It’s a powerful word that can either welcome new opportunities or break your boundaries. When used with confidence it can truly open your eyes to life changing and emotionally uplifting experiences.
In Shonda Rhimes memoir, The Year of Yes, Rhimes, who is a self-proclaimed introvert, decides to “Say Yes” to everything. Her sister challenges her after making the claim that Rhimes says “NO” all the time. Of course! No is safe. No is confident and sets boundaries. No invites respect. No is easy and requires no action or effort.
She was just about to say “no” again when she received an invitation from President Obama and the First Lady to attend a gala as their guest. After all she is the creator of such popular TV shows as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. She was going to say “no” to such an invitation because she felt it required her to have conversation and “what was she possibly going to talk to the President about?” This caused more stress than it was worth, until she received a follow up call from the White House letting her know “we are excited to see you.” There was no room for “no” even if she wanted to turn down the invitation. So she went. And she ended up having one of the most memorable times of her life.
The challenge began. For an entire year, Rhimes proclaimed it as “The Year of Yes.” She came out of her shell to experience some of the most life-changing moments in her life – an inspiring commencement speech at Dartmouth University, an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, sitting down with Oprah, and losing over 100 pounds. These are all things she would have shied away from in the past if she hadn’t made a commitment to “Yes!”
The majority of us may not be receiving invitations from Oprah or The President, but this is an example of how hiding in our comfort zone can prevent us from having these magical experiences. It can be as simple as accepting an invitation from a friend for dinner at the newest restaurant in town. How many times have you accepted an invitation you weren’t necessarily jumping up and down for, but then ended up having an amazing time?
Saying “YES” can have all these benefits:
- living fearlessly outside your comfort zone to experience new things you never would have tried before
- opening the doors to new friendships and career opportunities – the next “Yes” could change your life
- Attracting positivity with “Yes,” elevating your mood and boosting confidence
- “Yes” requires action. Challenging yourself to be the best YOU you can be
- Being more successful and productive by saying “Yes” – people who say “Yes” get more done
Yes can also mean “saying no” to certain things as well. No to sugary foods and yes to healthy foods and exercise. Rhimes lost over 100 pounds. No to putting work before your family, and yes to spending more time where it matters most to you. Rhimes spent time with her children just playing and engaging with them before each awards show. No to compromising your emotional well being to satisfy the needs of others. Rhimes decided she did not want to marry the man she had been dating for some time just because he wanted to get married. It was not her journey. Honor your journey.
“Yes” is a tiny word that can lead to big things!