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Are you ready to Play Big?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 by Marianne Elliott

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A little over a year ago I decided it was time to get out of my own way, stop second-guessing my every good idea and start playing bigger.

Those of you who have been hanging out with me for a while know that I started by sending my manuscript out to some agents (and got signed by the wonderful Laura Nolan), launching a new website (this one) and starting an online yoga course (which has grown in ways I could never have imagined).

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared at the time. Not scared the way I am when a large dog chases me down the street or when missiles are flying over my bedroom roof, but scared the way I am when I’ve put my head up above the parapets and I’m waiting for someone to chop it off, or throw a rotten tomato at it.

You know, scared the way I am when I’ve stepped up and said “I have something worth sharing”, and I’m waiting for someone to come along and say “What you have to share is worth nothing.”

It’s a fear I suspect we all harbor, but I see more women than men being held back by it. My heart hurts when I think of all the wise, creative, talented women who have been silenced by this fear before they ever got started.

Which is why I am so excited about Tara Sophia Mohr‘s latest offering.

Tara Sophia MohrTara is an expert in supporting women to share their authentic gifts with the world – for big impact and knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park careers. She has an MBA from Stanford University, where she led Stanford University’s Women in Management organization and designed a wide range of programs for top women leaders.

Tara has been called been called the mystic in the Ivy League and the poet in the business school classroom and has spent much of her life learning to navigate both worlds simultaneously.

I suspect this is why when I first spoke to her I was struck by her unusual combination of sharp, incisive intellect and deep, warm, nurturing kindness.

She’s exactly who I would want to have by my side when I’m stepping up, playing big and putting my vulnerable head up above those parapets.

Tara on Playing Big

Playing big is realizing you have world-class ideas.

It’s realizing you have a story to tell that the world needs to hear.

It’s sharing your vision for the company with the CEO.

It’s raising your hand in the back of the lecture and saying what you think the speaker is just not seeing.

It’s publishing the book, putting up the art show, launching the business, starting the nonprofit organization.

It’s letting your ideas, creative impulses, and desire to serve flow forth freely into action, no longer stopped up by fear and self-doubt.

It’s activating voice, owning power, amplifying impact.

Want that?

I’m all for embracing ourselves exactly where we are. I’m a passionate advocate for doing less, making space and taking it easy. But I don’t think that any of that needs to prevent us from playing big. Because playing big, as I understand it, isn’t about external goals or measures. It’s about knowing our own personal power, or own unique strengths, and acting from them – with confidence and conviction.

As Tara has discovered through her coaching work, most of us don’t play big naturally. We need tools, support, training – a process – to help us play bigger. That’s what Tara’s Playing Big program is designed to give you.

She’s got some amazing guest teachers lined up as part of the course including bestselling author Jen Louden, Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin, and Kiva.org founder Jessica Jackley. Oh, and me! I’ll be talking about my own experiments in Playing Big.

You can learn more, and sign up for Playing Big here

(NB: that’s an affiliate link, which means that Tara pays me in gratitude gold if anyone signs up via my special link)

If you have questions about the program, Tara will be hosting a free live tweetchat about the course: March 16th 11:30am-12:30pm PST. The hashtag is #playingbig .

But wait, there’s more. Get a free yoga video from me, and other cool stuff

If you purchase the program between now and Thursday March 17th, you get some amazing treats:

  • a free yoga video guiding you through postures that will support you in Playing Big, from the amazing yoga teacher and human rights advocate Marianne Elliott (Yep, that’s me!)
  • access to “Playing Big with Ease in Your Business” a small group call especially for current or aspiring entrepreneurs, with business coach, Tara Gentile. (Oh hey, I love Tara, this just keeps getting better)
  • entry in a drawing to win one of five, free 3-month memberships to the incredible Jennifer Louden’s Savor and Serve Café. (I think Jen is the best thing since sliced bread, her Savor and Serve experiment is going to change the world)

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4 Responses to "Are you ready to Play Big?"

  1. Lindsey says:

    A poet of the business school classroom? Sounds like my kind of people … as someone who’s spent many years toggling back and forth between poetry and my MBA, this is an inspiring story. Thank you both! xo

  2. debra says:

    The link to sign up takes me to a login page. Is that correct?
    (she says out loud from the back of the room)

    • Marianne Elliott says:

      No, that’s not correct at all. Thanks so much for speaking up from the back of the room Debra, I’d put completely the wrong link in there. I’ve fixed it now, thanks!

  3. Swirly says:

    I’m not at all surprised you are part of her “panel” of guest speakers, as you are a brave, creative, magnificent force of nature who has inspired me (and many, many others) for a long time now.

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