Tara Sophia Mohr | Playing Big

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

Reinvention

Good morning.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a new poem here. This is one I wrote recently, about reinvention.

Try reading it aloud to yourself, because poetry is meant to be read aloud – even if we are reading it alone.

Love to you on this Sunday morning,
Tara

***

Reinvention

There is always the possibility
of reinvention

sometimes born of longing
sometimes offered faintly,
like birdsong in your ear

sometimes—
born of pain.

Life is long for a reason.
So that every chapter swells
with a new chapter of us,

so there is time to change
the meaning of your name
to everyone around you,
and especially
to you.

When the name that once meant
tired girl comes to mean
she who rose again,

–then
art begins.

I met a woman
whose house burned down
and in the ashes
she found the blaze of her self.

Now it roars
still angry, sometimes uncontrolled,
always a blinding light.

If you see her on the street,
bow to her courage.
Stare back into her flickering animal eyes,
and know, she is fighting a fight.

-Tara Sophia Mohr

p.s. Playing Big Registration closes this Thursday – learn more here! And This Monday, join me for the Ask Me Anything Call to talk about your playing big.

12 Essential Steps for Playing Big

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Good morning!

As many of you know, my Playing Big course is now open for registration. This is my program for any woman who wants to play bigger in her work or her life.

Today, I want to talk about the 12 major topics we cover in the course. In my work coaching women, I came to see that making change in each of these areas was an extremely powerful – and I would say essential – step on the path to playing bigger. The women I was working with simply couldn’t stretch into their full potential – nor could I – if for example, we didn’t have tools to work with fear, or a way to quiet self-doubt, or a mature, consciously-chosen relationship to praise and criticism.

These are the twelve essential steps to playing bigger that we cover in the class:

1. 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 don’t know what I’m talking about here,” wasn’t present. In this module of Playing Big, we talk about the cause of the inner critic, how to distinguish it from realistic thinking, and what the research tells us around gender differences and self-doubt. Most importantly, you learn exactly what to do, in the moments when self-doubt arises, so that it no longer holds you back.

2. DISCOVERING YOUR INNER MENTOR

We’ve all had those remarkable moments when we could find our own voice, our own intuition, our own wise guidance. But for most of us, it’s hard to reliably access those best parts of us. After doing the Inner Mentor work, whenever you are feeling confused, stuck, or overwhelmed, you’ll be able to quickly access an incredibly calm, wise, loving voice within you that can show you the way forward.

3. GETTING WISE ABOUT FEAR

Of course, when we start playing bigger (or contemplate some playing bigger moves), fear comes up. In this module, we talk about what fear really is – from a physiological and psychological perspective. With our powerful model for working with fear, you’ll be able to differentiate between the two kinds of fear that arise when we start playing bigger – knowing which kind of fear to welcome and utilize, and which kind to skillfully steer away from (and how to do that).

4. UNHOOKING FROM PRAISE AND CRITICISM

I’m so proud that my work on women’s relationship to praise and criticism has been featured in venues ranging from TIME to The New York Times. After this module, you’ll be a lot less dependent on praise, and a lot more comfortable with criticism and potential criticism. I believe this topic is so important for women and that “unhooking” frees us to speak up, share our ideas, be controversial when it’s needed, and in doing all that, be our authentic selves and make positive change.

5. UNDERSTANDING YOUR CALLINGS

If you aren’t sure what your callings are, this module will give you a very specific way to figure that out. If you feel like you already know what your current callings are, this module will provide you with tools to fulfill them in even more satisfying and bold ways. With some simple ideas and tools, women can start experiencing the huge joy and fulfillment that our callings bring us.

6. THE END OF HIDING

In my work with women, I started to see some very clear patterns in the ways brilliant women were hiding and stalling on our playing bigger. These hiding strategies weren’t obvious. In fact they often looked, from a distance, like really great career moves. In this module, you’ll discover some of the unconscious ways you are hiding and understand how to start stepping forward instead.

7. TAKING LEAPS: THE ART OF IMPERFECT ACTION

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 is a very specific kind of action that meets six criteria and that gets us playing much bigger right away.

8. NAVIGATING NEGOTIATIONS AND DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS

If you avoid negotiations, or simply would like to be better at them, this is for you. In Playing Big, we explore negotiations as any conversation in which the parties have differing goals and interests. It’s an everyday skill. You’ll learn a positive, collaborative, step-by-step framework for negotiations. (I use it at least weekly, and it’s allowed me to get more of what I want and enrich my relationships at the same time.)

9. 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 learn about important new research on gender and communication in the workplace, and what it means for you.

10. PLAYING BIG WHILE CAREGIVING

In this module, we’ll look closely (and realistically!) at how you can weave together caregiving and playing big, even during intense caregiving periods. We’ll talk about strategies that have worked for other women. You’ll also get some tools to help you differentiate between old beliefs or assumptions about the caregiving/playing big conflict, and real constraints to respect and/or work around.

11. LETTING 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 allow you to achieve any goal in a sustainable, kind-to-yourself-way.

12. CONCLUSION AND INTEGRATION

In our concluding session, we weave major ideas from the course together, and identify your goals and priorities for the next phase of your playing big journey. We also have lots of fun celebrating our journey together!

After we finish, you get access to great bonus content on my journey and lessons learned, getting media attention for your work, and using the playing big model to support the girls and young women in your life.

