a little reflection on why i’m continuing my YEAR OF YES in 2021…

i can’t believe i had never heard of Shonda Rhimes, Executive Producer for Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, and owner of Shondaland. so you may be wondering; how did I come across this book? it was earlier this year when I decided this would be my Year of Yes. i simply googled ‘year of yes’ and Rhimes’ book popped up.

okay, i thought, i’ll give it a go.

little did i know my mindset was already changing for the better – this book helped accelerate this positive change which has probably saved my mental health and personal being.

it mainly arose during my placement which honestly, was a VERY tough year. so much so i sought the earliest chance to leave and even used up my holiday at the end. i’m unsure if i will ever go into it in depth, but i don’t regret what it taught me and to value the importance on your own time, but understand that it was not a satisfying experience…

nevertheless, despite the existence of Covid-19 and various lockdowns, restrictions and uncertainties, 2020 has seen a change in working habits and lifestyle changes that were going to happen soon enough, just at an exponential rate. for me, this meant more time thinking about where i am now and where i want to be.

what was i doing before freedom was taken away from me? it turns out, not a lot – with other people.

the main observation is that Rhimes would always say no to things, but this soon changed when her sister muttered six little words to her: you never say yes to anything. this made her rethink her whole approach to living life and being happy. i found this totally relatable, always finding an excuse before someone finished their sentence asking if i wanted to do something, mainly because i was (and still am) anxious of the unknown.

if something will put you in danger, then i’d like to think you would use your commonsense and not say yes on this occasion…

life is for living and going through experiences, making memories. how could i expect to do that if i was saying no all the time, and still remaining dark about my placement experience?! despite some freedoms being taken away from us during 2020, my ‘YESes’ were leading to great joy amongst the anxious times of Covid-19.

as Shonda said YES more, she did more [obviously]. she gained more experience, more skills, more responsibilities and ultimately, built more happiness and self-confidence. her sister’s words never intended to have a big impact, nor did she realise the signficantly positive impact they had.

this year, i have said YES to feeling good. not amazing, incredible, sensational or anything more extravagant, but good, because when i can achieve good: then anything beyond fills me with pride and satisfaction [yet my standard of good is insane!]

achievements this year from saying YES:
-MY BLOG! it was all in my head that no one would be interested, but people read it!
-to myself. slowly accepted me for who i am and am becoming. said yes that i was happy with being on my own instead of looking for ‘someone’ (but that changed soon enough mwahaha!)
-a PT qualification
-writing (blog, a book!)
-friends: pushing myself out of my comfort zone and turning up, instead of forcing myself to feel left out
-having a break [although this still needs a little bit of work]
-got a tattoo
-romance [trust me, it really does happen when you aren’t looking!]

as a result, like Shonda Rhimes, i feel empowered and inspired to say YES more, as i am now in control of my happiness. i know i’m a hard worker and i will do the things i want to make sure i am happy and will get to where i want to be, even if it takes that little bit longer. some experimentation is needed along the way.

now have a think to yourself; do you say YES? will 2021 be your YEAR OF YES?

Shonda Rhimes – Year of Yes.

Rhimes, S. (2015). Year of Yes. London: Simon & Schuster.

3 thoughts on “MY ‘YEAR OF YES’

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