I recently read Shonda Rhimes’ book, “Year of Yes.” I highly recommend it if you find yourself, as I do, at one of those crossroads in life. If you find yourself concerned with the opinions of others, or you find yourself hiding from opportunities, this book might be the thing you need to help put things into perspective. I will not go so far as to say that her story was my story, but there were lots of similarities. The tone of Shonda’s writing, (yes, I call her Shonda in that “best friend in my head” kind of way) makes it feel like you’re reading a long letter from one of your good girlfriends who really just needed to vent.
When I finished the book last month, and I read it pretty quickly, I felt like I wanted to run out and do some things that I never would have done before. So I did do something small, but it was something that I had been wanting to do for a while. This week, I’m going to do something else small, but it’s something that had everything in me wanting to say “no” when I was invited.
Saying “yes” can open doors, and widen your horizons. If nothing else, it gives your brain something new to work on. Saying “yes” makes your life feel fuller, and by doing things that you were previously afraid of, anxious about, or even averse to, you feel more empowered. You’re conquering things that once felt greater than you. Fear feels awfully big when you’re afraid to experience something, but once you experience the thing, and you survive, it becomes a small thing, and you become a giant. The master of the thing.
I’m not saying that you should run out and go zip-lining or mountain climbing right away. Or maybe I am? I don’t know, but it could be as simple as going to a movie alone if you’ve never done it before. Over the past few years, I have found that when a movie that I really want to see and enjoy comes to the theater, I typically opt to go alone. In my younger life, I would have rather died that do that. Now, it’s fun to me. I sit in my favorite spot, I don’t have to share my beloved popcorn, I don’t have to explain the details of the first 2 movies in the trilogy while trying to enjoy the third movie because my companion didn’t see the first two, and I spend some valuable “me” time. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy and go on movie date nights, or to a movie with my bestie, but solo movies can be fun!
So my point is this, say “yes” to something that you might have said “no” to last week. When you end up having fun, think back on how you might have missed it if you hadn’t said “yes.”