Do you have something you want to create, a message you want to share, or a calling you keep ignoring? Tara Mohr has practical wisdom for you to unhook from praise and criticism, find your calling, and step into Playing Big. Psychologists Off The Clock started with Taking A Leap inspired by Tara Mohr’s work. Now Diana has the chance to talk with her directly about why it is so difficult for women to speak up, how motherhood re-organizes everything, and stepping out of ego into wholeness.
So drag your dreams out from under the carpet and join us for a thought-provoking conversation with Tara Mohr, author of the Apple iBooks best book of the year Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead.
Listen and Learn:
Two types of fear that show up for women in Playing Big
How to meet criticism in a patriarchal world
Why acting on “100% certainty” doesn’t make sense
How to reclaim your power through speech
How “Playing Big” changes in motherhood
The role of women supporting women in Playing Big
Playing Big: A leadership program for women
The Hivery: A co-working space for women
About Tara Mohr:
Tara Mohr is an influential author, Huffington Post columnist, and expert in woman’s leadership and well-being. Her 2015 book Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead was named a best book of the year by Apple’s ibooks. Through her Playing Big Leadership Program and Playing Big Facilitators Training Program Tara seeks to empower women to find their voice and contribute to the creation of a more sane and compassionate world. Tara has an MBA from Stanford University, an undergraduate degree in English from Yale University, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, ForbesWoman, and The Financial Times. Tara lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two children.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of Psychologists Off The Clock. We appreciate your feedback. Please take a moment to leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts. It helps us spread the word to more folks like you!
Transcript of Episode 107. Play Big with Tara Mohr
[00:00:00] Tara Mohr: [00:00:00] from a historical perspective. If we were to do things that were controversial or brought criticism. It was a threat to our survival and I think that that lives in our lives in our DNA. And ourselves and in our hearts and Minds at some level and and what I notice is when I started sharing that, you know speaking to groups and talking with women, everyone gets it and everyone nods and a lot of people well up with tears because we know that’s what we’ve been feeling.
Diana Hill: [00:00:29] You’re listening to Tara Mohr on Psychologists Off The Clock.
We are three clinical psychologist committed to cutting edge, integrated and evidence-based strategies for living well.
Yael Schonbrun: [00:00:48] On this podcast, we bring you ideas from psychology that can help you flourish in your work parenting relationships and health.
Diana Hill: [00:00:55] I am Dr. Diana Hill practicing in seaside Santa Barbara, California.
Debbie Sorensen: [00:00:59] I’m Dr. Debbie [00:01:00] Sorensen practicing in Mile High, Denver, Colorado.
Yael Schonbrun: [00:01:02] And from coast to coast. I’m Dr. Yael Schonbrun a Boston-based clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Brown University.
Debbie Sorensen: [00:01:09] We hope this podcast offers you ideas for how to live a full and meaningful life.
Diana Hill: [00:01:14] Thank you for listening October 19th is getting closer folks and I’m so excited because Debbie Sorensen is going to join me at an upcoming retreat with mindful outdoor Retreats at Good Land Organics coffee Farm in Goleta, California and Good Land Organics coffee farm is a farm like no other . It was started by Kristin and Jay Ruskey who are good friends of our family and they have built this real paradise of exotic fruits and coffee. It’s one of the few places in the United [00:02:00] States where you can get farm to cup. Coffee which is pretty wonderful and this day was really designed for you to come and get a full experience of Wellness to really practice what you preach if you’re a therapist, so you’ll begin the day with farm to cup coffee will have yoga and movement will do some workshops Debbie and I around psychological flexibility. You’ll have a locally sourced lunch and in be able to walk through the coffee orchards and end the day with a really deeply restorative sound healing session. So please sign up at DrDianaHill.com d r d i a n a h i l l.com and we really look forward to seeing you there.
Debbie Sorensen: [00:02:52] We feel like we’ve come full circle on the podcast Diana today is bringing us an interview with Tara Mohr [00:03:00] who writes about women’s leadership speaking up and creating and we talked about her work. In our very first ever episode and so it feels full circle for us to have her on talking more about this concept and to hearing her thoughts and how its evolved over the last few years since she wrote the book Playing Big and for us it’s really exciting too because we still think about her work as we continue to play big and as her concepts play out through the work that we’re doing on this podcast.
Diana Hill: [00:03:36] Absolutely, we’ve definitely navigated the inner critic and ways in which we’ve tried to hide. I think when it’s felt really uncomfortable sometimes to put our voices out there or sometimes to self promote. I know that’s something that all three of us. Despise doing and are uncomfortable doing and at the same time, I think that we’ve learned a lot about [00:04:00] these two concepts of fear that she talks about in the podcast the ones that the type of fear that is in our heads and limiting and the type of fear that is stepping into something bigger and exciting and that’s what this journey I think has really been for all three of us at the beginning. Shout out to Rae who was part of our first episode and the three of us now,
Debbie Sorensen: [00:04:19] I actually read the book recently to Diana even before you did this interview and I kept thinking to myself. I’m pretty sure just about everything in there has come up in the process of doing the podcast and putting our voices out there in the. And one of the things that’s been interesting is feedback. And we give each other feedback a lot on the show on the episode. We also are interested in feedback from our listeners, of course, but it’s been interesting for us being in the role of giving each other feedback and also accepting feedback from each other and deciding what to do with it.
And actually for this very episode. We had a little feedback back and forth [00:05:00] Diana.
