncover your right next steps. It also includes training in essential skills like negotiation, communication, sustaining personal motivation, and innovation – how to test, hone and scale anything new – whether a new career direction or a new offering in a business.

Playing Big is for you if you want to make a greater impact, and experience more joy and fulfillment in your work. It’s for you if you want to experience less fear, stalling, and self-doubt around going for your big aspirations, and instead, get going on what you most what to contribute and create.

In my next couple posts, I’ll be sharing about our program curriculum and how we combine inner work with skills training to help you play bigger.

To learn more about the Playing Big program and to get your spot, click here.

Love,

Tara

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Falling in Love With Motherhood

I’ve written here before about being reorganized by motherhood – about the profound and difficult transition from a former life to a new one that came with my entry into parenthood.

Like most people, before I had a baby, I’d heard the phrase a thousand times, “You can’t imagine how much your life will change when you become a parent.”

Not only could I not imagine it, I couldn’t even locate what they were talking about. I’d lived a largely autonomous life before, where my plans and desires shaped my future. I didn’t know what it was to be changed in ways I didn’t foresee or choose.

Now, I look in the mirror and see a body and face altered, worn by the daily intensity of the past few years. I know those skin-deep changes are a metaphor: minute by minute, caring for a little person, I’ve been changed, gradually but significantly.

And here I am, two and a half years into motherhood, and three and a half years into the changed life that began even earlier, with a body overtaken by pregnancy.

On the one hand, I am still being rewoven, reorganized by motherhood. On the other hand, something has settled. The feeling of turmoil around that reorganization has quieted. The feeling of the old me being pulled and kneaded into something new has diminished. The weather in my emotional and mental sky feels less foggy, more serene and consistent. And WE ARE ALL SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT now. Hallelujah.

It was a few years of crossing a long bridge to get here, but now I’m here, on the other side: a mother. A parent. One who has in some strange way been removed from the center of the circle, to become one who nourishes the circle, who stands shoulder to shoulder with others, along the perimeter, to give life to what is now being grown in the center.

Still me but a different me.

And just as things are starting to feel a little calmer, we are about to turn everything upside down again, with a new baby coming in December.

Last night, there I was, walking up the stairs to our front door, feeling the curve and bounce of my growing belly. I was so happy to get home, to see the exuberant toddler I’d missed all day, to hear his sprint to the door, and to meet the face of my husband – the face that after almost twenty (oh my god) years, still grounds me and makes everything in me sigh when I see it. That face that says and means, home.

In this chapter of my life, the blessings of family life feel immense. Our routine is working. I’m on this side of the bridge, on land again. And I am falling more and more in love with this little boy who has given me the gift of an expanded heart.

I could still cry at some of what has been lost. Even in this moment of gratitude for what is, I could cry about it. Not sadness exactly, just change, just emotion, just the intensity of life.

But mostly I just feel like watching, watching all the beauty that is here before me now.

Love,

Tara