You know those products you always rave about to friends, family and complete strangers, and you feel like you should be a salesperson for them? That’s how I feel about Tara Mohr’s brilliant new book, Playing Big.
While I was about halfway through the book, I left my copy in a restaurant (and had to buy another copy). I’m hoping that the universe arranged it so the right person found it.
I’ve followed Tara Mohr’s work supporting women’s leadership for awhile, so when I learned her book was coming out, I pre-ordered it. Based on years of coaching women individually and then through her workshop, Playing Big in Tara Mohr’s own words, “is about bridging the gap between what we see in you and what you know about yourself. It’s a practical guide for moving past self-doubt and creating what you most want to create – whether in your career, in your community, or in a passion you pursue outside of work. It’s not about the old-school notion of playing big – more money, more prestigious title, a bigger empire, or fame. It’s about living a life with a sense of greater freedom to express your voice and pursue your aspiration. It’s about playing big according to what playing big truly means to you.”
From helping you identify and “manage” your inner critic, to connecting with your inner mentor, to presenting a lovely and powerful way to reframe the concept of fear, Playing Big carries so much truth. It spoke to my head and my heart. I only wish I would have had it 15+ years ago when I was graduating from college and starting my career. Mohr has a chapter focused on the “good student” habits that serve women well in school, but that we have to replace with a different set of skills when we enter the working world.
Even though I’ve found a great deal of wisdom in many of the books I’ve read over the years on this topic, the bulk of them have often left me feeling deflated, like I’m not trying hard enough, I’m not tenacious enough, I’m not…enough. Perhaps this book hit me at the right moment in my life. Whatever it is, Playing Big left me feeling inspired and energized.
And I *love* that it’s about playing.
A few days later, I received the only other book I pre-ordered this year: Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I liked her on SNL and then fell in love with her as Leslie Knope on Parks & Recreation. I was struck by the overlap between these two books. Poehler talks about her inner critic (and it is hilarious) and her inner mentor. She’s smart and funny and vulnerable. Here’s woman who is seriously Playing Big:
“So here we go, you and me. Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready. This is America and I’m allowed to have a healthy self-esteem.”
I would love to have dinner and drinks with these two brilliant women. Or if that never happens, I hope someday Tara Mohr and Amy Poehler have dinner and drinks together. That would make me happy.