Year of Yes

If this is the first time you’ve visited my blog, welcome! And let me catch you up. I LOVE the topic of saying yes to life. (If you haven’t already, please check out my other saying yes related posts such as Say Yes and If Not Now, When?) I also happen to have loved the show Scandal. So, when I discovered that Shonda Rhimes, creator of Scandal, had written a book about saying yes, of course I had to read it!

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes, is a different kind of “say yes” book than A Place of Yes, by Bethenny Frankel, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post (A Refresher on Coming From a Place of Yes.) Whereas A Place of Yes is a mix of Bethenny Frankel’s life story and lessons on how to improve your life based on her advice, Year of Yes keeps to the narrative of Shonda Rhimes’ personal story, challenges and victories, as she completed the obligation she made to herself to say yes for one year. (Spoiler alert: She changed so much for the better in that one year that the “year of yes” has been extended indefinitely.)

By committing to saying yes, Rhimes was forced to face fears (such as being front and center instead of behind the scenes, giving speeches and making tv appearances), face her health (such as admitting she pushed down unpleasant emotions and buried them with food in an attempt to numb herself), and face truths (such as finding that people she loved were actually toxic in her life.)

Rhimes also writes some things I LOVE about being a mother and being YOU at the same time. She defends that a mother who brings store-bought treats to the school function and the mother who brings homemade treats to the school function are equals. On page 109, she writes, “Perhaps you think that it is important to your child’s personal growth to bake goods in your home. More power to you, my sister. I will defend your right to home-bake whatever you damn well want to home-bake. But I will take off my earrings and ask someone to hold my purse for the verbal beat-down we will need to engage in if you try to tell me that I must define my motherhood in the same terms as yours.” She continues, “I am not telling you to do it that way. You go bake your ass off. But we all have to acknowledge that our way is not the way.”

Other standout points for me in her book are about how difficult it is for her (and many women) to take a compliment or accept her professional achievements. She writes about how hard it is to accept and own our beauty and greatness. We worry about what others will think. On page 186, she admits, “I am scared people will think I like myself too much.”

We’re taught to be humble and modest. Those are good qualities to possess, but we’ve taken it too far when we diminish our accomplishments and talents and can no longer fathom that a compliment given to us can be true. Rhimes writes that she used to answer interview questions about her success by saying she has just been lucky. Now she answers, “Lucky implies I didn’t do anything. Lucky implies something was given to me. Lucky implies that I was handed something I did not earn, that I did not work hard for. Gentle reader, my you never be lucky. I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass (p.180-181).

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person is not a “how to” book, but rather a “what I learned” book. And the overall takeaway from Year of Yes is how saying yes to your life, getting out of your comfort zone, getting out of your numbness, facing your fears and experiencing the resulting power and freedom after doing so, is how you find your true, authentic self. It’s how you develop into the best version of yourself, which you were always meant to be.

Find more at:

Your Development Resource on Instagram

Your Development Resource on Facebook

I’m Unworthy

I was scrolling through the Instagram feed last night when I read a post that said basically if you feel unworthy, you will never succeed.

Ponder that point.

If we are presented with the most amazing opportunity, but we don’t feel like we deserve it or are good enough for it, how can we possibly succeed? If we even accept the opportunity, we are destined to fail. We will believe the negative messages in our heads and self-sabotage our success.

But here’s the thing that really hit me. In response to that Instagram post, a woman wrote, “That’s me. UNWORTHY.” I read that and my heart ached for her. I don’t know this woman, so of course I don’t know what has happened in her life that would make her feel unworthy, but I know for certain that’s a false statement.

I couldn’t just scroll on without responding. I wrote to her that the mind believes whatever we repeatedly tell it; start saying, “I am worthy.”

I kept thinking about that word “unworthy” and how much weight it must add to a person’s mind if that’s really what she believes. Can you imagine the emotional and physical drain that word and belief must create?

Even after I went to bed last night, I kept thinking about it. What would I really want to say if I was face to face with this woman? If I had a chance to maybe impact her thoughts and then her life? I’d say, “You are SO worthy! The fact that you exist makes you worthy. The fact that you were created was no accident. When you were born, there was a plan for your life, even if you don’t know what it is. You have a purpose, and God/the Universe/or whatever higher power you believe in wants you to succeed. Wants you to live a meaningful, abundant life. You are worthy and that higher power wants you to start acting like it.”

Obviously, one little pep talk is not enough to change a person’s deep-seated self-perception. A person who feels unworthy needs at minimum a good coach and support system and (depending on the life events that got the person to this feeling) possibly a licensed therapist to work through previous years of harm and negativity.

But here’s my hope: it’s that just maybe the woman who read that someone out there thinks she IS worthy is enough to give her pause. Maybe someone else echoes my response and she begins to think, “Hey, maybe there’s something to this. Maybe I should…get some help, find a support group, try saying positive affirmation, etc.

And my hope is that if YOU are reading THIS post and feeling unworthy, you realize that YOU are WORTHY.

Find more at:

Your Development Resource on Instagram

Your Development Resource on Facebook