Episode 147

You Don’t Need More Confidence with Tara Mohr

October 24, 2017

Tara Mohr, author of Playing Big, joins us again today to talk about dealing with fear, getting curious, and busting the myth that we all need a little more confidence. Instead, we’re turning to our intuition and getting in touch with our inner mentors to get honest about what is blocking us.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Let's bust the idea that we need to be confident and go forward when we're feeling self-doubt."
- Tara Mohr

Discussed in this Episode

  • What does it mean to play big?
  • Tools for tackling fear
  • Taking inventory of your feelings + emotions
  • Breaking down the different types of fear
  • Getting curious about what is in the way
  • Busting the idea that we need to be confident
  • Listening to your intuition as a mother
  • Getting in touch with your inner mentor


More from Tara Mohr

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:03
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs.

Unknown Speaker 0:06
I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Tara Mohr 0:10
I'm Tara noir and I'm being bought

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
Hey guys, today we're talking about what it means to play big and why waiting for confidence isn't the answer with our guests and friend Tara more. As always, you can find all the tools books and links we reference on the show notes at being boss club. Okay, bosses, I was shocked whenever Emily shared with me this week that she once had a coaching client who had a stack of unsent invoices for clients, and they were like months old, she was literally leaving money on the table. Now, I don't know about you bosses listening, but I've got bills to pay. And sometimes it can be hard to stay on top of billing, not to mention getting over the anxiety of asking someone for money, even if you earned it. And this is why I love fresh books cloud accounting so much. It makes billing your clients so easy, professional and even automated freshbooks has so many invoicing features, including getting paid a deposit upfront, setting up recurring invoices for retainer clients, and even being able to see when a client has opened their invoice. Try fresh books cloud accounting for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Tara Sophia Moore is an expert on women's leadership and well being an author, educator and certified coach. Tara is the author of playing big practical wisdom for women who want to speak up create and lead published by Penguin Random House and named a best Book of the Year by Apple's iBooks. She lives in San Francisco and loves dance art and long walks with her family. All right on to the show. Tara, we're so excited to have you back on the show. Thanks for joining us.

Tara Mohr 2:05
I'm so happy to be back on the show and talking to both of you again.

Kathleen Shannon 2:09
What have you been up to since last time we chatted?

Tara Mohr 2:12
Well, there was the birthing the kid paying,

Unknown Speaker 2:16

Tara Mohr 2:18
That was fabulous. I have Yeah, I had I had a son The last time I talked to you now I have a daughter and a son. So that's been really huge. And learning how to be a mom of two and a working mom of two. And dealing with our new political and social reality, I would say has been going on a lot too since we last talked. And then continuing. The playing big book came out in 2014. And the paperback came out in 2015. So this is kind of in this interesting stage of when you have a book that has living its own life in the world. And really, the tentacles are reaching far. And then they start to come back around. And it's really interesting at because, you know, for six or seven years of blogging, most people found me through the web. And now most of the people on my list and everything find me through the book. So it's like a really big conceptual shift as an entrepreneur too. And, and so lots of interesting evolutions around that. I love that. Yeah, I

Kathleen Shannon 3:24
think that would be super interesting. Because you I think that for most of us as creative entrepreneurs, a lot of people are long for the ride with us. So there's almost as shorthand between you and your, you know, follower or client or whatever. But then once you start scaling into something like a book, there's obviously the shorthand if they read the book, like that's the textbook of who you are, and what you offer, and all of it condensed into like the most concise thing, but they might not know about your journey of having kids or kind of more of that, like personal professional blend that naturally comes out in a blog post or on a podcast.

Tara Mohr 4:03
Yes, absolutely. And maybe they're not used to reading blog posts, or that's not what they do. You know, it's just a different audience and to some extent, and a big conceptual shift, but it also has been so great to learn. And I'm guessing a lot of people listening are considering writing a book or thinking they might do that. And it's really easy to feel like publishing is so old school that maybe that's not worth doing. So it's been amazing to to see no, that's still really powerful. And and so interesting how many people will say I found you at the library. It's like, oh, okay, that's still going on. Or I found you in the airport bookstore in Mumbai. You know, I just had a woman come to talk in San Francisco, finds your book at the airport bookstore in Mumbai. And it's like, okay, I really I couldn't have gotten there on my own so that that infrastructure still there and so especially for women thinking about it, because our voices don't get out as much time. I'm proud I'm pro the book journey coming out of it.

Unknown Speaker 5:03
I think there's a professional pro as opposed to con. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 5:11
I think that there's also this certain amount of social proof that comes with having a book. So I know that your name had come across my desk a couple of times. But then it's whenever playing book when it's whenever playing big was in my hands like that book was in my hands. I was like, Oh, yes. So I think I was one of those people, too, that probably read the book in conjunction with finding you online. And so let's actually rewind a little bit for our listeners who haven't listened to your first episode with us on being boss, or maybe aren't familiar with the work that you do. Tell us who you are and what you do. Okay, yeah,

