My impressions of the book "Playing Big" by Tara Mohr
When I received the book "Playing Big", my first thoughts were: "This book must be for women who are running high-level careers and so only appeals to a certain category of women." But after I had read the first chapter, I understood I was wrong as the book is quite the opposite. Whether you are a student, unemployed, mother at home, during your professional career, in a career change mode, retiring or whatever else, this book is for you. It is intended for EVERY woman.
"A practical guide for brilliant women like you", says the subtitle. It is truly the whole point made by Tara Mohr. We are all brillant women but we are mostly not aware of it.
Your own playing big
Why is this matter of fact? The author attempts to answer this question throughout this volume and starts by explaining how we, first, need to reconsider our idea of success as it may be somewhat deeply anchored in us and highly influenced by society.
So here you have the right and even the necessity to find out what is success for you, the one that fits you, the one you are made for, the current one of where you are in life and not the neighbour‘s one. In other words: your own playing big. Wow, that’s refreshing! From that starting point, we can then explore all the possibilities to reach that personal success and particularly what prevents us from attaining it or what slows us down…
It is not about the old-school notion of playing big — more money, more prestigious title, a bigger empire, or fame. It’s about you living with a sense of greater freedom to express your voice and pursue your aspirations. It’s playing big according to what playing big truly means to you.
Indeed, the author, through various examples, unveils how as women we tend to put in place, consciously or not, numerous strategies or habits that refrain us to play big, starting projects or jumping into our dream life. Among them, we find the inner critic that can be very strong in our life and so how we desperately need to connect or reconnect ourselves with our inner mentor, the wisdom voice that dwells in each of us. Fears are also decrypted in deep and original ways, which brought so much clarity to apprehending them.
The good student syndrom
The praises and criticisms we face often disorient and question our abilities. She also unmasks how school education has shaped us and the way we, in particular women, relate to authority. The "good-student girls" we learn to be for years in school may be counterproductive for playing big professional life and so on.
Moreover, she did not leave us with all these observed obstacles but show how by identifying them, by picking them up when they arise in our lives, we can now better manage, go over, and overcome them and why not leap into a new life, project or even entering our call. Several tools with concrete examples of other women’s lives and challenges help the reader to relate to one’s own life and therefore made this book a truly practical guide.
Playing big doesn’t come from working more, pushing harder, finding confidence. It comes from listening to the most powerful and secure part of you, not the voice of self-doubt.
It's never too late!
Another point that I found very interesting is the fact that we need others and shouldn’t remain in our isolated "cave." Daring to share and broaden out truly helps us to bloom wherever we are.
Along with my reading of "Playing Big," I went back through my college years, my first jobs but also my life as a mother ever since. I saw all my fears during these years, how many times I didn’t dare because of many wrong reasons or groundless fears. I wish I had all these pieces of advice and clear perspectives at that time. But the good news is that life is a learning process that will never end. Wherever we are in our journey, it is never too late to jump into more, more meaning, more sense in what we do. We are all unique, gifted with specific capacities and qualities waiting to be developed. Whatever our age!
We all have callings, but most of the time we play small by denying them. One of the most important and fulfilling parts of playing biggers moving from resisting your callings to embracing them.
I definitively recommend this book to EVERY woman. It was for me a dynamic moment, almost a therapy, a journey that may point out where it hurts and where it resists, but also to better let it go(ooooo), to move on and also – why not play bigger?
In short: to be read and reread!
Oh! And last but not last, one of my favorite quotes:
Journaling is a tool for playing bigger because change begins with self-awareness. Writing enables you to figure out what you are really thinking and really feeling.
While we can often get into unhelpful rumination or worrying when we simply ponder a topic, when we write about it we move forward in our thinking. New truths emerge after three or five or ten minutes of putting pen to paper.
📝 Written by Anne-Laure, kindly corrected by Carlyann.
Disclaimer: The opinions are not sponsored and are of our own initiative.
 Playing Big, A practical Guide For A Brilliant Women Like You, Tara Mohr, Arrow Books, 304 p.