Diana Hill: [00:05:01] Yes, how we usually do. This is once one of us does a recording we send it out to each other to listen to before we are or before you and I talked about on the intro and you had a reaction to the word Crone which was really eye-opening and surprising to me because I talk about this triple goddess of Maiden mother and Crone and I. I love that model and that metaphor, but what was your reaction?
Debbie Sorensen: [00:05:30] Well, I love that concept to the idea that we pass through different seasons of our lives. And that as we go through different seasons of Our Lives the amount of sort of ambition and wanting to play Big that we have changes. I think that’s really important. But it was just that one word Crone I think to me. I have an association with kind of the. Grizzly scary old hag and I wondered if our listeners my to but actually Diana you convinced me otherwise because tell it tell the listeners your vision is [00:06:00] actually quite lovely of what a crone
Diana Hill: [00:06:02] Oh my vision is this wise woman that has had so much experience and that experience shows on her face and in her ways of navigating the world and I aspire to be a crone. I am excited to move into Crone and with I think what’s interesting in the kind of circling back to tartar more is that feed what she says really clearly is that feedback says more about the audience and the. It’s receiving that that’s giving the feedback then actually then you and that was important for even in that moment for us to look at because the feedback you are giving me around Crone had a lot to do with your worldview and your experience of that word which was really different from my experience of that word and it was helpful to get that feedback because. You reflect probably some of the demographic of our audience and if I hadn’t received that feedback, I wouldn’t have known that someone may have a different perspective on the word than
Debbie Sorensen: [00:06:59] Yeah, I think I’m [00:07:00] less familiar with that sort of mythical archetype version of this and so I to me I didn’t have that same context with it. And one other thing that she talks about in the book is that we don’t always have to accept people’s feedback. It is helpful to understand how we’re reaching our audience. And in this case we decided to leave it in so you’ll get to hear the word Crone in the episode. And to notice that just because I said that didn’t mean that you had to take it out and I think sometimes as women were trained that so if someone tells us we should change something we must do it. But in fact that’s not the case we can learn from the feedback and then you know, if we always hang on feedback so closely we might never speak out at all in our own voice.
Diana Hill: [00:07:44] the part where she says. Not to take feedback from friends and family, but to take feedback from your target audience . I mean you’re sort of your friend, but you’re also kind of our target audience and that was really helpful so [00:08:00] a lot of times we’ll turn to people that it’s not so helpful to get feedback from and choosing who you’re asking feedback from is part of the process.
Debbie Sorensen: [00:08:07] and in the interview you and Tara more talk about all kinds of other ways in which as women we step into some discomfort around when we do put our voices out there or when we step into leadership or creative roles.
Diana Hill: [00:08:20] Tara Mohr has her MBA from Stanford and an undergraduate degree from Yale. And she’s been a columnist with Huffington Post since 2010. She’s her work is in Harvard Business review hold living the financial times and a number of other media Outlets. She lives in San Francisco with her two young kids and has really been influential in our lives.
Debbie Sorensen: [00:08:41] So if you are considering speaking up in some way or creating something new and putting it out in the world or stepping into a leadership role or even giving other people feedback or anything like that. We hope you’ll find something useful in this episode and in tar has Morse work in general.
Diana Hill: [00:08:58] welcome to the show [00:09:00] Tara Mohr my relationship with you began for your book about three years ago. I was with a group of psychologists and we were chatting what now, I guess men would call a mastermind retrieve but we call it sort of coming up for air just you know, getting together as mothers and psychologists and it was late at night. We were talking. And we realized that maybe we had something to say that other people would want to hear and at the same time a couple of us were reading your book playing big and it was really that book that pushed Into the realm of taking this leap of doing the podcast and our first episode was about your book and how influential it was to us. So it’s such a full circle and such a privilege to have you on the show.
Tara Mohr: [00:09:43] If that is so meaningful to hear thank you so much for sharing that and I was just listening to some of the conversation from that first episode and. What struck me you know, I I’ll often get to hear notes from women [00:10:00] saying like I you know the book help me do this or that but I almost never get to eavesdrop right on people having their own conversation about the book and it was very moving to hear because of course when you write something. You know, one of the one of the hopes is that it like it doesn’t just for certain actions. It’s for certain kinds of conversation. And and I don’t get to always hear those unless you know the ones that I’m not part of so that was really fascinating to hear and and then also I listen to part of the discussion about the epilogue about Parenthood, which will we should come back to that at some point in this conversation?
Diana Hill: [00:10:39] Yes, because there’s this interesting mirroring you had written the book right at a time. When you were pregnant when we were reading it and we were so curious how is this going to change for her when she has this baby? because playing big changes so much when you become a mother and you move from from made into mother and then eventually Crone these different seasons of our lives. [00:11:00] and now we’re and another season. So it’s very interesting. I’d love to talk more about motherhood and how its impacted you. But let’s start with with some of the premise of playing big and I think a good place to start is fear because I think that’s what shows up a lot for women and in your book probably the thing I share most with my clients these days is the two types of fear that you talk about in the book Can you can you start with fear and how it relates to the book Playing Big?