Tara Mohr 5:47
yeah. Well, my passion and my calling is all about helping change our world so that it is shaped by women's voices as much as it is by men's voices. And if you feel like, Well, isn't that kind of true already there. So no, you know, if you look at the statistics of who we hear from in newspapers, and who are the talking heads on TV, and just look at our Congress and our government leadership right now, and who's running businesses that actually, you know, get to scale and get funding, we're not yet really living in a world that's shaped by women's voices as much as men. And since I was a little girl, that's something that drove me crazy. And now I get to make it my work. And the approach that I take with that is really an inner one. So it's looking at, what can we do to play bigger and get our ideas out and get our creations into the world and get our voices heard. So I have a coaching background, I also have an MBA background, I have a lifelong love of psychology, and spirituality. And I kind of blend all of that into a set of tools and practices that I found in my work, coaching women, and then leading groups that really helped them like actually made a big difference in helping them play bigger. So that's the topic of the book and my courses. And the last thing I'll add to that, in terms of introduction is just that when I say playing bigger, I don't mean, you know, necessarily, that you have a bigger number of followers or a bigger revenue number we're really talking about what for you Do you know is your real deal of your courageous work and life that you feel called to live and leave, and that might sometimes look big on the outside like, wow, I you know, I, I published a book or I'm growing a big business. But sometimes the women I work with, you know, they maybe they have a really prestigious job, and for them playing big is leaving it and doing something that nobody gets or understands that they're like, I'm starting my small pottery business. And this is the scariest biggest thing I could do in my life. And, and that makes sense, because we live in kind of, you know, a messed up culture in terms of what we value. And so for a lot of us, the right step in our lives is not going to be the validated, celebrated thing. So that's a little bit by way of introduction.

Emily Thompson 8:28
Yeah, and I'll say to having you on the show last time, opened up our audience to you in a way that, that Kathleen, and I heard so much feedback from people who heard from you on our podcast or picked up the book and found it completely and utterly life changing or helping them transition in ways that they had not found the courage to transition before because because our listeners are people who, who are making those leaps from, you know, corporate to doing something they find more fulfilling, or whatever it may be. It was just the message that our people needed to hear in order for them to play bigger or redefine success for themselves in ways that that I know we found super inspirational and very gratifying. So So yeah, if anyone's listening to this hasn't read the book yet. It's right up our alley. So go check it out.

Tara Mohr 9:29
I'm so happy to hear that resonated with people and I know because it was so fun to then get to see so many people from the plane from the being boss community, come over and be in touch and be connected in one way or another. And I just love You know, I adore you both and what you've created so it's great to be in conversation,

Kathleen Shannon 9:48
a love fest. Okay. I want to dig in a little bit because there is this. I hate to say culture, of fear, but there There's a lot of fear happening on very big levels, but even on just like really small levels. So, obviously in the world, if you turn on the news, there's a lot to be scared of. But even on a very micro level, I feel like anxiety is up more than ever just even anecdotally, whenever I'm talking to my friends, everyone's suffering from anxiety and just feeling just bad or jittery. So what do we do? Like, what is this fear? Where is it coming from? What are some of your favorite tools for tackling fear?

Tara Mohr 10:35
Yeah. Well, the first thing I would say about that is that it is completely sane, to feel deeply unsettled by our world. You know, and I think this is one of the things about for us as women maybe because whether you think it's nature or nurture, maybe it's because you know, we haven't been desensitized as much as boys, like, we're not made to become as desensitized as a lot of boys are, but we feel and so how is it that we are supposed to wake up and go, Yeah, I know, you know, one in four kids in the US is going to bed hungry. And I know you know, that nobody's really dealing with the opioid addiction, I know who were incarcerating and, and how crazy it is, and the how the numbers are mushrooming, out of control. I know all of that. And I think it's cool. And I feel at ease with that, and I'm good. That's not sane and normal. So there's something about, you know, just honoring, there is a legacy in our world of, I think that I think has to do a lot with the exclusion of women's voices and devaluing, caring and caregiving and more, you know, a softer way of living, there's a legacy of us not honoring that, that has created a world that it's quite normal for us to feel anxious, and we can honor that, you know, and just pretend to feel also sad, really sad about it. But then, of course, we don't want to just live in that place. So So what are we, you know, what do we actually do? And I think, you know, when it comes to that big picture, anxiety, and all that, there's a lot of need to just have a space. And I think everyone needs this in their life, whether you're feeling anxious right now or not, but have a space where you check in with yourself, like what is going on in me today, or what is going on this week. And you can do that with? You know, like in a peer relationship where you each check in with each other like that, you can do that with your partner, like my husband, and I just have, like, we call it check ins, where like, one person just shares, I'm feeling this, I'm feeling this, I'm concerned about this, I'm excited about this, like talk talk and all the other other person does is reflect back what they heard. So they're not giving advice. They're not, you know, asking, they might be asking questions to learn a little more, but they're not asking like challenging questions. They're not agreeing or disagreeing. They're just holding space for the other person to get in touch with how they're feeling. And the good news about us as human beings is

when we talk about how we're feeling, or we become aware of it, or we journal about it, you know, we put it into language, we do start to move through those feelings. It's like just a taking inventory. And if you don't do that, you're not going to be able to process your feelings in a way that keeps things moving. So so stuck feelings and repressed feelings and unacknowledged feelings don't start coming out and really destructive ways. So that's kind of on the just anxiety about our world. But a lot of times in my work, what I'm dealing with more is the fear and anxiety that comes up for women, as they're like, I'm going to share this idea or I'm thinking about sharing that idea. I'm thinking about launching that business kind of the more practical like, this is scary. And And for that, again, it's good to be aware of it. And if you've read the book, or if you've listened to, you know, conversations like this before, you know I talk about these two ancient words for fear, Pahad and euro, and they tend to be really useful terms for people to start thinking about their fear, and these two ways, and hide here. So these are, first of all, these are ancient Hebrew words. So these are 1000s of years old. They're in the Old Testament. So this is like a quite essential way of, of how human beings are with fear that stands are particular this particular era to others had is the fear of projected things or imagined things. So when you're imagining a worst case scenario, when you're projecting the movie, you know, I'm going to quote my pricing and the client is gonna say, Who do you think you are? I'm gonna You know, audition to do the TEDx talk, and they're gonna laugh me out of the room. That's like the projected movie imagining what could happen. That's a hard fear. And that what it's important to know, basically, because it's really over reactive, it's really misleading. And when you notice you're in it, you want to try and shift outfit. The other kind of fear that we never talk about in our culture is this euro. And euro is what you feel when you suddenly come into possession of more energy than you normally have. So whatever you do, that gives you that boost of energy. When you're inhabiting a larger space than you are used to inhabiting, or when you are in touch with the sacred, however you define that. And there's this feeling that comes up with that infusion of energy and stepping into larger space and sacred that is a very fear, like feeling but a really special heightened positive state. And so you want to start to look for that in your fear to not just label it fear, but what is actually bringing you euro, and lean into those things. This is a kind of fear when it's not like the other one where we just want to make sure it doesn't hijack us, we want to get comfortable being in and breathing in euro. And you can both probably think of, you know, what are the steps you took in your business? Or the things you've done that have brought that feeling? Or where have you resisted it? You know, and how is that kind of limited? What happened next?

