Tara Sophia Mohr | Playing Big

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

It’s time for a new conversation about women’s careers

Leaning in or leaning out. Opting in or opting out.

Something has been missing from our collective conversation about women’s careers.

It’s the foundational step upon which everything else depends.

It’s the step in which a woman courageously sets aside what mom, dad, Aunt Sue, her boss, her thesis advisor, and the lady down the street think of as success. It’s the step when a woman asks herself what she really wants.

It’s the step when even if she hears “I don’t know!” she doesn’t turn away from the question, but listens to the whispers and follows the clues to find the answer.

It’s the step when she defines her dream for her life.

I don’t care if she plays big on the world’s terms. I want her to play big in going for that dream.

The answer might be, “I want to leave corporate life and become a therapist. It might be, “I want to close my therapy practice and work for a business.” It might be, “I want to take the kids on a year-long adventure abroad.” It might be, “I want to mentor a young person who really needs support.” It might be, “I want to take the crumpled pages out of the file drawer, and this year, write that book.”

True playing big can be defined only from the inside out. It might look like something the world recognizes as “playing big” or it might look like something other people would mistake as playing small. What defines playing big is not prestige, title, salary or even size of impact. It’s about going for your real dreams.

In a world where definitions of success were developed without women at the (conference) table, it’s no surprise that a woman’s playing big will not always align with those traditional images.

I’ve worked with women for whom playing big is getting the promotion, and I’ve worked with women for whom playing big is turning down the promotion, to pursue the work that means the most to them instead. I’ve worked with women for whom playing big means becoming financially independent, and I’ve worked with women for whom the most radical playing big choice is not – for once in their careers – being driven by financial factors.

What’s fascinating is that the core process, the steps taken, are the same for these women. It’s always about learning which voice inside to listen to, how to sustain motivation and clarity, and how to take quick, experimental action that gets us moving forward.

So here is a question I invite you to think about today: if we define playing big this way, as courageously going for your dreams, what might playing big mean for you? What dream hasn’t been attended to or respected so much by you and could use some love?

In what area of your life would you love to play bigger?


The Playing Big book is available for preorder now. Learn more about the book HERE. When you preorder the book, you’ll get all kinds of bonus goodies from me: videos to support your playing bigger and access to live Q&A calls where you can ask your questions and learn from other women’s stories.
Click here to order at Amazon.com,
here to order at Barnes & Noble.com,
here for Powell’s,
here for Books A Million,
or here for Indiebound.

Then email your receipt to pbpreorders@taramohr.com to get your bonuses!



The Book Is Here!


THE BOOK IS HERE! Labor of love, product of lots of courage, trust and hard work — it is here.

Over the past six years, I’ve made it my work to help women create the careers and lives they desire, through my coaching practice and the Playing Big course.

All of the tools, practices, and ideas that have made the most dramatic difference in the lives of the women I work with are now all in one place, for you, in the Playing Big book, published by Penguin.

As you read, you’ll go on a journey–to redefine playing big on your own terms and learn how to quiet self doubt, move past fear, and discover what I call your own “inner mentor.” You’ll learn how to unhook from praise and criticism, communicate more powerfully, and take immediate, experimental action in the service of your dreams. You’ll learn why I think there is no such thing as self-discipline, and uncover a more reliable source of motivation.

I’ve been so moved by what people are saying about the book.

“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.”
- Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, author, 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. 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, The Desire Map and The Fire Starter Sessions

I want to invite you to preorder the book today. When you preorder, you’ll receive:

1. The book in your hands, as soon as it is published, on October 14th.
2. The day you order, you’ll get access to a Playing Big video series from me in which you’ll learn:
-my 3-step process for how to identify your calling and start living it today
-how to communicate with power
-my favorite approach for overcoming fear
3. When you preorder you’ll also receive access to a live Q&A call with me, where you’ll get to see the tools in action and learn from other women’s stories

Those of you who know a little about publishing may know that, for lots of different reasons, preorders are *very* important for a book’s success. So when you preorder, you not only get access to the videos and call. You are also supporting the book reaching more women – and I sincerely appreciate your help with that.

So here’s what to do: Click here to order at Amazon.com, or here to order at Barnes & Noble.com, or here for Powell’s, or here for Books A Million, or here for Indiebound.

Then email your receipt to pbpreorders@taramohr.com to get your bonuses.

Thank you! Here’s to women across the globe playing much, much bigger – for the sake of their own fulfillment, and for the sake of changing the world.

Playing Big Bookcover
Preorder Promo Video

Preorder Tara Mohr's new book and you'll receive 3 training videos & a live Q&A call with Tara

  • Icon ArrowPreorder your copy of Playing Big by clicking on one of the retailers below
  • Icon ArrowEmail your receipt to pbpreorders@taramohr.com to receive your free gift

  • How I Started to Write

    “Write, just write.”

    That was what that whisper of a voice inside of me kept saying.

    It was the summer of 2008. I was enrolled in my training to become a coach, and therefore was spending a lot of time being coached by other students in the program, so that I could experience the coaching tools as my future clients would.

    That meant that quite often, I was being asked big questions: What do you really want? What does your intuition say to you about your next step? What would bring you greater happiness?

    Almost always, when I turned inward to ask myself these questions, the answer was the same: “Write, just write.”

    It was so simple and so consistent I bored all my fellow student coaches.

    But I wasn’t bored. I was surprised, and hesitant. I didn’t adore this answer. I wanted and expected the answer to be “quit your job and start your coaching practice.” “Redecorate your home” or “take a sabbatical in Europe” also would have been fine.

    But the answer wasn’t any of those things. When I really listened inward, and didn’t just spit out the line my mind wanted to be true, the answer was there: “Write, just write.”

