Your Year to Play Big

I want to tell you about a program that is very dear to me.  It’s called Playing Big. What is playing big?  What does it mean to play big?  That is the very question that was asked to me the first day I started the program.  As I look back in my journal, this is what playing big meant to me.

 

  • Letting go of insecurities when my inner critic starts to take hold
  • Knowing that I have something valuable to contribute to the world
  • Let my voice be heard
  • Stop believing my fears and start believing myself

 

That was only nine short months ago.  Since then, this is what playing big helped me to do:

 

 

Why am I telling you this? Because I believe in growth and I believe in action.  There cannot be one without the other.  Participating in the Playing Big program allowed me to do both.  Through inner work on myself and being a part of a dynamic group of like-minded women, I’ve gained the tools to make a profound transformation in my personal and professional life.

I would like to pass this amazing opportunity along to you.  To join in this program and discover what me and so many others have: the opportunity to play big in our own lives.

Registration is now open for the program.  I invite you to take a peek at what it’s all about.  Tara Mohr, the creator and leader of the program breaks it down quite nicely and answers all of your questions.  And if you still want to know more, I’m more than happy to answer any lingering questions you might have.  As a past participant in the program, I can share with you my experiences with the program first hand.

Is 2012 is your year to Play Big?

See Beauty…

Ariane   

 

 

Inspired Living: An Interview w/ Tara Mohr, Personal Growth Coach & Writer

Hola everyone!  Hope you’re having an awesome week so far!  The days have been glorious lately with all of the sunshine, singing birds, and flower buds bursting through the earth just in time for Spring.  A renewed spirit and an open heart beckons on today’s blog.  I am so so happy to introduce to you Tara Mohr; a phenomenal person who has inspired so many individuals (myself included) to live an authentic passion-filled lifestyle.  She focuses on teaching personal growth through her writing and coaching.  Tara is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and on her own blog Wise Living.   And now she is launching an incredible leadership program called Playing Big, which I am so excited to be participating in.  I recently interviewed Tara for my Inspired Living series and I was truly enlightened by her insight.   She shed light on dealing with our fears and doubts, the importance of letting our ideas and passions flow, and what it means to Play Big. All, I give you Tara Mohr…!! Me:  Please give a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Tara: I’m a writer and coach, and my work focuses on helping women fulfill their full potential in life and work – to lead and create more boldly, to show up more authentically in their lives. I bring a unique background to this work – I have an MBA from Stanford and a background in leadership and organizational change – and combine that a lifelong passion for spirituality and personal growth work, as well as training as a coach. The women that connect with my work really appreciate the blend of mind and heart, spirituality and practicality, inner transformation and outer impact. Me:  In a recent article you wrote for the Huffington Post, you spoke about the phrase “Playing Big”.  Could you elaborate on that idea? Tara: Several months ago, I wrote an article called 10 Rules for Brilliant Women. It was about how I coach so many brilliant women – women with tremendous creative gifts and incredible ideas that could change the world. The problem? They don’t recognize their brilliance, or own it in the world. Playing Big is really about leaving all that behind, and moving into a new way of being where we trust our creative impulses more fully, put ourselves and our work on the world’s stage, and stand behind our ideas more tenaciously and bravely. It’s about letting our voices flow freely from us – instead of stopping them up with self-doubt. I sometimes think about how on the average Saturday morning walk with my girlfriends, I hear so many ideas and insights that could change the world – and I hear them from ethical, smart, creative women who we’d all benefit from having in positions of leadership. Playing Big is about those ideas being at the tables that matter, and those women having more power to change our world. I think that women need inner work – around self-doubt and trusting their voices to Play Big, but they also need “outer work” training in specific skills and connection to resources – in order to have a big impact in the world. Me: Sometimes we give in to doubting our own abilities and talents, which can lead to more paralyzing negative thoughts.  Why do you think so many of us get stuck in this train of thought, and what can be done to break free of it? Tara: It’s a great question. There are a few reasons “why” we get stuck here. We are all wired to avoid potential failure, humiliation, or rejection. Self-doubt is actually a way we can stay safe from those outcomes – because self-doubt keeps us from taking the leaps that might lead to criticism or failure.  On top of that, there are cultural factors that contribute to self-doubt for women. And then there are negative individual experiences we’ve had that can get stuck in us like a broken record, and contribute to self-doubt.  But the “why” is a lot less important than the question of what can be done about self-doubt. It turns out that there are simple tools and practices we can use to significantly lessen self-doubt, and much of the work I do with women is about teaching them those tools. The first thing I recommend is to start recognizing your inner critic when it shows up. You’ll know your inner critic because it’s repetitive, irrational, and it’s voice usually has a kind of anxious, chattering tone to it. Sit down with your journal and just inventory the things your critic says, or keep notes over a few days. What does it say about your appearance? Your capabilities? Then, imagine: if this voice were a person, what kind of person would it be: male, female, old, young? Create a character for this voice. For example, I’ve had clients whose inner critic was a stern professor or anxious, worrying old woman. Then give your critic a name. The name could be a regular name like Lucy, or a word (one of my inner critic voices is called “perfectionista”). Start naming your critic when he/she shows up, just like ths: “Hi Lucy. Thanks for sharing your input.” This brings a lightness and humor to the whole inner critic thing and most importantly, it allows you to separate yourself from that voice. We tend to conflate our own best thinking with that voice, but really, it’s very separate from who we really are. In the separation from it, we have choice: do I want to listen to this voice or not? Does it help me or hinder me? Do I have any evidence that what it is saying is true? Me: You’re launching a new woman’s leadership and professional development program called Playing Big.  Can you talk a little bit more about the program and what led you to create it? Yes. I’m so excited about this! It came out of the reality that so many creative, talented women are playing small. They know it, and they want to change it. But how do we do that? How do we start playing big? I believe we need a mix, a recipe so to speak, of several components. We need a supportive community of like-minded women. We need practices to overcome self-doubt and fear, and let go of our attachment to praise and people-pleasing. We need tools to help us clarify our purpose or calling in the world. That’s the inner work. But we also need “outer work” -- practical skills training – in negotiation, pitching/self-promoting, public speaking/communication, getting media attention – what I call “critical skills for world-changing.” The program includes all of those components. We also have an incredible host of outside experts sharing their wisdom in the program – women like #1 NY Times bestselling author Gretchen Rubin, Kiva.org founder Jessica Jackley, Shutter Sisters founder Tracey Clark, best-selling author Jennifer Louden, and many others. The program ends with each woman leaping into action and doing a “playing big” project, with the support of the other women in the program. I want to thank Tara for warmly sharing her thoughts with us.  If you have any questions for Tara or want to share your thoughts on what was said on today’s interview; please feel free to comment below. Receive cool freebies when you register for the Playing Big program today!  This is a perfect opportunity to those of you who are pursuing your passions or need help sharing your ideas or creativity with the world.  For more information on the program, I encourage you to check it out and sign up here! Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share on TwitterFacebook. See Beauty… Ariane Note:  This interview ran a bit a long so we had to cut it short.  But to see more of the interview, please free to click here.
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With Change, Comes Growth

