Tara Sophia Mohr | Playing Big

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

A Special Gift for Those You Love

One of the things that’s been most sweet for me this week is talking to women about the people they plan to give the Playing Big book to.

“I’m giving it to my niece.”
“I got one for my daughter-in-law.”
“I bought one for each woman on my team at work.”
“My dear friend and I are going to read this together.”

So much fun in sharing something you are excited about with another woman in your life – and then getting to talk about it! And so much beauty in how we are supporting one another in playing bigger.

So I thought I’d do something fun around that.

For today and tomorrow: when you order three or more copies of the book, I’ll send you signed bookplates, personalized to the woman you want to give them books to – with their names and a note.

You get a little holiday shopping done early – and you’ve got a great gift to give to some women you love.

Here’s how it works – forward your receipt to taramohr@taramohr.com and include 1) your mailing address and 2) the names you’d like inscribed in the books.

This little inscription shop closes at noon PST on Friday October 17th, so send us your receipt by then! Click here to get your copies from Amazon.com, or here from Barnes and Noble.com and here from Indiebound.com .



“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, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love.


The book is officially out!

I’m in a gorgeous little hotel in New York City – a sanctuary of beauty and stunning design.

There’s a bookstore around the corner, a great bookstore – the kind that makes you grateful bookstores are part of civilization, the kind of bookstore that serves really good soup in its cafe, the kind that makes you want to wander and wander through every corner and read everything.

Today, I will be walking over to that bookstore to see my book, out in the wild.

Because today is the first day the book will be out on shelves in the world. Still trying to wrap my head around that.

It’s a busy day. I’ll be visiting Hoda and Kathie Lee this morning (you can tune in at 10:38am), then off to Levo League for a taping for their site, then to sit down with Jonathan Fields. Cuddles with my little guy in between (yes, of course he’s coming to the Today show!)

So today is the first day you can order the book with an easy click and get it shipped to you right away.

I’m so honored that Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love, had this to say about the book:

“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.”

May Playing Big be a companion and source of strength and transformational new ideas to you – the same way so many beloved books have been to me in my life. May it help you shine more of your light.

Click HERE to get the book!



Last few days…

Good morning!

Hubbie, baby, and I got into to New York City at almost midnight last night – our first long flight with the little guy. He was a champ, and – to make life extra-interesting for his parents- – decided to spring his first tooth mid-flight!

I love New York City so much – my soul is in a perpetual happy dance state while I’m here, and arriving last night, something in me couldn’t stop saying, “Home sweet home.”

Tomorrow I’ll be speaking at the Emerging Women Conference, and then I head into a week of book tour activities – speaking engagements, Today Show (Tuesday), and lots of other good stuff.

Last week my husband asked me what kind of vacation I might like to take when all this is done, and I thought about it, and said back to him – I feel like I am already having my ideal vacation – my book tour! That’s the truth. Being in New York, talking to people about the ideas that matter so much to me, and (let’s be honest) some professional hair and make up sessions too? Honestly, that’s my kind of fun. It takes a little courage for me to say that, but it’s the truth.

The Playing Big book will be officially out in the world on sale beginning next Tuesday – so exciting! These are the last few days to preorder a copy of the book and get the special bonuses – two Q&A calls with me (you can call in live or listen to the audio recording) and some other goodies. Click HERE to learn more and get your book!

Sending love,


Hooked vs. Unhooked

In Playing Big, I write about “unhooking” from praise and criticism, and how being “hooked” by praise and criticism so often holds us back from playing big.

If you didn’t get to check it out yet – you can read my New York Times Op-Ed about this subject HERE. 

Today, I want to go deeper with the topic.

Being hooked by praise and criticism takes a few different forms, each paralyzing in its own way:

1. Dependence on, or addiction to praise –  causing us to do only those things that are likely to get us gold stars and others’ approval

2. Avoidance of praise – not wanting to stand out from the crowd – even for positive reasons, which causes us to self-sabotage, to not do our best work

3. Fear of criticism – which causes us to not innovate, share controversial ideas, pursue interests where we’ll be fumbling beginners or fail along the way, or do anything that makes us visible enough to be criticized!

Which of these three is currently the primary way you get hooked–praise-addiction, avoidance of praise, or fear of criticism?

The goal, in my view, is not to become impervious to praise and criticism. That would be impossible. It would also be inhuman, and would force us to deny an important part of ourselves. The part of us that wants to have mattered to others, to have been of service, is a part of ourselves I believe we should respect. The part of us that wants others to receive us with appreciation, with enthusiasm – the part that wants to be loved by those around us? I think that’s a very tender, real, part of us, a part to honor too.