Emily Thompson 16:32
So, it all sounds super great and good. But practicing it to like when you're in the throes of fear one or the other? How do you actually?

Unknown Speaker 16:43
What do you do?

Unknown Speaker 16:46

Emily Thompson 16:46
and and let's start let's start with that, like holding space, when are being in a larger space, kind of fear? Where you're doing something in your business that feels a little nuts? And what is the steps that you need to take to overcome it or get comfortable with it or whatever?

Tara Mohr 17:04
Yeah, I don't think it's a matter of overcoming it. Because I do think, you know, when we're doing those things, we're gonna feel that heightened state, it's pretty hard to like, convince ourselves, you know, to be really calm and cool home or doing something that feels super, super risky, or big. So, so first of all, recognizing it, like, Okay, I'm having that, you know, I'm having that big fear, excitement feeling, you can call it Iraq, that, that means I'm on the right track. The minute you give language to a feeling, you decrease the intensity of it. And there's research that shows that. So if you kind of think of it as like, you've got this chemical, hormonal, emotional thing going on. And when you attach language, you're you're giving your left brain sort of connection to what's happening. That decreases the intensity of the whole thing. So always name what you're feeling in writing or allow give it language. Oh,

Kathleen Shannon 18:01
best advice. Last night, I was in a total shit mood. And I was in that kind of like bad mood that I didn't even want to get out of, you know, like, I was secretly indulging in this bad mood. So I refuse to talk to anybody. I was just silent treatment being my whole family. And I know if I would have just spoken out loud and said, Well, I'm burnt out on I Oh, my kid throwing a fit every five minutes like it would have instantly just made it a little bit lighter and a little bit better.

Tara Mohr 18:31
Yes, totally. Yeah. You can't kind of you get to the you can't go back once you've set it like not quite the same. Yeah. So that's number one. And then with Iran, really, we're trying to just breathe into it and and breathe through it and be at home with it. But if you notice, you've got some of that panicky Pahad. There's a lot of simple things you can do in the moment. So

Emily Thompson 18:54
let's think like a super practically. You're on your Apple iPhone. Yeah, swipe left, you see the headlines. And you're like, the scared.

Tara Mohr 19:05
Yeah. Okay. What do you do? Yeah. So, so one thing you can do is pick, pick an energy that are quality of positive energy or quality that really resonates for you. And it could be love, it could be peace, it could be curiosity. And in that moment, you want to do everything you can to connect to that energy. Because fear is fear is a physiological and the psychological state of being. And so we can't really be in fear and love at the same time. We can't be in fear and curiosity at the same time. So when you connect to one of those positive states, you automatically shift out of fear. So how do you do that? You might put on some music that really puts you in one of those, like, what song to you is just that energy of love, put it on what color to you is that energy of love, close your eyes and really visualize that color and be in that color. What physical posture to you is that energy of love, get into that physical posture and see how that changes your state. Sometimes just thinking of the word sometimes, you know, if you can, what's that personify that energy? And then imagine yourself, like holding hands with whatever figure represents that to you or standing next to whatever figure. So what energy can you shift into? and curiosity is one of my favorite ones. Because sometimes, you know, if it feels like you're looking at that headline, and you're like, Huh, love, like love is the furthest thing from what this headline is telling me is going on. But curiosity can feel a little more neutral and closer. And so what what that's all about is instead of reacting, like with the terror or the, you know, anger, what about this situation? Can I get curious about and in fact, I just saw a Facebook post this morning from a woman, white woman who was sharing that she was in a restaurant, and she heard someone sharing really racist things at the table next to her. And, and she didn't say anything. And so she was writing this Facebook post to say, like, I didn't say anything, I'm feeling horrible. I should have said something. I'm like articulating this, so I can do it differently next time. And then it was interesting. There was like, 50 comments, and some people were saying, well, maybe you didn't say anything, because you were triggered, and that's appropriate. And some people think you should have said something, and everyone kind of, you know, jumped in and was debating, and, and I just asked her, like, do you know, you know, what thought or feeling prevented you from saying something? In other words, instead of shaming yourself or feeling guilty here? What if you get curious, like the curiosity, what happened in that situation that I was so opposed to what this woman was saying? And yet, hmm, you know, I couldn't find the way to say something to be curious about that. And, and when we're curious, there's a kind of, you know, neutrality to that and non judgement that it takes us out of fear takes us out of shame, and allows us to actually get some insights about what's going on. And she said, you know, wow, I actually, I forgot to think about that like, and think about that she was going through this whole trip on herself if I didn't say anything, and I forgot to just be curious about what was in the way. And of course, she's only going to get past this, if she can answer that question. And she kindly asked the question, if she's non judgmental enough of herself for a minute, you know, to be curious about it.

