Last year Shonda Rhimes (that amazing, multitalented award-winning Television producer) released a book called ‘My year of “Yes”. She begins the book by saying, “I am a liar” and goes on to describe the tall tales she used to spin at catholic school.
She was always getting into trouble because she was always making things up. You might think an unrepentant lie-teller would have a little trouble finding success in the real world, but you would be wrong.
She goes on to tell the story of discovering her perfect place with people who appreciated a good lie and paid well for it: Hollywood. She’s the mastermind behind TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder and Private Practice.
Rhimes was also an introverted workaholic who never accepted invitations, social engagements or events. Her debilitating social anxiety and unhappiness with her weight caused her to say ‘no’ to many amazing opportunities outside of her comfort zone—her made-up world. After a challenge from her sister in late 2013 Shonda decided she’d say yes to anything for a full year. She wrote “My Year of Yes” about that year, and the important things she learned from it.
TOP 5 LESSONS FROM RHIMES’ YEAR OF YES
1) SAY ‘YES’ TO USING YOUR VOICE
Your experience matters. The lessons you learned and the wisdom you acquire from your experience is a valuable asset you can share. You can affect your part of the world so be brave and let your voice be heard.
2) SAY ‘YES’ TO YOUR WEIGHT
Rhimes turned down a lot of events because she wasn’t happy about her weight. Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight or stay the same, accept it or work on changing it, but don’t be ashamed of it. Say ‘yes’ to loving your body and commit to giving it the best you possibly can.
3) SAY ‘YES’ TO SAYING ‘NO’
Before her Year of Yes, Rhimes avoided conflict. Learn to say ‘’Yes’ to difficult conversations and meetings, and no’ to things and people who are sucking the life out of you. Don’t waste time on frivolous aquaintences or negative people.
4) SAY ‘YES’ TO REAL FRIENDSHIPS
Don’t let work supersede every other social occasion. Pay attention to the people in your life who you really enjoy and who really enjoy you. Sometimes you need other people.
‘Sometimes the only way to get going is to have others push you’. The self made person is a myth. No person got there alone. Say yes when someone offers to help without asking too many questions.
5) SAY ‘YES’ TO LOVE
Saying ‘yes’ to love communicating truthfully with the people you love. You owe your yourself and your loved ones that much. Say ‘Yes’ to self love when you stop rebuffing compliments. Instead of self-deprecating jokes or comments, just say, “Yes”. Thank you!”