If you want to learn more, come on over to visit the information page here. You’ll be able to read details on how the course works, hear from grads in your industry, and much more.

With love,
Tara



the story behind the pics

Hi5 Studio-Tara Mohr

I want to tell you the story behind these new photos.

I didn’t schedule a photo shoot. I didn’t pay attention to hair or makeup. I didn’t think through what I was wearing that morning.

I’ve been working at a beautiful, new co-working space – The Hivery. It’s an amazing place that supports women in creating the lives and work they desire.

In that community, there’s a lovely woman, Sophia Mavrides, who is a brilliant visual designer and photographer, and she offered to take these pictures as a gift.

I’m honestly a little surprised, and teary, that I could show up in a community where I felt comfortable enough to ask someone to help with photos – and help that very same day – so I could send them on to Design*Sponge for a quick turnaround. It was incredible that that person said yes. While I truly love (and believe in) paying other women for their work, it was also very special to do something outside of that transactional mode. And it was incredible to have such a beautiful place, a place lovingly created for women, to take those photos.

I was surprised to observe in myself an attitude that was essentially this: “I’m going to take some quick photos at the end of a rather hectic day, without any attention to my hair or makeup, and with no thought to what I’m wearing, because I have bigger fish to fry today, and I’d rather look like the real me anyway.”

That attitude in me is partly, I think, a fruit of motherhood but it was also about the place and way these photos were being taken. With the support of people who embrace me, value me for my contribution and make me feel at home, I didn’t have some of the self-objectifying and self-critical thoughts I’d otherwise have on a photo-taking afternoon.

I am an only child. I grew up with lots of friends, but not with what I would call community. Community – understanding what it is, finding the communities that are right for me, feeling a sense of belonging – continues to be a growth edge in my life.

It has been so moving to me to be a part of (and feel a part of – that’s the harder part, no?) this particular community at The Hivery, and to see how it is nurturing all the women who are a part of it, including me.

So what does this all mean, and why is it relevant to all of us?

1. Hurray for virtual and independent work, but don’t forget about the nourishment of community. It’s remarkable to be alive in this time when working independently and flexibly is easier than ever, but this wonderful way of working can also leave us isolated. Virtual communities can make a huge difference, and physical community undeniably gives something different and important. I think we often intuitively know if we need more community in our lives, and if you have that inkling, I hope you’ll listen to it and do something about it.

On that note: before this co-working space existed, I was part of a small, roving co-working group with a few other women entrepreneurs. A few days a month, we met in one of our homes, working in a shared space for the day, then breaking for a long catch-up, brainstorming, laughter-filled lunch. It was amazingly nurturing for all of us – personally and professionally. Any woman working from home can do that – for free – in her community. Just put out the call.

2. Hurray for doing inner work, but don’t forget about the importance of being known and loved by others. I’ve spent the last several years helping women develop the inner resources, the mindset shifts, and the daily practices for their playing big. This is so important, particularly as a corrective to the way women are socialized to put others’ opinions above their own, to people-please, and to turn outward rather than inward for guidance.

And yet, it never felt right to me to do this work primarily through one-on-one coaching, because I’ve always seen how women make the journey better when we do it together. Being seen for who we are by others matters. Learning from others and cheering them on helps us. This is why I believe so strongly (and have focused my time and energies on) group programs for women. Both inner work and supportive relationships are needed.

I know that many of you already live and breathe community in a way that I am eager to learn from. I know many of you, like me, find this an area with some edges and challenges. I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and wisdom in the comments.

Love to you –

Tara



bright skies

Good morning!

Photo courtesy of Hi5Studio, taken at The Hivery Coworking Space & Inspiration Lab

Once again I’m in New York City, traveling for work & fun with my husband and toddling little one. I don’t think I could love the hustle bustle of the city any more than I do.

And, at this time of year, added to that fluttering energy and ever-amazing people watching are bright blue skies, crisp winds, and blossoming trees. To me, it’s pretty heavenly.

This week I have an essay at Design Sponge, a site that I adore – all about creativity, women’s entrepreneurship, and stunning design innovation.

I’m writing about women Unhooking from Praise and Criticism – a topic that, as many of you know, is very close to my heart, and is so important for anyone doing creative work, or anyone engaging in that ultimate of art-making activities: crafting a life.

Please come visit the essay over at Design Sponge, and share your thoughts in the comments here.

(And – stay tuned for my next post about the behind-the-scenes story of the lovely new pictures in this article! It’s a good story.)

With love,

Tara

p.s. – A reminder! The Playing Big course is coming. Read my recent post about it, and SIGN UP to get the details HERE.

Oprah.com & A Special Reminder

It’s hard for me to put into words how much Oprah Winfrey’s work has meant to me over the years. It would take hours to tell you all the ways her shows, her example, and her teachings have shaped my life.

That is why it’s particularly sweet and happy-dance worthy for me to be sharing some thoughts about moving past the inner critic in Oprah’s Spirit Newsletter this week! You can read them HERE. 

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I also want to share a special reminder that the next session of my Playing Big course is coming up soon. This is my virtual (phone and online-based) course for any woman who wants to play bigger in her life and work. We cover a wide range of topics from quieting the inner critic, to discovering your inner mentor, to unhooking from praise and criticism, to becoming a more powerful communicator. If you think you might be interested in the course, please sign up here for our advance notice list. You’ll receive more details about the program and access to our early bird registration discount.

And last but not least, some inspiration for you:

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With big hugs,

Tara