Emily Thompson 22:49
Yeah, I certainly feel like fear is the hard stop. And it's the place where you stop moving forward in any capacity. But curiosity gives me this feeling of just consistently meandering on whatever that may be. And I would much rather be moving on in one capacity or the other, even if it may not be in the completely right direction, then just stopping, because that will do nothing.

Tara Mohr 23:13
Well, it's gonna say for entrepreneurs, you know, This often happens to with like, we put something out and we hear crickets. And we're so upset by that we completely forgot about the possibility to be curious about what happened. And we just want to go away and hide, or we just say, I'm never trying that again. And so we don't find out anything. And if we could just be curious, like, Huh, you know, did the email not get delivered? Did nobody understand what I was talking about in the email? Does nobody want that? Right? There's so many possibilities and curiosity can allow us to get those answers.

Kathleen Shannon 23:48
Yeah, I was just going to say that I experienced that same seeing whenever it comes to clients, one on one clients, whenever I get an email back saying, I don't like something. And whenever they get really defensive, if I can get curious, I can see Oh, they're afraid that they're never going to get the logo that they feel represents who they are and what their business is all about. And so for me, curiosity in my business, has really unlocked a place of compassion, and allows me to be more compassionate for the person on the other side, and also more compassionate for myself, like maybe I'm afraid that I'm never going to be able to design another logo ever again, or I'm never going to be able to articulate in the book, I'm writing exactly what it is that I want to be saying. And if instead I can get curious, I can ask better questions. And whenever you ask better questions, you're going to get

Tara Mohr 24:42
better answers. Yeah. And you can hear them because you're not in a place of defending and you're not trying to decide whether you agree or not, you're just listening. You know, I love that phrase of you're listening only to find out what's true for the other person. Ah,

Unknown Speaker 25:02
that's it.

Kathleen Shannon 25:03
Okay, I have another question. This is something that I've been butting up against a lot lately. And even as I'm journaling, I'm starting to figure it out. If I can just remember to be confident, like, I know that I have it within me, even using some of your tools, like my inner mentor, visualizing who I am in 20 years. But sometimes, I forget, it's almost like in the moment, I'm so hijacked, I forget to even come back to the tools to name my fear, to name what I'm feeling to, you know, refer to my inner mentor and see what they're telling me to do. How do you actually remember to go back to all these tools that we've been equipped with?

Tara Mohr 25:44
You don't?

Unknown Speaker 25:47
I think that's

Tara Mohr 25:48
part of it, you know, it's like, it's the journey of remembering maybe more quickly than you did the last time, you know, or not, because you're really on an edge. And when you're on an edge of your own growth, you know, you will confront, you'll confront self doubt in a new way. And you might be in it for six weeks until you're like, Wait a second, you know, this is self doubt. There's some stuff I do about this, instead of just feeling like the truth is, right, this first six weeks, maybe the truth is, I'm not good enough for this. So I think we can, you know, hold ourselves to an unreasonable standard and a perfectionistic. One to be like, I'm always supposed to remember the tool in the moment, the tools are kind of there to bring you back because we stray and, and we, I think the more you practice them, you start to overall remember more quickly, and things certain things become more habitual.

Kathleen Shannon 26:46
I mean, I can literally get it like tattooed on my body. And I don't remember, I tattooed Wabi Sabi on my wrist, and I still don't remember to be perfectly imperfect.

Unknown Speaker 26:56
That's a good tip for everyone do not use tattooing as a strategy for constantly remembering something because yeah, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 27:05
even that doesn't

Tara Mohr 27:05
work. But there are practices. So you can also build in, you know, what are the practices you want to build in so that you don't have to remember? Like, if you know, that, you know, after you take a great run, you don't feel afraid, then like, great, you know, can you just run regularly, whether you're feeling afraid first or not? Or that when you have that long conversation with a dear friend, okay, so make it a phone date. So you know, put things in place. So you don't always have to remember, but also know, that's part of the game. But I also want to ask you, you know, why are you feeling like you need confidence, because, you know, that I'm, I'm a big believer in, you know, Let's bust Let's bust the idea that we need to be confident and go forward when we're feeling self doubt. So what are you feeling like you need to be confident about?

Kathleen Shannon 27:53
Oh, I mean, just all of it showing up. Okay, podcasts every week, writing a book, you know, all the things that kind of take up that playing big space, I suppose. And we actually more specifically around being a mom, I think that that's one of those things where, especially in the early days, whenever I didn't even know how to swaddle and my mom would just come in and swaddle my baby with confidence. And he was so chill, because she was so confident. So probably, I would say in the mom space is where I feel the least confident, and where I need to remember that I'm the boss. And a really good mom, like, whenever I can remember that I'm a really good mom, things just go so much smoother.

Tara Mohr 28:38
Yeah, yeah. Because you know, what I, you know, what, what has been? I think where we, we can really get stuck by thinking, we can do X, Y, and Z, when we're feeling confident, or if we're feeling confident, because then we start going, Well, if I take another training, then I'll feel differently, and then I'll be able to, or if I, you know, didn't have that, like, whereas, as you're acknowledging, right, that when we're doing the things that are playing big, we don't feel confident. And you know, I just read this amazing study that was done by by KPMG. And they looked at confidence levels in women in corporate America and the, the number of women that indicated they were confident between junior level and women who had reached executive levels was a 10%. difference. That's it.

Kathleen Shannon 29:35
That's interesting, like a boost or decline.

Unknown Speaker 29:38
That's a boost.