Tara Mohr: [00:11:28] Yes, absolutely. So. I was reading a book by Rabbi Alan Lou Who is a wonderful spiritual teacher and in this book he was talking about the Old Testament words the ancient Hebrew words for describing fear. And he explains that there’s actually these two different words. One of them is Puffy odd. And his definition for pod is it’s used to describe the fear of [00:12:00] imagined things or projected things. So when we imagine the worst case scenario that could happen right and and to put that in the context of Our Lives, you know, If I change careers, I’ll bring my family to financial ruin or if I share this idea. I’m going to be left that right those kinds of imagined fears or the movie projection. We run of what could go wrong and that’s plus hot so that I think most of us are somewhat familiar with but then he goes on to talk about this other term for fear that is used in some of the Old Testament stories. And that’s your raw and you’re right. As three definitions, it’s one the feeling we feel when we suddenly have more energy than we normally have something and fuses us with a greater sense of energy. It’s also a word we can use to describe how we feel if we are inhabiting a larger space than we’re used to you can take that as [00:13:00] literal or metaphorical space. And then it’s also the feeling we feel in the presence of the Divine or the sacred. So this is when Moses is at the burning bush, this is the. Describe describing how he feels in that moment witnessing the Divine and when I read that. Where my mind immediately went was these coaching sessions? I had been doing with women and in particular I always think about one one of my very early clients woman sort of late in her career who had worked in in banking for most of her career and in our sessions as she got more in touch with herself, and we did some visioning work. There was a session where the truth kind of Spilled Out and it’s filled out not just to me but it was sort of the first time she was saying allowed to herself. She wanted to make some huge life changes. [00:14:00] She wanted to move to the developing world. She wanted to shift her Focus to service work. This had been a long-held dream that she had barely kind of even allowed herself to think and as she said it it was. Palpable that sense of sacredness in the room and you know as a psychologist and many of the listeners know right like when someone really lands in the truth or says what hasn’t been allowed to be said, but it has been there for a long time there is that palpable sacredness and so. We both I think we’re felt that and she was crying and then after maybe no 90 seconds or something like that. It felt like this like fear Cloud just like passed over and suddenly it all the follow-on thoughts came on. You know, how can I and what if and all that stuff I had was back in the room [00:15:00] what Rabbi Lou would call pod, but. What I realized is I didn’t have any word in my coaching training and I don’t think we get a word in our psychology PHD programs right for that year Rod that. Sacred beautiful heightened feeling that combines sort of fear and reverence and expansiveness and that we really need that word and we really need that concept so that when that’s happening to us, we can name it and honor it and. Also, we need a different tool kit as practitioners. We need a different tool kit for working with that than for the hot like we might all have strategies crippled hot. I’m going to cognitively think through why the worst scenario is unlikely or I’m going to get into my body or whatever but your raw, I believe we need two more witness hold space for breathe through welcome. We actually don’t want to shift out of it. We want to let ourselves be guided [00:16:00] by it. And so that’s been powerful and become, you know, one of the teachings for women and anyone who wants to learn to work with their fear wisely to know I’ve got these two different types of fear, and they each Merit a different response. And when I someone something brings your I need to pay attention to that.
Diana Hill: [00:16:23] Yeah, one of my big leaps was learning how to surf when my son was learning how to Cirque and this moment when the wave picks up the board and the momentum of that lifts you up and then all of a sudden. You’re like, I don’t know if I can do this feel like I’m going to fall over them in a fall on my face and it’s that inner feeling that embodied feeling of uncertainty. But momentum, that’s so powerful and I what I see in my practice, which is interesting with women is sometimes that uncertainty momentum to responses show up like one. I have to actually [00:17:00] make this go away because it’s it’s it’s too loud and ways in which I see women make it away go away as something like an eating disorder. So I want I need to like restrict myself. So I can’t hear the calling or it shows up and we move into it and we get criticized and critiqued or we get this negative inner feedback going on which then makes us pull away pretty quickly.
Tara Mohr: [00:17:25] Yes, and you know, sometimes the way I think of it is when our ego feels threatened like out of competition or comparison or failure. That’s when we tend to feel hufadh. But when our ego feels threatened because we’re doing something that transcends our ego it brings your eye. And so there is always this sense of. You know, if one of the concepts about the ego that really resonates with me is that that you know, the ego is the separate self and [00:18:00] identifying completely with yourself as an individual separate self rather than as part of the larger fabric rather than as an expression of the Divine and so the ego doesn’t like things that. Start to blur the lines between self and world or self and other whether that’s deep love or a passion where you know, you become one with your paintings or one with the music you’re listening to or one with nature as you’re running. So, you know as you’re describing that surfing example, it’s the momentum and it’s also. That’s when the South and this larger force of the ocean right are joining together in the self isn’t totally in control. So our egos don’t like the things that you know, bring that because ego wants to be the center of the universe and if you are identified not with the ego, but with your connection, right then that egos power is diminished.
Diana Hill: [00:18:57] and when we’re an ego, we care a lot about [00:19:00] what other people think right and you write a bit about why that is especially true for women. Can you speak to that?
Tara Mohr: [00:19:09] yeah, and so when I so before I wrote the book and I’ll share this to you because I know you have a lot of. Practitioners in your audience in this sequence might be kind of relevant for how they think of their work. So for me the sequence was coaching one-on-one clients really seeing the patterns and kind of developing a model in my one-on-one coaching practice and then starting to teach that model to groups and guide groups through it. And then once that felt very honed and. You know, very clear demonstrated impact than turning it into a book. So in that group phase when I was beginning to do group work and doing a lot of distance learning programs that people on the phone and all that we would teach. [00:20:00] About how do you handle criticism as a woman and if we’re going to play big and right because if women start sharing their real ideas and perspectives and Innovation will they’re bringing that into a very patriarchal world. So, you know, probably step one thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to receive. So we would talk about that and talk about tools for dealing with that but on the phone, I started to notice that it when I was like coaching women around that’s like Britain. Could you do that thing that you think is going to be controversial? Can you do the thing your boss wouldn’t like I would hear these voices trembling in my gut sense was like, okay the feeling here is that this person feels their life. Is threatened by this criticism like this is a physical survival very core primal fear that
Diana Hill: [00:20:53] going to die.
