Have you ever read a book that you swore was written just for you? As you turn each page, you look over your shoulder, wondering if this book was dropped in your lap because you need it so? I love books like that. They have this way of tugging at our souls, saying, “Pay attention!” That is exactly how I felt reading Shonda Rhimes’ bestseller, Year of Yes. As soon as I closed the book, I knew I had to share about it on my site.
Most of us hate discomfort. We don’t like not knowing and not having control. We typically avoid situations that are scary or anxiety provoking. So what do we do? We avoid. We hide. And we say no to things that scare us. Seeing this pattern in herself, Shonda took on a year-long challenge to say YES to all things that scared her. Her only answer when fear popped up? YES. This book is a diary of sorts, chronicling her year of saying yes, yes, YES. She is hilarious, honest, and raw, as she faces her discomfort, one scary thing at a time.
She hits on all the major areas of life: work, motherhood, relationships, health, boundaries, and play. Fear has a way of keeping us stuck, and this book highlights that this holds true, no matter how successful or famous you are. We’re all just trying to avoid discomfort and fear. And it’s keeping us confined to our tiny and safe little worlds.
One important note, Year of Yes doesn’t advocate for saying “yes” to anything and everything. It’s not about taking on a million things, becoming inundated and overwhelmed. Year of Yes focuses on saying YES to things that scare you. So please note, learning how to say “no” is still an important skill. In fact, in the book, Shonda talks about saying YES to saying no. So don’t get too caught up in the language and think you can’t ever say no.
This book was a gamechanger for me. And I think it can be for you too, especially if fear is a powerful force in your life. Remember, it’s not about never being afraid. It’s about leaning in and saying YES, even in the face of fear.
PS: Have you read this book? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections! Please share them in the comments below. Also, if you liked this post, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well.
Yes, I loved this book: both the writing style and the messages in it. I’m a big fan of the idea of taking a year for a project like this, too.
Incredibly, I had never watched any of the TV dramas penned by Ms. Rhimes. That has now changed: I’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do!
So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Pauline! I agree that she did an incredible job with both the message and the style. Thanks for reading and commenting!