Playing Big. A Practical Guide for Brilliant Women Like You was recommended to me by my supervisors during my coaching training. I just know I need to share it with you. Tara Mohr is founder of the global Playing Big Leadership Programme for women. She trained as a coach with the Coaches Training Institute, with whom I trained and specialising in supporting women to ‘be more loyal to their dreams than their fears’.
Tara provides a summary of the book on her website and describes it as:
a practical guide for moving past self-doubt and creating what you most want to create…. it’s about you living with a sense of greater freedom to express your voice and pursue your aspirations. It’s about playing big according to what playing big truly means to you. And if you don’t know what playing big looks like for you yet, the ideas and tools here will help you discover that.
The book is informed by her many years of experience supporting women, on a global scale, in their personal development. Informing all of her work is a fundamental belief in the positive change that can come about when women follow their dreams and aspirations and step fully step into their power.
The book is divided into 10 chapters which include:
- The Inner Critic
- The Voice of Inner Wisdom
- A Very Old New Way of Looking at Fear
- Unhooking from Praise and Criticism
- Leaving Good Student Habits Behind
- Communicating with Power
- Let It Be Easy
Each chapter explores a specific topic and is illustrated with examples drawn from Tara’s personal experience and the experiences of women she has worked with. Grounding each topic in this way enables you to really connect with the subject. At the end of each chapter she includes a series of journaling questions. These features of the book really help you to apply the learning to your own circumstances. Each chapter concludes with a summary of ‘The Big Ideas”
Alongside the book is a supporting website ‘The Playing Big Readers’ .You do need to sign up to access the materials and this will mean that you receive regular emails with blog posts. However, if you do sign up you will also gain access to a recording of the guided visualisation which is central to the second chapter, The Voice of Inner Wisdom, and a range of other material.
Why Not Start a Playing Big Book Group
For a couple of years now I have been running a book group, in different locations and organisations, based on Playing Big. It is a great way for a group of women to meet together to explore and work through the book.
Tara Mohr has created a Facilitators Resource to accompany the book which is divides the book into four group sessions. The resource provides background information about setting the group up, notes on facilitation and questions to explore in each session.
There is something very empowering for a group of women to meet in this way to focus on their personal development in an informal setting. No need to request funding or annual leave. All you need is a room.
If you don’t have a group of like minded in your workplace? Why not set up a virtual group. I’ve run a book group using Skype and it worked really well for a small group.
If you want to get a feel for her approach before making a purchase download the 10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook. This is free to download and will give you a feel for whether or not you like Tara’s approach as well as provide a framework for exploring what Playing Big means for you.
Having read the book I did go on an enrol in her Playing Big Leadership Programme. It was an amazing experience to join webinars and, during the first few minutes, see women logging on from all over the world. What you realise is that many of the issues we are struggling with are the same, even though the context may be different, but it is totally inspiring to hear, over the course of the programme, the change that is evoked when women start to say, ‘it doesn’t have to be this way’.