What does “playing big” mean to you?
Is it starting your own business?
Is it pursuing a creative outlet, like creating art?
Is it making a systems change within your current work environment?
Is it getting up the courage to make a presentation in front of a group of colleagues?
Is it moving your child with special needs to their neighborhood school?
Whatever it is, we all know that there are lots of reasons why we don’t pursue those dreams/goals/aspirations. Our inner critic kicks in and argues with you that it’s too difficult, that you don’t have the skills, that you’ll fail.
We justify all of the things that we need to do to *get ready* for our dreams or desires. There are more classes to take, more books to read, more skills to attain.
I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of years thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life. Time is limited. How do I want to spend my time? Who do I want to be? If I don’t work to move forward on some of the ideas in my head now, when will I?
Today I want to share a resource for those of you who want to do something more, but need some help, encouragement, and guidance. Enter Tara Mohr’s book Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead. Note: this is *not* an affiliate link. If you click and purchase this book, I will not get anything for it. I want to recommend the book just because I love it.
This is one of those books. I was not ready for it to be over. I immediately looked up the author to purchase another one of her books, but unfortunately this is her first one. I contacted her to find out how much she charges to come out and speak at an event (hint: I won’t be hiring her anytime soon). At the end of each chapter, she gives journaling prompts that really helped me digest the chapter and brainstorm how it applies to my own life.
One thing that I particularly found eye-opening was the chapter on fear. She makes a distinction between 2 types of fear. One is the type that we commonly think of when we think of fear. It’s often in response to “fear of projected or imagined things”. But the other kind of fear is one that gives us energy, that motivates. It’s an excited fear, when we know we’re about to embark on something big. And that’s a fear that we should welcome. This chapter has helped me realize that certain fear can be good. It happens when we’re stretching ourselves as people. I’ve learned to recognize it, and welcome it as something that is good, because if you’re going to do something big, you have to have some fear.
I’ve noticed it in myself before getting up to do a talk, before I entered a room of strangers who I was about to network with. That fear would have once stopped me from doing what I was about to do, but lately I’ve allowed it to fuel me, and recognize it for what it is.
To me, Playing Big once meant moving Sabrina to her neighborhood school. I’m in the process of discovering what my new Playing Big means, and it’s exciting. Some of it is around inclusion, but a lot of is is around my business. This book has inspired me to believe in myself, and move forward.
So, whatever it is that you want to do in life, I encourage you to pay attention, get inspired, and move forward! Like I say to my daughters.. You can do hard things!