Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Playing Big to Change the World

"[W]omen playing big is a large part of what is going to bring the world out
of the mess it’s in." ~ Tara Mohr

Tara Mohr is a wise lady, which is why I asked her to share a guest post with you about Playing Big. I know that many of you have big visions for a better world, and that some of you are looking for guidance about how to "play big," so that you can realize that vision. My hope is that Tara will be a resource for you either through her Playing Big program, her blog, her videos, or her Twitter feed. Enjoy!

Playing Big
by Tara Mohr

A few years ago, I sent a survey to my blog readers and asked them, “What’s the biggest challenge in your life?”

My blog readers are a lot like the readers here – intelligent, socially conscious women who want to contribute something of meaning to the world.

I listed a whole bunch of choices for that “biggest challenge”:

__I just can’t find enough time to do all that is important to me.
__I don’t have clarity about what I want.
__I have unsupportive people in my life.
__I have major financial challenges.
__Work-family balance.
__My work isn’t satisfying.
__Health issues.

…and so on.

Then, almost on a whim, I added one more potential mega challenge:

__I’m playing small.

When the survey results came back in, I was stunned. Across hundreds of responses, by far the most popular answer to “what’s your biggest challenge?” was “I’m playing small.”

I was stunned because we don’t often talk about our playing small, but it turns out that quietly, inside so many of us, there is a pained sense of playing small.

Of course, we could chalk this up to our unrealistic expectations of ourselves, or our culture’s focus on everything being big, bigger, biggest. But after working with hundreds of people around the work of playing bigger, that’s not what I’ve found. Their sense of playing small isn’t coming from misguided expectations. What I’ve found in people is a wise knowing that they are holding back their boldest ideas and most radical questions, that they are still playing the skeptic in relation to their own big callings to serve. Fear and self-doubt are still running the show, way too much of the time.

Those survey responses helped me see the need for a training that would help women play bigger, that would take them step by step through the inner work and tactical training needed to really start playing big. Teaching the Playing Big women’s leadership program is now the focus of my work. More than 250 women have been through the program.

Creating and leading Playing Big has allowed me to have my own “have fun, do good” journey. For me, helping women play big feels like a crucial kind of service because I think women playing big is a large part of what is going to bring the world out of the mess it’s in.

So, here are two questions for you to consider today:

How are you playing small in your work right now? Where are you betraying your voice, your gifts?

What does playing big look like for you? If you set aside the world’s definition, and get real about what playing big really means to you, what images or ideas come up?



Visit HERE to learn more about Tara’s program Playing Big, or check out her free 10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook HERE.

P.S. I have three blogging classes coming up in October:
Oct. 14 (Berkeley, CA): Tea & Cupcakes with Creative Bloggers
Oct. 16-Nov. 6 (Virtual): Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art & Play of Blogging
October 27
(Berkeley, CA): Blogging for Writers: Build an Audience for Your Work

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