In yesterdays post, I mentioned that I would be embarking on a new journey.  One that will no doubt challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone and allow me to boldly express my voice and my vision with the world. Today, I signed up for a six-month intensive leadership program called Playing Big by Tara Mohr.  I am bubbling over with a mixture of excitement, anticipation, and openness.  As someone who has visions and dreams of changing the world in a way that only I can, I admit that I struggle with owning my own voice and giving into fear.   However, this year is about personal changes and investing in myself to be better than I was a year ago or even yesterday.  I believe that the Playing Big program will change me and show a side of me that I never knew existed.  The side that can take on the world and accomplish beautiful things.  The program offers a multitude of exercises to help discover your voice and gifts to share with the world, practices to overcome fears, and hearing from guests speakers who will share their stories.  Photographer, Tracey Clark will be one of the speakers and I am especially looking forward to hearing from her. It would be wonderful to have you join me in this new journey; if only to say we did this together.  To see more details about the program or sign-up, take a look HERE. I hope to share more as I move forward with this new program. See Beauty… Ariane * Playing Big is a program that I recommend wholeheartedly. By purchasing I receive a small commission from the sale.
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Lost A Client, Gained A Lesson

Late last year I learned one of many valuable lessons on this crazy journey as a photographer; my self-worth.  Since starting out a few years ago, it has been a constant battle between being 100% confident in my talents and letting my doubts and fears get the best of me. Back in November 2010, I received an inquiry from a potential client for wedding photography services.  As always, whenever someone contacts me to work with them I get all sorts of giddy.  The high I get when someone who has seen my work and contacts me to work with them never gets old. The client was the groom-to-be. He had seen my portfolio and felt it suited what he was looking for in a photographer. We had exchanged initial emails and then scheduled a call to get better acquainted.  Everything went along so beautifully as I explained to him my services and got to know him a little better.  We even got to the next stage where we agreed to set up some time to meet in person.  Happy happy, joy joy!! This would be my opportunity to really get to know him and his fiancé and secure them as my clients.  But before he got off the phone he mentioned one last thing “oh yeah, my fiancé and I would like to see some of your sample albums”.  Gulp, sample albums?  Eeeck!  And everything was going so well too, why’d he have to pull the sample album card? I had done wedding albums before but I did not have any physical “samples” to show him.  I didn't have my own studio after all. I became frantic and then the doubts started to creep in on whether or not they would book with me.  So I did what any normal person would do; I panicked! I had such a good feeling about working with them and I didn’t want to make not having a sample album screw up the whole thing. I scheduled us to meet one week out.  I figured that would give me enough time to get my hands on a sample album before our meeting.  As my luck would have it, he emailed me a few days later to tell me it was a pleasure speaking with me but he decided to go with someone else.  Ouch!  I was hugely disappointed.  Not just because I lost a potential client but because I thought it was my fault for worrying too much about needing the album to prove my worth and not recognizing my own value as a photographer.  Later on, I had a conversation about it with a good photographer friend of mine who reminded me that we must always remember that clients are paying for YOU.  It doesn’t matter what gear you have, how many weddings you’ve shot, or any sample albums; your client should want you for you.  In my case, I became distracted with needing an album to “show-off” and not having confidence in the talents that I alone could bring to the table. The sample album doesn’t speak for my capabilities as a photographer, only I can do that. That experience awakened me in so many ways and has helped me to understand who I am as a person and photographer; it was a true test of the value and confidence one must put into themselves and their abilities. Getting past the fear and doubt is no easy task but it can be a test of your strength to see the value in everything you do. Being confident in myself and knowing my own worth hasn’t always come natural for me.  Even now, it is a constant journey of trusting myself, seeking support, and taking risks despite the doubts and fear. In what ways has fear prevented you from seeing your self-worth?  How has it affected you? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This post was inspired by a recent article written by Tara Sophia Mohr titled Playing Big which moved me to explore the ways in which doubts and fear play a role in my life.   I was motivated and encouraged to take on an exciting new challenge that will help me in owning my unique talents and sharing my vision with the world.  More details on that this week... ;) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- See Beauty... Ariane
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