Kathleen Shannon 29:39
I swore I play big, the less confident I feel in general, it's kind of like, the more you know, the more you know, you don't know

Tara Mohr 29:46
kind of thing. Yeah. And the more you're doing vulnerable things. Yeah. Right. You're out on a stage like we'd all feel confident, you know, if we were just, I mean, it's easier to feel confident when you're not putting yourself in your voice out there. So that's it, guys. My point like if you're continually on, you're playing big edge, you're going to be doing things that are vulnerable. you're exposing yourself to criticism, you are bucking the socialization for girls and women by even showing up and taking up space. So your safety instinct is going to be like, this is not very safe. What are we doing? And as a result of that, we'll say like, shouldn't you go back on your couch and hide because you're not this enough, you're not that enough, you're not bad enough. And that's when all the inner critic comes up. So you know, in the playing big model, we are not trying to be confident you will not find anything in playing big that is there to help you be confident we will only find tools that help us live with self doubt and go forward anyway. And, yeah, we don't want to wait on confidence. Amen.

Emily Thompson 30:49
To that, I want to go back to being a mom and playing big because I know this is something I struggle with this to nothing makes me want to get back in bed more than like, I can do all the big interviews, all the bugs and do all the things and I can totally do it and feel fine. But I can get one snarky look for my kid, and I'm done with my day. So let's talk about let's talk about the the parenting role and how that challenges you to play big or even what kinds of struggles and opportunities show up that allow you to I don't know, practice playing big in different ways. Yeah,

Tara Mohr 31:28
parent. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I just started doing some speaking about this. And, and part of that is about how, you know, normally when we talk about mothering and playing big or parenting and playing big, you know, there's certainly a lot of people talking about balance, like, how do you balance both? And then there's the whole conversation that's like, no, it's not about balance. It's about integration. Okay, um, you know, that neither of those two topics, has been that compelling to me yet, then there's like a group of people talking about, how do you bring more mothering skills and gifts into the business world? So like, how do we change the business world so that it's more infused with everything that we are and have learned as mothers and caregivers as women? That's great. But where I have really gotten, really personally, I think, challenged and stretched is, how do I bring a plane big energy into being a mom. And what I mean by that is, you know, as I started, like, taking, you know, well, first, it just starts with, like, your choices around giving birth, you know, and when you're looking, giving birth, you're all of a sudden, coming right up against this whole system, in our culture that you know, has, has not the most empowering view of birth and women's role in it. And the sacredness of that right, and all of that. So what kind of choices to make there. And then when it was time, like for my son to go to school, where I live, everybody starts preschool at two. And if you don't start preschool at two, you don't get into a preschool. It's like, an insane amount of demand and not that much supply. And I was kind of following along those that line. And then just really, it started to feel very clear to me that he wasn't going to do that separation easily. And even though everyone I know is telling me like, you know, the way you do it, is you drop them off and walk out the door. Like that really didn't feel right for me. And I was shocked how much like fear and pressure and self doubt I that came up for me around like how do I trust my own voice here when it felt like everyone around me was pressuring me to do something different. And so luckily, I ended up you know, also not sort of, like not wanting to have to speak up but not being able to not speak up and had to kind of make some big moves and change his school situation. And, and, you know, wait until I felt like he was ready. But that was completely countercultural in our, you know, in our area and to a lot of the influential people around me. So it was this whole new like, Oh, you know, I have to find my voice here and trust my voice, and probably even more than in my work because in my work I kind of get to operate in my entrepreneurial bubble. But with your pet with parenting. You are in We are facing with our mainstream health care system you're interfacing with, you know, our ideas about education with our cultural ideas about Parenthood. So, and, and all of that is, even though those spheres are often women dominated, they're still completely colored by a patriarchal, right path and a lot of end up in a patriarchal society. So I think it's a really interesting frontier for women has moms and dads too, but especially women, to really like, how do we listen to our own intuition and voices as mothers, especially when that requires not doing the people pleasing thing, and, you know, gosh, we all love to do the people pleasing thing, like that's so much easier. So for me, that's been like a really

Unknown Speaker 35:44
good edge.

Tara Mohr 35:48
And you know, that I think our like, our love for our kids can really push us to leave people pleasing in a way that maybe nothing else before has,

Emily Thompson 36:03
I can definitely see that. And I've never even really thought about it myself in particular, and my the parenting side of me being so different from the business owner side of me, like, I've never quite thought about how different I am in both scenarios, even though I bring a lot of qualities to both of them. And in many ways back and forth. There are so many things that that don't crossover around what I am willing to stand up for, or, or let slide or whatever it may be. So I have to think a little more about that. And try to try to I don't know, I guess resolve perhaps some in consistencies.

Tara Mohr 36:46
Do you feel like you have a stronger voice in your work? Then in your parenting? Or?

Emily Thompson 36:51
I think it depends on the situation there. There are things I know. And as a parent, I would not let stay in. But as a business owner, I don't have time to argue, or but also vice versa. Like there are things in my business that I would not let go for anything. But as a parent, I don't have time to argue. Yeah, so I would, I would be willing to stand down more easily. That's interesting. I look forward to thinking about that a bit more.

Kathleen Shannon 37:20
I think that being a mom has really taught me how to play big and advocate for somebody else. And so, you know, really that place of getting curious, like, wait, why do you want to cut off a piece of my son's penis whenever he's born? Let's talk about this. Where did this begin? Who, what, why, and it's just to really help you unlock your own answers. And for me, that also started with how I gave birth, and then everything that follows that. So it's gotten very easy to question some systems. But other systems I come up against and feel a little, I guess, you know, stuck between like a rock and a hard place. I think particularly around education, like homeschooling isn't necessarily an option for me. But public education definitely leaves something to be desired. So there are these places where I feel like, things could be better, but I'm only one person, I only have so much time in my day. But then, you know, really being able to leverage platforms like this to help make change and play big and just even say, like, is anyone else thinking about this right now?