Tara Mohr: [00:20:56] weren’t saying that but I could hear it and I could [00:21:00] also relate to it because I had had that feeling myself. And so I you know after a number of those I come. I was puzzled like okay why this doesn’t make sense? You know, why is it that if your thesis advisor since you don’t like your topic, it feels like you’re gonna die. Why is it that I feel like if I tell this person, you know Mike this contractor for my business that I feel like their work was poor. I feel like I’m going to die like even you know, right that kind of conflict. Why does that feel like a death and then I started to think about our history as women and that for most of the past. Few thousand years, we as women didn’t. Have the physical power to defend ourselves against threats you typically against stronger others right physically stronger others, so we couldn’t protect ourselves with physical might we didn’t have political power. We couldn’t vote to advance our needs [00:22:00] or, you know, bring in the authorities to protect us. We didn’t have Financial power right if you don’t have a bank account and can’t own anything you can’t. Get yourself to a safe and work at your children to a safe situation and survive on your own if you need to so like what forms of power did we have really if you think about what did we have at our disposal and what we had was the power? To adapt ourselves to be accepted the power to notice what’s going to fly in this group and this community with this powerful person and adjust accordingly the power to create Harmony and relationships and survive that way and so from that perspective right from a historical perspective. If we were to do things that were controversial or brought criticism. It was a threat to our survival and I think that that lives in our lives in our DNA. And ourselves and in our hearts and Minds at some [00:23:00] level and and what I notice is when I started sharing that, you know speaking to groups and talking with women, everyone gets it and everyone nods and a lot of people well up with tears because we know that’s what we’ve been.
Diana Hill: [00:23:15] You write in in one of your blog’s that women have been taught to quiet our voices swallow our anger and argue ourselves out of our. Own good ideas, and some of the ways that we do that is the words we use when we communicate and you coach us to look at some of our words some of the things like does that make sense, or rushing through and what’s been interesting for me and doing this podcast. is that in the beginning days. We talked a lot about the concepts of other researchers and people that we really admire and then we started to have those people the same people that we had talked about in the early shows on the show. And I’m [00:24:00] face-to-face with somebody that I really admire and I had a really loud clear voice early on but as soon as they’re present with me, especially if they’re a male in power I find myself shrinking and I’m so I’m so curious about that. Can you speak about how we diminish our power through communication as women?
Tara Mohr: [00:24:19] Yeah, because we don’t want to blame ourselves for that. It’s not irrational right we’ve learned to do that as a survival strategy. There’s lots of situations in which that is a pretty good strategy right past or maybe present. So the first thing is to kind of I think just have compassion for that and understand the reasons for it and then from a conscious place to be able to kind of say is that is that still needed? How is that serving me or not? And do I want to make a shift? But yeah, I can absolutely relate to that. And we you know, we do it in all kinds of ways. There’s a very obvious tangible ones that you’re talking about of the [00:25:00] speech habits of I just think or I’m thinking off the top of my head, but I’m not an expert in this, you know, but all that stuff and then the greater ways of really. Doubting our ideas not taking a seat at the table not taking up space when we get there. yesterday. I was working with a company. very male-dominated company a male-dominated industry. Working with their women and I was sharing this study that I just love so much and kind of goes to what you’re saying. It’s a 2011 study that was looking at financial literacy levels around the world. So testing people on how much how much do they know about saving and banking whatever. And when the results came back and they found that in many of the countries where they had deployed this survey, there was a big gender gap where men had higher financial literacy than women. [00:26:00] There were some countries where there was no gender gap. So of course, the first question was, you know, is that cultural is that the education system in those countries, but it culturally and education there wasn’t a clear patterns that didn’t seem right and then they realized a weight a slightly different version of the survey is was being used. In the countries where gender gap showed up and not and the difference was that some of the surveys had in these multiple choice questions about various Financial things some of the surveys had an I don’t know option and some of the surveys didn’t. and where there was an I don’t know option. This gender gap showed up because far more women would choose to I don’t know if they weren’t a hundred percent confident in their answer. But if you were forced to choose an answer because I don’t know simply wasn’t on the list then women got the [00:27:00] answer right just as often as the men. I think it’s one of the most profound like studies on gender and confidence and it’s not what it’s not at all what they set out to study which a lot of you know, the best findings are right happen in that way. So yeah when we are saying I have to be a hundred percent certain. And my idea of my critique of my whatever, you know, we’re often a our male counterparts are doing that and be like, we’re usually leaning toward the right answer and. You know now that I know about that study. I really try and like just. go with my leanings, you know and not wait for the hundred percent certainty. But what I thought you were going to say is that the podcast started talking about other people’s ideas, and now you’re talking about your own ideas, so, but maybe that’s next.
