Year of Yes by the creator of Grey’s Anatomy/Scandal/How to Get Away With Murder is all about her life upgrading journey. Although Shonda is constantly being invited to cool parties, guest appearances on JIMMY KIMMEL & a number of other (to die for!!) opportunities, she always declines. Through her wit, charm & humor Shonda describes how shifting her mindset & forcing herself to say yes to everything changed her life. It evolves from saying yes to parties & commencement speeches, to saying yes to herself & her happiness. If you want to know more about Shonda Rhimes, is a TGIT addict or just want some tips on how to change your life, I recommend reading this book!
My five takeaways:
No is a complete sentence
We all have friends, family members & coworkers pulling us into different directions. We do everything we can to make them all happy, even though sometimes we know the answer should be no. Just no. If that favor is going to make you miserable, regretful or you just don’t feel like it today, that’s okay, it’s hard but you’re allowed to say no. This is especially true when someone asks something of you that is awkward – like borrowing a large sum of money you can’t afford to lend. For your own sake the answer should be no. And sometimes that’s a no without a ten minute Powerpoint presentation displaying all of your excuses. Half of the time, if we’re really honest with ourselves, it’s just a failed attempt at making everyone feel better anyway. So weigh the pros and cons, make your decision and if the answer is no – then sorry, no.
Other ways to say no that Shonda mentions : “I’m not going to be able to do that” or “That’s not going to work for me”.
Saying no is also saying yes
Mind blown? Let me explain. When we say no to any healthy action we should be doing (I can name at least ten off the top of my to do list) – we are in fact saying yes, I would like to not feel my best. When we say no I’m not going to – insert any form of self care here – that you know you need – you are actually saying yes, to stress. Et cetera, ETC. No one can deny that life has a tendency to get in the way, but this is just a friendly reminder to be mindful of your decisions. Sometimes saying no, or doing nothing, is in fact saying yes to something else. Mic drop.
I will admit that I have a very hard time accepting compliments. Please tell me I’m not alone. If someone admires an outfit, I often point out a flaw or sheepishly look away. If someone says “Congratulations on a job well done” I will explain all the reasons why it wasn’t actually me. Shonda points out that when we do this – we are in fact diminishing ourselves. AND we are saying that they’re wrong. Someone went out of their way to tell us something nice & WE are saying that it is not true. So even though you might not feel 100% worthy & there might be some improvements that you’d still like to make – you’re getting there! Appreciate the compliment, soak in the positivity you deserve & say thank you.
Is your friend just make believe?
Do the qualities, personality traits, the things you love most about the people in your life actually exist? When is the last time your friend that always (insert action here) actually do it? Are you holding onto the memory of the person they used to be? Or is it something you’ve made up in your mind that they’ve never actually done? Pause. Take a deep breath. Now picture that person and see them for who they really are. Have you been expecting something from them that is just not there? Try to let it go. If it’s a case where they’ve changed, you can either accept it and move on with them in your life, or not. Either way be honest with yourself & stop creating people in your imagination. It’s hard to accept, but this make believe friend can’t come to your rescue when you really need them. They don’t actually exist.
Find your squad
Whether it’s one person, five people, your sister or your coworker, find the people in your life who have your back. These are the people who actually want what’s best for you. They celebrate your victories as though they are their own. They encourage you to succeed & cheer you on every step of the way. These are the people you call when you want a honest opinion, when you don’t think you’ll make it, & when you’re insecure. Everyone needs someone they can turn to when life throws all of it’s **** their way. Your squad. If you haven’t found yours yet, be on the lookout. Once you find them, love them, keep them close & cultivate those relationships. They won’t be perfect, you’re not perfect – but with them in your life, you’ll be substantially happier.
There you have it! My five takeaways. I think the Year of Yes really stood out for me because I could really see myself in her story. The five concepts above are all things that I struggle with and still strive to overcome.
What about you? If there’s anything you can relate to please feel free to leave a comment below! And if anyone you know could benefit from reading this post please share it with them!
All the best until next time!