Tara Mohr 38:31
And it's also the way we talk to our kids about the systems, they're going to be in no matter what, right? Like, I know, you know, I, I went to public school. And it wasn't just that, you know, there, there were certain crazy, you know, crazy, hierarchical social dynamics going on, you know, all those things, wasn't just that I experienced them. It was also that I wasn't getting any message from anywhere. And you know, saying like, well, it doesn't have to be that way. Or, you know, this isn't the only way to teach a history class or your worth isn't about your grades, right? So regardless of where, you know, what what systems they need to be part of, because they're all going to be part of the culture. It's, it's also how we talk to them about those things, right, and what perspective we help them have.

Emily Thompson 39:20
Yeah, as a mom of a nine year old guy, I've been in the throes of that for years. And I know even now, it's just getting started, where I have to be so much more cognizant of how I'm speaking and what I'm speaking about and where it's leading and what I'm not speaking about and what I should be all of those things. I've gotten to a point where I cannot let anything leave my mouth without seriously considering it for right because next thing I know, it'll be coming right out of hers. Yeah.

Tara Mohr 39:53
Yes. Total sponges, right. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 39:56
I think as creative entrepreneurs, we're very practiced in exploring how things have always been done, what we want to take on and continue to do, because it really makes sense. Like maybe it's always been done that way, because it's a good idea to track your income and expenses, right. And then there are also other things that we get to question. And so learning that I guess being a parent has helped me hone those skills a little bit more, but also being a creative entrepreneur. And I feel like they've really gone hand in hand, the my thing was playing big as a parent, honestly, as being tapped out at 8am. By the time I dropped my kids off at daycare, so like, I'm integrated, I've got balance, but at 8am, I just don't have, there's very little energy left. And so then it's almost like, um, you know, boxers, like how they wear them out in the first round. And then really, your test is being able to make it 11 more rounds, even after your top out after one round. And so like, that's, that's what I feel like every morning, like, I've been in a boxing match with my kid, and I lost that round one. And I have 11 more rounds to go plus picking them up, and still having enough energy. So for me, I think it comes down to energy. And maybe this is just having a three year old but Emily has told me it doesn't get any better.

Unknown Speaker 41:17
Doesn't it? I mean, yeah, things will

Emily Thompson 41:19
get better, but then there'll just be more thing,

Kathleen Shannon 41:22
all the people have told me it doesn't get better.

Unknown Speaker 41:25

Tara Mohr 41:27
you know, it's But yeah, I used to be I'm like a total morning writer type, I would get up at every, you know, 5am I like the silence the pristine silence of the house, I do all my writing in the morning. It's like, you know, I like to like be watching as the rest of the world wakes up. And now it's like, you know, of course, like other people wake me up, there's 900 things I do before I sit down to write, you know, it's a big adjustment. But I will say I think one of the pluses is, you know, there's some research on like, creativity and brainstorming are enhanced, when you're tired, like, they're not the most they're not, we think you need to be the most alert. But when you're super alert, your thinking is sort of like sharp, and the critical thinking is high end in a way that's not so good for creativity. So I have found, you know, as much as sometimes the mom haze, like, I feel like it I it's in my way, I also feel like it can be interesting creatively, and I do feel I'm too tired and too busy, to be inhibited. You know, like that good girl thing of like, I have time to research it perfectly, I have time to double check it. I have time, you know, that can go away. And I think with it just overthinking in general can go away because you don't have the time or energy. And that I feel like is a real positive, you know, it can free us up to just like, make decisions more quickly get to the bottom line of things more quickly.

Unknown Speaker 42:56

Tara Mohr 42:57
you know, that's the other side of what you're saying about the 9am exhaustion.

Kathleen Shannon 43:01
I was just gonna say like your inner mentor exercise has I probably use it daily Tara. So thank you so much for it and part of it. And let's just maybe explain real quickly, for our listeners, what the inner mentor is, if you haven't heard our first episode.

Tara Mohr 43:16
Yeah, yeah. So this is I'm so glad because like, this is such a helpful tool for so many people. So I'm glad we're talking about it. So the idea of the inner mentor is, and you're getting in touch with a vision, a sense of yourself, maybe 20 or 30 years into the future. And you can do that through a guided visualization. And we can put the link in the show notes. It's also in the book. And so you're not like if I were to just say to you right now, who do you want to be in 20 years, you would say, you know, I want my savings to be here. And I want to have you know, this kind of look in my house. We're not talking about that vision, we're going to get out of your everyday thinking and you know, just take a few minutes to do a visualization to get to what we're really talking about here. And what's so amazing and Kathleen can tell you when people do this visualization, they don't just meet their kind of vision hopeful post older self you meet this really interesting, your authentic self, your wise self, your soulful self and and get a really vivid sense of her. And then you can relate to that. figure that presence, like a mentor. What would she do in this situation? What does she have to say about the thing you're struggling with? And we can you know, we could even take a situation right now and

Unknown Speaker 44:43
write right now

Kathleen Shannon 44:44
just share that whenever I consulted my inner mentor about two things. One just feeling so tired that tapped out feeling and then two whenever I consulted her about sleep training specifically because that's something I've very much I've struggled with myself in 30 years is one incredibly proud that I've been able to build a business that is centered around my values. And what I care about the most, myself in 30 years doesn't really remember how sleep deprived I was. And if anything, it feels more like battle wounds, like kind of like a, something to be proud of almost. And then number two, whenever it comes to the sleep stuff, my inner mentor in 30 years actually can't even remember what we did with sleep. Did I sleep train did I not know I only let him cuddle with me in bed all night. And that was fine. He's a 30 year old grown ass man. Now he's writing. So I mean, kind of in this very practical, it's kind of like one of those what's really going to matter in 30 years and what isn't. But also, it's helped me really glean some very specific perspective around exactly what I'm going through, and finding a way to shift what feels like a negative really into a positive.

