An affirmation from a book written by Shonda Rhimes

emotional health self-care weekly affirmation Dec 01, 2016

You probably know who Shonda Rhimes is, right? She is the writer and creator of Thursday nights on ABC with shows like “Grey’s Anatomy”, “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Scandal”. I’m a long time Grey’s fan and it’s the only show I watch on TV since removing cable and satellite several years ago. I was already a fan of hers before reading her book called “The Year of Yes”. I didn’t know there books written by Shonda Rhimes. But I’m an even bigger fan after reading this book. Here’s why.

Book written by Shonda Rhimes – “Year of Yes”

We read blog posts and books about the art of saying no. It’s something we talk about often. We talk about it at the break room table and with our friends. We strategize effective ways to say no and how important it is to be able to say no.  “Year of Yes” asks a different question. This book written by Shonda Rhimes offers her personal accounting of a year where she said yes to everything that scared her. And it really got me thinking. In fact, this quote from the book says it best one page 141.

“…Losing yourself doesn’t happen all at once. Losing yourself happens one no at a time. No to going out tonight. No to catching up with that old college roommate. No to attending that party. No to going on vacation. No to making a new friends…”

What can you say yes to?

What are things we can say yes to? How much are we missing out on because were afraid to say yes? Or perhaps, we’re afraid to say no to the wrong thing in order to make space to say yes for the right price. Sometimes we have to be able to say no to the good to be able to say yes to the great. But that’s not my focus today. Today, I want to talk about saying yes!

A few years ago, a single girlfriend and I decided that we were going to say yes to every guy who asked us out. We made a policy that was “just one date “. This meant that we didn’t say no just because someone was different than the usual guy we dated. We would go on at least one date. We could always go one another one if that suited the involved parties – but to start with it was just one date.

It meant that it took away the fear and pressure that went along with “is there a future with this one? Is this guy right?” And turned it into “am I having fun? Do I like him? How do I feel around him? Do I want to see him again?”. That year was so much fun because it taught me to change the energy around what I was doing.

Try something! 

I invite you to try something similar. No, not the just-one-date thing although that was fun. I’m talking about saying yes. Try saying yes to things that scare you. Say yes to things you wouldn’t normally do. That invitation from people you don’t normally spend time with? Say yes. To things that thrill and excite you, say yes! You’ll be energized, refreshed, renewed and have new enthusiasm for your life. 

Don’t worry about this being the “perfect” thing to say yes to. You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars into a new hobby (like stand-up paddle boarding or skiing), go rent some equipment. You don’t have to commit to volunteering every single week for the PTA, just say yes this time.  You don’t have to be BFF’s with the group that invited you to dinner. Say yes today and then decide if you want to say yes again. The person you are interested in dating? Don’t worry about this being “the one” – say yes and go meet them to see if there should be a date number 2.

Try something new. Meet someone new. Spend time doing something you don’t normally do, something that scares you a little. Say yes! And if you are looking for a book, I highly recommend this book written by Shonda Rhimes, “Year of Yes”. 


You’ll be glad you did.

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All my love,