I am a huge Shonda Rhimes fan. She is the creative genius behind shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. For me, anything she writes turns into TV gold.
She has an amazing way with words and has created some of my favorite TV characters of all time.
Recently I managed to get my hands on her book, “The Year of Yes“. To say it is an inspiring piece of work would be an understatement. I’m sad that it took so long to get it but better late than never.
In her book, Shonda talks about how she began to say yes to to things that terrified her and took her out of her comfort zone. But she also spoke about saying yes to no. Here she explained that no is a powerful word that can be freeing and if said with enough force can change the course of history. This chapter in the book resonated the most with me.
I’m generally a very reserved, some would say a shy, or passive person. I hate confrontation!! It makes me uneasy, I fear I will hurt the other person’s feelings, I get anxiety… it’s just not me. Through that I noticed that people found it okay to do XY and Z because I was allowing it. I noticed that some people took my kindness as a sign of weakness and used it against me. So, inspired by one of my favorite writers and producers I decided that I too will start saying yes to things that took me out of my comfort zone. I would say yes to making myself a stronger person. I would say Yes to saying No.
No to Negativity
These days I find that many people are quick to complain and throw a fit when things are not to their liking. It’s easier to be be negative about a situation than actually getting up and finding a positive solution. I find it emotionally draining being around people who constantly complain and give off negative energy. Being around people with a negative approach to daily life often results in me feeling down after spending time with them. I decided that I needed to spend my time with people who added value to my life. People who see obstacles as a learning opportunity. We all have our bad days, but we should not allow those bad days to become bad weeks which then turn bad years. I once heard someone say, “Allow yourself the one bad day then pick yourself up and learn from it.” Having a more positive approach to life is definitely beneficial to our mental well-being.
No to People Pleasing
I always felt like I didn’t fit in with people. I was shy growing up; and staying in my little bubble was safe. When I got older I became more social. I made more friends and I wanted to keep those friends, as a result I would always agree to do things they wanted to do even if it meant I wasn’t happy. I was always afraid that I would offend them and then I would lose a friend. But then I learned that I needed to place a higher value on myself and my time. I learned that it’s okay to not attend everything you’re invited to, it’s okay to be selfish with your time. Friends who understood me on a close personal level respected my choice when I politely turned down an invite, and the ones who didn’t, well… Safe to say we were not that close.
No to Being Overweight
I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I always tend to start on a path of wellness then after not seeing progress I give up. It’s so easy to give up and not care until your pants don’t fit and then you have to start the whole weight-loss journey again, again. Towards the middle of last year I decide that this time I going to be more disciplined and strict with myself. I started weight training and cutting down on the amount of sugary goodness I consume. I also tried intermittent fasting for a month. I did periodic weigh-ins but the number on the scale did not move, AT ALL. I felt so defeated. While reading Shonda’s book I was reminded to say no to giving up. Shonda shared her struggles with weight-loss and how during her year of yes, she said yes to sticking to a plan, and no to giving up. So this time I am going to push through for however long it takes to get the results I want. I may not be down a pants size or at my goal weight but I’m stronger than I was when I first started and that is progress, so I’m saying no to giving up!
Through all of this I’ve learned that saying no to certain things/people is not bad. It shows that you value yourself and are putting your needs first. I learned that it’s not my job to make other people happy, I’m not pizza. My job is to take care of myself so that I can have a better impact in the lives of the people I love and care about. But most importantly, I learned that, “No is a powerful word.”