Tara Mohr 46:04
So great. Yeah, it's just, you know, it's like every day we hear from people about the inner mentor tool, so I just want to urge everyone to try it. Because if you're looking for like, how do I get direction in my life? or How can I dissenter and calm when I'm, you know, feeling really frantic, like this is, this is the magical tool. It really is kind of magical. And I didn't come up with it, it, it comes out of the coaches Training Institute where I was trained. But you know, I've just watched it now be so transformative for so many people. And it's super practical, as you're saying, I mean, any whatever you're writing an email, I was, how would your inner mentor right at whatever's whatever's going on that you need a little help with?

Kathleen Shannon 46:50
So one more question about the inner mentor that we get a lot from people who have listened to the first episode or from our peers that we've talked to is they go through the visualization. So dear listeners, if you want to pause this, check out the show notes, do the visualization yourself by the book, read through the exercise. And some people have said that they've had a hard time connecting, like they can't quite get there to the place where they can visualize and I think creatives, like artists, especially might have an easier time like seeing something in their mind. But for people who are not quite as visual, how can they do you have any extra special tips or tricks for getting in touch with your inner mentor if it's just not showing up for you? Yeah,

Tara Mohr 47:36
and the first thing I'll say is, if you've read the book, you know, the first time I did this exercise, I had a horrible experience, and I had like a really dark negative vision. So and then I, you know, was able to do it again and love this tool. So I'm just I'm with you, if you had a challenging experience first, and you don't need to despair. So So there's a couple things. One is sometimes it's just on the first try, it doesn't click for people, and you can always try it again, in a different setting, no big deal. And to a really common thing I hear from people is like, I just didn't get anything, I didn't get a lot. And this will always some percentage of women in my course will always be like, that didn't work for me. And then I'll say, Okay, tell me, you know, just tell me, what are the things you did get? And they'll name four or five or two or three incredibly like evocative interesting things, you know, we didn't see anything except, like, I just saw three huge oak trees and she was sitting on this big stone underneath. Okay, so then we'll talk about Okay, well, what do oak trees mean to you? Oh, well, oak trees are in the place, you know, that I would go every summer growing up. Okay. How did you feel when you were there? Oh, I felt okay. So this is telling you know, how you are in the oak tree space is telling you something about the energy of your inner mentor. So I, you know, 99% of the time when people say they didn't connect, they're really saying my inner critic decided this wasn't enough I didn't, or it's not what I wanted it to be. So really look at what you did get. And if it's unclear to you treat it like dream imagery, like, what do I associate with that? What role do those symbols play in my life? If you have no associations with it, personally, Google it, and you'll be surprised, like, Oh, that's a symbol of that. Now, that makes perfect sense. Right? So, um, work with what you did have, if you fell asleep, you know, during it, like, Don't lie down next time, you know, sit on a stool. And if you had a really, really dark depressing vision, and by that I don't mean like, you weren't married to who you hoped but you know, like, or, you know, you didn't live in the kind of house you wanted, but like something extremely dark as a whole than just your inner critic can sometimes get in there. So go to chapter one to playing big do some inner critic work and then go back to inner mentor. And then the very last thing I'd say is it You just feel 100% sure you're not a visualization person, which there's a small percentage of people that are. There's other suggestions in the book, you can, you know, you can try journaling about it with your non dominant hand. So if you're right handed, do this in your left hand, kind of get you out of your quick thinking critical brain and right about what you hear your older, wiser self is about. Or you could, you know, use a collage format. There's, you know, other ideas in the, in the book. So, yeah, everybody can connect, in one way or another.

Kathleen Shannon 50:40
I love it. I love feeling like, you know, I did the visualization. And I come back to it often since I first read that chapter in the book. And it's almost like, I feel like it's meeting me halfway, like my enrollment, looking backward in time, and I'm working forward in time, and we're going to meet each other in 15 years, instead of like, 30 years out, you know what I mean? So and I think that that is the power of doing this visualization is that you get there faster.

Tara Mohr 51:06
Totally. It's, it's like having a you that wants to come out, pulling you forward, and you're pulling her and yeah, I love that image. That's beautifully said what's what's one thing that you'd like done differently or change because of how you see her?

Unknown Speaker 51:24
Ooh, I'm

Kathleen Shannon 51:28
probably again, just coming back to parenting mostly, is the thing that I've changed the most or that gives me the most perspective because of her. And so just kind of being the cool, calm collected, flexible parent that I want to be rather than mean, Mommy. Mommy, mommy has been making an appearance lately. So

Emily Thompson 51:56
well i'm sure wiser you will see the value and occasionally being me mommy as well.

Kathleen Shannon 52:07
mean mommy's gonna meet me in 15 years and be why you should have been mean in that moment.

Unknown Speaker 52:12
Right? Why

Emily Thompson 52:13
is why is Emily is all about timing, mommy.

Kathleen Shannon 52:18
And Lee's Minar inner mentor is telling my inner mentor to

that's a concept. Let's all let our inner mentors hang out and see what

Emily Thompson 52:33
they would probably be equal parts height, herbal tea, and wine, I'm sure. And probably skinny dipping at some point.

Kathleen Shannon 52:43
Really should try that as an exercise, like have a business meeting, a planning meeting where it's like, okay, we're showing up as our inner mentors.