Diana Hill: [00:27:59] that’s next and [00:28:00] that’s actually already happening more. Absolutely. We are talking about our own ideas more and bringing more of our personal selves into the picture, which is a really vulnerable place, especially for a psychologist a therapist to enter into because our clients are listening to the podcast and there’s this self-disclosure. Component that can that can come up and it’s just fine line right of what how and how we disclose and what’s the function of the disclosure? But certainly we’re we bring more of ourselves in and the ones that we do bring more of ourselves in I feel more about your aw. I feel it lifts me up and I’m more excited and then I noticed that the times that we cut Corners with that it falls a little flat. I’ve even noticed with you and your writings how how your blog has changed over time? From your book there’s sort of a more nuanced approach to even just the discussion of communication and
Tara Mohr: [00:28:57] Yes. Yes,
Diana Hill: [00:28:58] instead of just like cut that out. [00:29:00] Stop doing that. It has it has more of a nuanced approach. Can you talk a little bit about
Tara Mohr: [00:29:06] Yeah, yeah, you know I would say there’s there are many many topic areas where I kind of. Added layers or made some tweaks and how I like to talk about things since the buck which now came out five years ago Court. The core is the same but definitely some some added. Layers and with the communication piece when I first started writing about it. It was just about here are some of the limiting things women do in their speech. You know that get in our way all these sort of what what Linguistics call Hedges. I just this. I actually that doesn’t make sense. I don’t know but, you know all those things and and what I was hearing from women in my courses was that there was a whole cohort. Who are saying no? No, I tried taking out all those things and I got the feedback that I’m too harsh. I’m [00:30:00] too abrasive. I’m too aggressive. There was also a whole cohort thing. I took them out in this is awesome. Some people, you know respond to my email. So take me seriously now, but there was this other group, you know, depending on workplace culture depending on role depending on industry and just sort of how they come how that individual communicate swear that that wasn’t going to work. And so we had to really layer back in. I have how do you continue to bring the warmth? How do you as a woman that unfortunately the bar of the level of warmth we need to constantly communicate is unfairly high for a lot of us. How do you make sure people still feel connected and get that sense of like ability and really just you know, how do we do our best to cope with the double bind that we do want to seem competent? But we also know from the research that. Women who seem highly competent particularly if they’re not in close relationship with others like a first impression or from a distance those [00:31:00] women often are perceived as unlikable and that can have a negative career impact. So we have to navigate that and I think since I wrote the book I’m more open now about when I teach that communication stuff I share more that. This is the hardest module for me to teach because I’m the most ambivalent about it because it’s really when you know the point where you’re teaching women strategies to try and communicate warmth while being perceived as confident. You’re really. Teaching to adapt to the world’s rules. And I don’t like that, you know, I would much ripe. I’m much more comfortable with the topics. Where were really connecting to our inner voices and it’s not about tactics to survive within the patriarchy basically, so we talk more about that explicitly now than I used to.
[00:32:00] Diana Hill: [00:32:00] Right because there could be a little bit of a good girl syndrome to that of okay. Now I need to follow tarah Moore’s rules about oops. So no I said, I’m sorry, right and that that it then it just it’s it’s sort of has this Catch-22 about it.
Tara Mohr: [00:32:12] Are just like really do I really have to make everyone feel like I’m so nice every time I say anything, you know, what counterpart Mike doesn’t need to do that
Diana Hill: [00:32:22] one of the things that you talk a lot about is unhooking from praise and criticism and I had this wake-up call it recently in reading your work around that I’m probably the only 40 something year old that is not and has never been on Facebook which is digital minimalism. And maybe I’m not on these route these social media Outlets because I’m sort of terrified of both praise and criticism. Both of them can throw me off listening to my own heart and I’d love your your. Perspective on [00:33:00] that how social media has become , this form of praise and criticism and how it throws woman off. And then how do we navigate that given the world that were in that we may choose to be
Tara Mohr: [00:33:10] Yeah. well. I guess I hear two things and I would want to pull apart.
Diana Hill: [00:33:18] it.
Tara Mohr: [00:33:22] The terrified of and the sort of discernment that this gets in the way of me following my heart, you know and that to me. Having the clarity to to say I see that this distract from my connection with myself and my autonomous decision-making. Therefore. I’m opting out that seems great.
Diana Hill: [00:33:46] Oh, I’m relieved 90% of the time. I’m relieved because I hear about how it’s yeah how it’s not helpful. Yeah.
Tara Mohr: [00:33:53] And it feels super cure if eyeing. You know, that might be interesting to look at why [00:34:00] I think that there’s so much that is wonderful. I really do you know about what about social media and what’s available for technology now, I think. Many social justice conversations and voices that otherwise would be on not not heard and and voices that otherwise would not have a platform do because of these Technologies as a mom, you know the sort of. Alternative philosophy is an educational movements that I can get exposed to through that. I really value that. So I think there’s so much positive and and I think there’s a lot that’s just Uncharted Territory in terms of how it affects them so self and kind of self-objectification that happens the loss of sort of the private [00:35:00] realm and that’s been really big for me because I just. See all very protective of our our family life and don’t like to share anything about it, but that’s a little and I don’t but you know in terms of pictures and stories and stuff like that, but I feel the pressure that I’m expected to because I’m like a content creator and it’s confusing. It’s so much of what happens in my day every day now has to do with family life and it’s like well, there’s a ton of Rich material there, but it feels. Completely unappealing to me to share it with strangers.
Diana Hill: [00:35:36] Yeah.
Tara Mohr: [00:35:38] So yeah, I think I think we have to. really be very Discerning, you know, and how are working with it?
Diana Hill: [00:35:48] So you talk about motherhood and you have to now is
Tara Mohr: [00:35:51] Yeah.
Diana Hill: [00:35:53] How has your perspective changed on playing big since becoming a mother?