    That felt a little mysterious, a little scary, because I hadn’t written much besides white papers and grant proposals in a long time, and I knew that wasn’t what the voice was talking about. I didn’t know what that voice wanted me to write, or why. I did have the sense it wanted me to sit down at the desk, alone, and dive deep into a sea.

    And so I wrote. I kept my job, my salary, my regular old life, except that at 5am I’d get up and write, before heading to work.

    At first it was clunky, stilted, and so difficult, but I began writing about the ideas that mattered most to me—ideas about how we could live more compassionately and mindfully, about doing work with meaning, about the miraculous in our midst. Many days I didn’t know what to write about, so I wrote about Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving and I wrote about Mexico when I visited Mexico. Sometimes, I knew no other way to get started than to look around the room and write about what I saw in front of me—the pale yellow wall, the canopy above the bed, the bougainvillea.

    Quickly, though, I fell deeply in love with writing. I’d start out in a grumpy mood, all stiff and irritable inside, and end the hour or two of writing in a totally different place—uplifted, softened, cleared out of stuck thoughts, resentments, anxieties.

    (I think this is how other people feel about going for a run?)

    That inner voice was right. Writing was the answer to all the questions: What would bring you greater happiness? What do you really want? What does your intuition say to you about your next step?

    Six years, 424 blog posts, 43 poems, and one book later, writing is at the center of my life.

    Sometimes, something deep within us knows a lot more than our conscious minds do.

    Next week, I’m going to tell you about my book, Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message, which is coming into the world very soon. It’s a labor of love, and I’m so proud of it.

    “Write, just write” is a part of how it came to be. And it begs the question for all of us: what is that whispering but persistent voice inside of you saying? And how can you follow its instructions even when they are mysterious to you? And how can you heed it, even as you care for the rest of your life?

    Love, Tara

    LAST BUT NOT LEAST! I have a new Facebook page now, and I’ll be posting all kinds of updates & good stuff there. If you’d like to be connected on Facebook, please click HERE and “Like” the page.

    Click to tweet: Sometimes, something deep within us knows a lot more than our conscious minds do.

    Some guidelines for finding that voice inside:

    Give yourself a quiet and relaxing space—take a walk somewhere beautiful, go to a favorite spot in your home and read some poetry or literature that calms you, put on favorite music that moves you emotionally, or immerse yourself in water—hot tub, bath. These are all good ways to slow down and connect with yourself a little more.

    Then just check in: “what do I really want?” or “what’s important for me right now?” or any simple question like that. Use a question that begins with “what,” not a “why” question or a “how” question or a “yes/no” question.

    Then notice what surprising answers immediately arise. Listen to them.

    Watch out if any inner critic voices, fears, or “shoulds” are creeping in, and gently let those pass by as you again ask the question. It might help to put your hand on your heart or your belly and imagine asking for the answer that comes from there.


    LAST BUT NOT LEAST! I have a new Facebook page now, and I’ll be posting all kinds of updates & good stuff there. If you’d like to be connected on Facebook, please click HERE and “Like” the page.

    NPR Marketplace Interview

    Good morning!

    This weekend, I was on NPR’s Marketplace Weekend. Host Lizzie O’Leary interviewed me about my recent article in Harvard Business Review, which is now the #1 most read piece of the month at HBR.

    The article is my deeper dive into that statistic we’ve all heard so much about – that men apply for a job if they meet 60% or more of the qualifications, but women tend to apply only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. The standard advice is for women to get more confident…but I think it’s more complex than that. The article is HERE.

    And the NPR Marketplace interview audio clip is HERE.

    In the spirit of the HBR article, a question for the day: is there any aspect of your life or career where you are by default “following the rules” or assuming the rules are set in stone, when they just might not be? When advocacy, coloring outside the lines, or not following the rules would better serve your goals?


    a code for living

    Last week, I read these words from Marianne Williamson

    One theory of death is that, upon our passing, we experience our lives again backwards. Whatever I gave or did not give to others, I will experience what they experienced — times ten. That would mean that for every laugh — either a small chuckle or outright guffaw — every smile that Robin Williams caused to occur in others, he is now experiencing tenfold. That would amount to bliss unending. May it be so.

    I was so struck by the beauty of this idea. Whether it’s true or not, it’s a potent code for living. What if you lived knowing every experience you gave to another person would be experienced by you – times ten – at the end of your life?

    I have been asking myself that as regularly as I can remember to this week and it changes every interaction I bring it into.

    The first day after I read these words, an acquaintance was coming home from a friend’s funeral out of town, and mentioned her trip to me. Because of Marianne’s words, I was thinking not my usual thoughts (“What is the right thing to say to her? How can a person ever say something good enough in these moments? How much should I ask about it or not ask about it?)

    Instead of all that mental chatter, I was highly attuned to the fact during our conversation, she was going to experience something – a feeling. Was I giving her an experience that I would want returned to me, times ten?

    I quietly turned inward and tried to sense what would provide a feeling a comfort and love in that moment. The answer I sensed clearly within myself was to listen, with great attention. And so I mostly listened, but in a more inviting, spacious, focused way than I otherwise would have.

    Instead of the five minute conversation we could have had, she talked about her experience a lot. She unfolded it before a present witness. I could tell that because I’d paused to try to to intuit my way to the most loving response – though we can never know for sure what that will be for another human being – I’d done something more helpful than if I’d spoken from my shoulds, or from my patterns of how to respond.

    The news these past weeks has been so horrible. This morning I couldn’t stop thinking how we’ve been given the instructions. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

    May we begin to practice that simple task. A life’s worth of emotional growth, of spiritual development comes down to this. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Do not give anyone an experience that you are not eager to receive, tenfold, at the end of your journey.



    Click to tweet: Do not give anyone an experience that you are not eager to receive tenfold.