Emily Thompson 52:51
What are they? We probably both quit our jobs immediately.

Unknown Speaker 52:53
I could just see. But I think so. Or, like,

Emily Thompson 53:01
I can only imagine that, like, we would probably just go into writing books full time, for sure. And oh, man, we should do that. We're going to make

Kathleen Shannon 53:12
travel a lot more our inner mentors want to travel to have this meeting yet?

Emily Thompson 53:18
Well, then maybe we should meet them halfway.

Unknown Speaker 53:22
Love it. Love. I

Tara Mohr 53:23
would love to see that. And I'll send you I'll send you guys the little like checklist of you know, this is actually post the book that I created this. It's not in there, like kind of how to like, some good ways to discern if you're really hearing from your inner mental or not. So then you can call each other out. Like if if you know, you left your inner mentor voice and just went into day to day, then you can have that list out. It'd be very interesting. Because the question, of course, then becomes like, once you said that, you know, till then why aren't you writing books full time? Right? Like, that's we're working on it

Emily Thompson 53:56
one step at a time.

Kathleen Shannon 53:58
I love that book at all. Or do you have another book coming

Unknown Speaker 54:01
out? And I I'm

Tara Mohr 54:03
starting to percolate on some things.

Unknown Speaker 54:06
Yeah. Yeah.

Tara Mohr 54:08
I don't call it I call it a longer writing project. Because that's more friendly.

Unknown Speaker 54:13
For some fear.

Tara Mohr 54:15
If I say book, you know, it's like it. I have, it's interesting. Like if it's if it's a book, then my inner critic kind of goes like that you have to wait until you're not tired. You have to write in this special way that's better than how you write on your blog. So for now, it was just working on some longer writing projects.

Kathleen Shannon 54:35
I know so let's let's kind of wrap a bow around this episode. I would love if you could just share three actionable things you would tell a creative to do right now to play a little bigger. Yeah.

Tara Mohr 54:48
Yeah, a lot bigger. And I would first of all, spend a lot less time on social media. Yeah, like tune out what what other people are creating Notice what you are thinking or envisioning that feels quirky, weird, strange, you know, different from what you hear anyone else saying and follow that, you know, that's actually as odd as it will feel to you at first like that. That's weird content. Like that's actually where your distinctive work is coming through. So yeah, so follow that. And then the last thing I would say is, you know, depending on what word resonates with you, whether it's prayer, surrender, openness, curiosity, whatever stance you can be in where you are asking to be a channel for something to come through you, I think that that kind of intention setting is really powerful. Because that's what you know, I believe creativity, what we create doesn't just come from us, our small selves, it comes from something larger and comes through us. So saying to that something larger, I'm open, I'm available. I will listen and then actually listening. That's the harder part. Right? actually listening is really, I think makes a huge difference to I know, it certainly does in my my creativity.

Emily Thompson 56:25
That's good. All right. where can our people find more about you?

Tara Mohr 56:31
Yeah, so Tara more calm. And it's more as mo h, r. And then of course, playing big the book is called playing big practical wisdom for women who want to speak up, create and lead. And you can find that on Amazon or wherever you like to buy books. And I look forward to connecting with

Unknown Speaker 56:52

Emily Thompson 56:53
All right, we have one more, we have one more question for you. We need to know what makes you feel more? More boss?

Unknown Speaker 57:02
Or more boss? Well, yeah,

Emily Thompson 57:04
you feel most boss?

Unknown Speaker 57:05
Yeah, yeah,

Tara Mohr 57:06
I love this question. You know, what it is, for me it is employing other women. And really, you know, letting that thing again, that I am there are other women in this world, who get to support their families, be earners in their families, and do work that they love, because of the value that this business is creating. You know, I just never thought I knit for whatever reason I didn't like expect that to really be part of my life journey, you know, or even my business journey. And now that it is, I just find that incredibly meaningful like that There are moms who are paying for stuff for their kids and paying for themselves and having a different dynamic in their marriages. And you know, all of that because because of working in this way and getting to and being a part of what we're creating in the business. So that feels really good. And it it you know, there's

Unknown Speaker 58:11
this whole idea

Tara Mohr 58:12
that you know, the new idea about power, it's not power over its power to like, what are what are you helping people have the power to do and so you know, when I for me feeling boss, it's not it's, it's what do you help people have the power to do? Yeah,

Emily Thompson 58:32
I think that isn't my favorite answers yet.

Thank you so much for coming to hang out with us again.

Tara Mohr 58:39
Thank you. Thanks, everybody, for listening.

Emily Thompson 58:45
We have gotten so much amazing feedback over the years from listeners about how our podcast has helped them start to grow and uplevel their businesses. So we want to celebrate you. Here's the boss we're celebrating this week.

Unknown Speaker 58:58
So I'm Emily Mullen, and I am being boss. I designed greeting cards and prints with authentic sentiments, written paper goods, calm, and celebrating a successful weekend as a vendor at the totally awesome independence day festival here in Columbus, Ohio, which celebrates indie music and art in our city. When I attended last year's festival, I came across an interactive art piece and started me in a box that would later become a bonfire. And at that time, I wrote down that I was afraid I'd never be a real artist. But this year I was a vendor at the very same festival and I got tons of positive feedback. Lots of newsletter signups and I nearly sold out at some of my cars. So thanks Emily and Kathleen for all the advice and motivation over the last year.

Kathleen Shannon 59:48
If you're feeling boss and when to submit your own boss moment or when go to WWW dot being boss club slash I am being boss. This episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books. Cloud accounting thank you to fresh books for sponsoring us and you guys can try it for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss, thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And are being countered David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 1:00:26
Do the work. Be boss, and we'll see you next week.