Tara Mohr: [00:35:59] Yeah, [00:36:00] well, I’ll say the portion that I caught of your the first episode where you all were discussing the epilogue to the book or the afterward where I was writing about motherhood and playing big, you know with my three or four month old at the time and you are saying then she says that’s and first of all you have to understand I’m like listening. You know very curiously for what I did say because now I haven’t slept in 6 years. I have no idea what I wrote anywhere. You know, that’s not what that I Revisited teach. I’m like, I don’t know. What did I say? And then I heard you say and then you know, Tara asks, like does motherhood have to change everything and then she says no and I like I laughed I laughed Derrek Lee out loud when I heard that. Yeah, so, you know at some point in my son’s early life I. Wrote a post about this this feeling of being reorganized by motherhood, you know, and that was the [00:37:00] word that kind of was coming up for me like change changed my motherhood. I don’t think you know suggest the profundity of it. I feel my parts have been rearranged like. The old self.
Diana Hill: [00:37:13] well. Yes.
Tara Mohr: [00:37:14] Yeah, like yeah literally also but like just yeah everything shifted and I don’t think I really have language for exactly how. but I think you know the sort of Maiden self that you were referring to before. And that person’s pray you are using that person’s dreams and that person’s, you know sense of trajectory for her life. Like I think that more than I expected to I there’s a letting go and every invention and I must say, I mean one thing I do often say to friends. [00:38:00] This is you know, I don’t I don’t feel I have many coherent thoughts about it or shareable. That’s because I’m so so in the middle of it. But I feel you know, as someone who kind of you know was went to the went to the work life family balance panels before I had kids at the conferences and you know, when I was in business school, there was a whole there’s a whole Wonderful class at Stanford called work and family that looks at models for combining work and family, you know and conversation somehow, you know, the impression I got from all those things or the magazine articles. The impression I got was that it’s all about. The time and like this the time constraints of that and that you’re trying to balance the time and so it’s a question of like, how many hours will you work? And how do you have enough hours in the day? And one of the things that’s really shocked me is that I don’t feel the struggle for me are around. A constraint of time. I feel it’s [00:39:00] much more about energy. And energy in terms of literal just the energy I have but also just focus and that. where is you know, how many places can your attention really go at once and how many things can your life really be about at once like that’s been much harder and that caught me off guard because yeah.
Diana Hill: [00:39:24] that the add-on to that is how many callings can I have it once that’s what I really struggle. With because I love being a mother. I want to be there at the field trip and cleaning out the like applesauce and the backpack and finding the Glee I want to do all that stuff and I love my work. I want to be seeing clients and I feel so much you’re AA that sometimes it becomes overwhelming because I want to be pursuing all these things and I. And this [00:40:00] this mode of caring so much in so many different Arenas and then always my default which is sort of interesting is that I forget about myself and and one of my one of my playing bigs this year was going to Peru my mom grew up in Peru, and I’ve never been there and always wanted to go and I went with my mom. And we went to this Yoga Retreat and it was just the two of us and it was probably the best two weeks of my entire life going to Peru with my mom. And now what I do when I get into this place of overwhelm of too many callings is I start to search flights to Peru and I keep on I kept on telling my partner. I just want to go to Peru. I just want to go back to Peru. You don’t understand about Peru and I was working with my coach and mentor and she said. Okay, honey, you can’t go to Peru. You got two kids you got this career, but what you need to do is on your daily planner. You need to Mark out Peru like you got to get an [00:41:00] hour where you write down Peru and whatever Peru is that’s what you’re doing because Peru can be here and that was that was a game changer. But at the same time I feel I still feel that like pulled in so many ways because my heart is so much bigger with kids in my life. Yeah,
Tara Mohr: [00:41:18] Yeah.
Diana Hill: [00:41:19] how do
Tara Mohr: [00:41:21] well, I can I can definitely relate and. You know one thing that comes to mind is. There is one of the sort of central prayers in Judaism is called the sh’ma and it’s a one line prayer here like hea are here. So here the like here this call that God is one and. When you say [00:42:00] the prayer you cover your eyes and you take this gesture of covering your eyes so that you’re not distracted by the multiplicity of the world and that you’re actually connecting to the Oneness. and so with our busy lives, you know and are many passions and callings if. If we’re viewing it that way is sort of the topics of our callings which maybe make sense when we have less of a full plate, you know, but if we’re viewing it that way when there’s so many that are so important and they begin to feel a distinct from each other that is going to be very overwhelming. But there is a way I think to see it because it’s all it’s all your spirit and your heart that is actually probably wanting to move through all those things and in very much the same way energetically and so that’s really only one thing. And and that requires kind of turning away from [00:43:00] from how the world might look at or evaluate what you’re doing, right?