The point is not to become disconnected from feedback, to have such a thick skin that we can’t feel it or hear it, but rather, to become “unhooked” by it, to not be run by it. The point is to be run by our own wisdom, and to be able to use feedback effectively, in the service of our callings and our aspirations, along the way. The goal is to not have others’ ideas about us distract us, silence us, or take us on an emotional roller coaster.

Here’s are some of the big differences between being hooked and unhooked:

 Being hooked by praise and criticism  Being unhooked by praise and  criticism
I look to feedback to tell me about my  talent, my merit, or the worthiness of  my ideas.  I look to feedback to give me  emotionally-neutral, strategic  information about how to most  effectively achieve my aims.
 I assume that feedback tells me  something about me.  I know that feedback can only tell me  about the people giving the feedback.
 I see criticism as a problem, a sign I did  something wrong, or as a failure to  anticipate others’ reactions.  I see criticism as something that simply  comes with playing big and with doing  important work.
 I know that some kinds of criticism hurt  me terribly, and I do my best to avoid  those.  I know that the criticism that hurts me  most hurts because it echoes what I  believe about myself, and I use painful  experiences of receiving that kind of  criticism as opportunities to look at and  change my own beliefs.
 Praise is the sundae.  My own fulfillment, service to others,  and self-expression is the sundae, and  praise is a lovely cherry on top.

Where are you on that spectrum of being hooked or unhooked? You may be in difference places on that spectrum in your work, your personal life, your creative life. Take stock: where are you now? What would be possible if you were more unhooked?


Playing Big is coming out in just a about a week! That means there aren’t so many days left to get those special gifts I’m giving to readers who preorder. Click HERE to learn all about that.




A must-read for every woman with a dream.” – Manisha Thakor

Don’t try to change the world before you read this book.” – Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

My New York Times Experience

Many of you know, I am in the middle of an incredible whirlwind – having an op-ed essay in The New York Times.

The essay is about women’s relationship to praise and criticism, and – I’m thrilled – it’s one of the “most emailed” and “most tweeted” articles from the paper this week. My phone, my inbox and my social media have been full of responses to the piece. I’m breathless trying to keep up, but breathless in a very happy way.

When I first got the note from my publisher saying The Times was interested in considering an essay from me, I was elated…and afraid. My inner critic railed and raged. It had some funny lines:

“You have to sound really grown up to write for the Times and your writing doesn’t sound grown up.”

“People who write for the Times have that very smooth, articulate thing going on with their writing – that thing you don’t have.”

“This is impossible – with the topic they’ve asked you to write about it, it just won’t work. If they had asked you for another topic, you might write an essay good enough for them to publish, but with this topic you are doooomed.”

It said all these things. I felt afraid and nervous and even panicked at moments.

But I sat down to write anyway. Everything depends on that – “but I sat down to write anyway.”

It was hard to write and revise and rewrite with all those voices of doubt.

It was also just hard work. It was challenging to find that place of overlap between my voice and a newspaper op-ed voice. It was tricky to change from writing to women to writing about women. And it was a process to figure out how to write honestly and boldly, because I felt like I was exposing my ideas in a space that felt much less “safe” than the one here on the blog. The Op-ed page of The New York Times is certainly not a sheltered space.

So for a couple weeks, I wrestled. I worked hard. And the fear coursed through my body as I did so. A voice in me was sure – utterly sure – this piece wouldn’t be “good enough” to be published. (Yes, that’s just how that voice phrased it.) And another part of me was sure, very sure, I was going to give it my best shot.

It’s funny, because so many people misinterpret my work as being about trying to help women be more confident. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think confidence is a luxury I’m not going to wait on, and I don’t want you to wait for it either.

I think we need to act in spite of self-doubt. We need to know the inner critic voice can be there, ranting and raving, and we don’t have to take direction from it. We can let another part of ourselves lead us.

There is no other way to find out how ready you really are to take your seat at the table. There is no other way to find out how much your ideas, your voice will be welcomed by its right audience.

I know for me, when it comes to relationship moves, or telling or not telling about something, or making a change in my personal life, I listen to that inner sense of ready or not ready. But when it comes to playing bigger in sharing my voice, my ideas? I don’t take direction from my own assessment of what I’m ready for, because I’ve found a misleading voice of fear yelling “NOT READY!” clouds the real answer.

For today, here’s my question for you:
What is that playing bigger stretch that doesn’t feel comfortable, that your mind has all kinds of narratives about (it’s not the right moment, it doesn’t feel ‘resonant’, I can’t do it right now because…)? What if you did it anyway, and saw what life had to show you about your own readiness, and what will return to you as the reward for action?

And I invite you to join me and hundreds of other women for a journey to support your playing bigger this fall. Preorder the book, Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message, and you’ll also get access to live calls, worksheets, and videos to support your playing bigger. All the details are HERE.