Diana Hill: [00:43:04] scratch text scratch text scratch text can you speak to? People that that maybe don’t know what they’re calling is our feel like they don’t they’re not sure. How do you find your
Tara Mohr: [00:43:19] yeah, so. You know when this comes up in courses or groups that I’m speaking to and I just don’t know, you know, and then I usually say one of two things one is, you know, are you sure there is not something that has been nagging at you or comes up periodically again and again and it just seems so impossible or so, you know out of the box that you brush it aside and almost everybody has one of those. Or I say something like you know, okay, if you could do anything you wanted what would be what’s one [00:44:00] thing that would be so delicious and delightful that it feels like it would be too good to be true. And what I can tell you is either of those questions people always have like an absurdly specific answer. Like the you know enough that when we can all laugh about it together. It’s like I just don’t know what my calling is and I start to search. Okay, you know if you could design anything you want and what would it be? Oh, I would have a retreat center on this island of Hawaii that I visited last year and I would do this and that you know where I was at very clear Vision comes out and actually that example isn’t totally quit because it’s always a long-held one. It’s not last year. It’s like, oh actually, you know for 10 years. And in fact, I have a good friend who Grace who started the high Ivory here, which is when a woman’s co-working space and incredible place if you’re listening and you’re in the Bay Area check out the Highbury and [00:45:00] she’s such an inspiring person, but she always tells a story about the founding of the ivory where she had had an injury and so while she. Laid up and just resting she was journaling about sort of what she wanted in her next chapter and started uncovering all these thoughts about this Center. She wanted to create for women where they could work and meet each other and did it on she journal the whole thing and then she called her friend and she was like, I’ve you know, I’ve been I’ve had the most amazing idea and here’s what it is and she shared some of the notes from her journal and her friends at Grace. That’s great. But you told me about this idea 10 years ago. Right. So yeah, we do know, you know, we do know but we do have to give ourselves permission to say I’m gonna I’m gonna accept that that’s the idea I have even if right now I have no idea why I have it or how it could happen. The what really has to be welcomed before we evaluate the house.
[00:46:00] Diana Hill: [00:45:59] to look at the ways in which we’re going into hiding.
Tara Mohr: [00:46:03] Yes, yes, which we are amazingly Adept at yeah.
Diana Hill: [00:46:09] So some of those ways are are what how
Tara Mohr: [00:46:13] Yeah, and over polishing our work and over preparing curating other people’s voices instead of sharing our own. I’m doing ever more education, you know, one more degree one more certification something. I called this before that which is when we make up a narrative about the order that things need to happen in and we really tend to believe it’s true. We don’t realize we’re doing it. So it’s like I want to start a podcast but before I start a podcast. You know, I need to have active active social media but to have active social media. I need a logo for my business and I don’t want so now instead of starting a podcast. I’m interviewing local creators, but we like a really are amazing avoiding the direct. And I [00:47:00] do all of these two, you know, that’s how I’m good at recognizing them and all of us.
Diana Hill: [00:47:04] doubt that that you that a lot of this came from your own inner searching of what am I doing? Yeah, absolutely. I think something that I would be curious about you. Writing a little bit more on that you mentioned in that high Ivory is the role of women supporting women and sort of the Wolfpack and how much that I feel like that is that’s the whole reason why I can do this podcast is because of the women that I’m doing it with we Inspire support love each other. We give feedback to each other and we navigate that and how have you used group in your playing big and what are your thoughts on that?
Tara Mohr: [00:47:45] it’s you’re going to laugh but we just added this fall. We added a new module to all the courses that’s called living women supporting women.
Diana Hill: [00:47:54] the right track. Yeah.
Tara Mohr: [00:47:58] and [00:48:00] you know, I think I have not talked to a ton about it because. It really. like I’m an only child and and and I was raised in a house where there is a lot of emphasis on my potential as an individual. So that was sort of my orientation. And so then when I came to playing big it was very much through a lens of like, how am I going to get my own inner work in gear and access my own voice? So it’s a very individual
Diana Hill: [00:48:32] you are at schools with a lot of men, you know business school at Stanford.
Tara Mohr: [00:48:36] Yeah, yeah and not a ton being done, you know in those traditional educational environments to really write Foster that so yes, and you know, I would say since I became a mom my business became much more team-oriented where I do, you know, I’m still very much [00:49:00] driving the content but. I’m quite removed from the. Technical side and the you know, just everything except the content really and have a wonderful team and so my work which he was very individual in the early days of sort of blogging and developing. The courses is now really embedded a team and so they’re very much is that, you know women supporting women. But also one of the reasons we wanted to add that to the course while a couple one when I went on book tour with playing big the question that came up in every single event that like wasn’t at all addressed in the book and it came up everywhere is someone would raise her hand and say why I have the meanest bosses. I’ve had been women. And so that’s just like this territory of how we are with each other and how internalized patriarchy comes out in [00:50:00] US hurting and policing each other is huge. So that’s one reason and then also this whole come Precision about how we need to. address and Bridge and become more aware of. Supporting each other as women while really understanding our differences and the differences that in particular white women need to understand more about when they think about supporting other women and being in solidarity with other women, so we’re going to be looking at all of that not module.
Diana Hill: [00:50:37] So, how do you navigate when you’re playing big and you’re successful and you’re taking up a lot of space and you feel that push back from from women in a competitive way.
Tara Mohr: [00:50:50] I’ve never I’m like I can’t think of an instance where I’ve ever felt that.
Diana Hill: [00:50:54] Wow,
Tara Mohr: [00:50:55] there are times when. I will feel jealous of other women.
Diana Hill: [00:50:59] are [00:51:00] you?
Tara Mohr: [00:51:01] You know for a particular reason and then I have like a very clear protocol for myself, you know is like what has been activated in me that I need to pay attention to and I tend to really try and validate with compassion. What’s underneath the jealousy which is like some part of myself usually feels like. Well, I want to I want to do that but I haven’t given myself permission yet or I wanted you know this thing in my life to work out that particular way and it didn’t so I see it as a real prompt return my focus Inward and work with that unmet need in myself and then just leave that person alone. And I also try to really like not. Not gossip not talk negatively about other people in general not you know, like if I were to go to my friend and relate that about that jealousy or a difficult situation and be very much from alike. Okay, help me work through this perspective. Not a like let [00:52:00] me just vent to you place because I think that just worsens all of this stuff, you know, so yeah, so that’s kind of my protocols. I feel that and then I guess I’m very rare. Yeah what I was thinking of more when I said I’ve never felt that as I’ve never felt that coming at me and I do make very intuitive kind of relationship choices. So I think if I feel any whiff of. Off energy. I just kind of don’t even get into a point where I’d have to opt out of that relationship because I’m not in it in the first place. So maybe
Diana Hill: [00:52:36] And it makes me think about what you’ve said about feedback that feedback says something more about the other person than you and I would say same thing with jealousy that jealousy says maybe something more about you than the other person like what what is it that’s in that’s in their Essence that I’m that I’m wanting and my life and actually that’s a nice mirror to look at like that’s an area that I want to grow or an area. I want to work on or and the [00:53:00] same thing with competition. Where do I feel scarcity in my life that I’m that I’m feeling someone is like pulling from me as opposed to looking at those areas of scarcity. Yeah. Yeah.
Tara Mohr: [00:53:12] I have a strong spiritual practice. So. in a moment if I’m jealous, you know a question I would ask myself is. Am I like am I trusting God’s path for my life in this moment. And if I’m jealous, I’m not. Like so it’s actually being disrespectful of the creation that I am. And of course, I’m not perfect at trusting that but that’s what I would try I’m trying to return to.
Diana Hill: [00:53:46] at the
Tara Mohr: [00:53:47] Yeah.
Diana Hill: [00:53:49] Yeah. There was something that you said in your interview with the good life project
Tara Mohr: [00:53:55] Hmm Jonathan, yeah.
Diana Hill: [00:53:56] me and you said a good life is a [00:54:00] life in which your soul learns what his come here to learn and . I’m curious. What do you feel that? Your soul has come to learn and what have you learned about that your
Tara Mohr: [00:54:09] I’m so glad that resonate with you because. I feel very emotionally moved up by that idea. But I kind of feel like sometimes I put it out there and it doesn’t land so I’m I tend to live that question. In a day-to-day way like as I’m thinking about it now I and also with my six years of sleep debt. I don’t know that I know what my soul came here to learn lifelong. But you know, I what my soul like right now. I feel like what my soul is learning is. that we live in such an abundant hole. planet and. this incredibly Lush [00:55:00] giving. Existence and the the messages of kind of scarcity and problem and therefore like pain and self-denial a lot of those messages that I was grew up whether that in the culture are just untrue and that they’re sort of a way we can all rest in what is. And then just do whatever feels Joyful from there that that’s actually the truth very hidden truth in our world right now, but it’s the truth and it’s my family life that is really pushing me to see that because we’re at the stage where. we get to choose. The messages around that that we want [00:56:00] to send our kids with.
Diana Hill: [00:56:01] your last chapter of
Tara Mohr: [00:56:05] Yeah, and yeah and that. You know, it can be easy. and that, you know, I don’t mean that to be interpreted like obviously I’m hearing people listening there’s lots of struggle and hardship in life and all of our lives and. But that the narratives we make up that we that we need to create struggle that there needs to be self-denial and self sacrifice and pain and hardship and. You know, even the smallest thing like I was I said to my husband yesterday. Is there any legitimate reason that a young child should ever be told? Sit down, like I’m just saying in every classroom and every school like their sit down. So why because we believe that there’s some sort of self-management [00:57:00] denial of that physical impulse that needs to happen in order for them to be educated or in order for them to have a good life. And that’s the kind of thing that right now, I just feel like I’m questioning questioning questioning and. Yeah, yeah, because I’m we just end up as adults that are wish we weren’t so sedentary and we’re at are walking weird like so excited when we get a walking death and like then why are we telling about your girls? I just sit down to learn get
Diana Hill: [00:57:23] exactly why I pulled pulled my kid from that sit-down school and put them in a stand-up school where there’s there’s T stools and wobbly things that they sit on and open tables that they can choose to stand out or bean bags, you know some making those choices around how how do they want to be in their
Tara Mohr: [00:57:40] And that’s probably because it’s saying actually we’re going to trust the body and its instincts. We’re not going to make up a story about why we need to override that.
Diana Hill: [00:57:47] And they’ll pick up the social norms around sitting down soon enough. They have they have the mirror neurons to do that. So I’m not worried about that. Yeah, I’m not worried about that. Yeah. Well, thank you Tom or it’s been such [00:58:00] an honor and Delight to have you here and I just really appreciate you how you’ve changed our lives and it was so fun to read your book again a second time and have such a different View. On it. So I look forward to those listeners that have read it read it again, and I’m sure that a lot of them will be motivated to look more into your work is the best place to look into you on your TaraMohr.com
Tara Mohr: [00:58:23] Yeah TaraMohr.com with lots of writing and
Diana Hill: [00:58:27] Yes, you could stay up all night reading reading a Blog at there. It’s so so good. So we’ll link to all of that.
Tara Mohr: [00:58:34] you to thank you for this conversation for all the thoughtful questions and really the thoughtfulness like that. You are bringing to these ideas and thank you for taking your leap of starting this podcast and bringing more women’s voices and to the World by by doing that and thank you for like spreading the word about playing big as you’ve been doing through this book. So if the podcast said so appreciated, too.
Diana Hill: [00:58:59] Take care.
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