Shevvy Mac

Motivation ~ Accountability ~ Change
My Review:  “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes

My Review: “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes

When was the last time you allow “FEAR” to get in the way of some of your decision by saying “NO” to opportunities? Being in the military and saying no to a job task is not the norm.  If you have not heard of Shonda Rhimes, where have you been hiding? Shonda Rhimes is a woman who dominates ABC Network with her amazing shows:  Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. These shows are high rating shows that I look forward to every Thursday night with a glass of wine.

Photo by Shevvymac

With famous people, we assume that they have it all. We assume that they are confident, not afraid to take risks, they can’t be shy and they must be perfect.  Shonda wrote her book, “Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” and she titled this book as such because she said NO to every invitation she received to attend celebrity parties, universities to motivate graduate students with her speeches and television opportunities.  All of that changed when her older sister said to her “You never say YES to everything,” and at that moment she was shocked and did not agree with the statement. After defending herself and believing she did not say no to everything; Shonda though to herself and realize that she does say “NO” to many opportunities.

She is an introvert, so that can be a contributing factor since introverts like to keep their circles small. I have a sister who is an introvert, so I understand. In the book, Shonda decided to say YES to anything that was requested of her within reason of course. She decided to write her book on her experience in changing her Nos to Yes. and how it impacted her life for the best. From beginning to end, I was able to see her transition as I read this book.

Photo by Shevvymac

I selected the book to read after seeing a co-worker with the book and when asked if it was a good read, she told me it was a great read. I must be honest, it took me a while to read the book, it was not a boring book, I was just busy with life! Well, I finished reading it and it was a great read with some important life lessons we all can relate to.

Here are three lessons Shonda’ learned by saying YES to the things that scared her:

  • Speaking in public– Shonda is a brilliant writer and she preferred to be behind the screens. By changing her NOs to YES, she was able to overcome her fear of public speaking. She was able to make attend events as the guest speaker without being overly nervous or anxious.


  • Time– Saying yes gave Shonda a reflection of how much quality time she spent with her family. she realized she said NO to playtime with our kids quite often due to work priorities. So, while heading out for a work event all dressed up, one of her daughters asked to play and when she was about to say No, she remembered her promise of saying YES, so she got down dressed up and all and played with her daughter at that moment.


  • Letting Go– She was able to let go of toxic friends who genuinely did not care for her, but cared for what she could offer and her money.

Reading this book put somethings in my life into perspective, like making time for my kids no matter what. I too become ingrained with work and would I tell my kids, “next time or I will do it later” and didn’t follow through because I would up late doing work-related tasks.

You will laugh and cry while reading this book. There are more life lessons in the book, so pick up a copy from your favorite bookstore or online through Amazon and enjoy.

Check out her TED talk showing her describing her experience  here

Leave a comment now if you have read the book and come back after reading and leave a comment about the book.


“Motivation Accountability Change”



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2 comments found

  1. Self awareness and reflection is vital to a healthy life! I think fear of failing is what stops many people from taking risk; I am one of them! I will definitely try to read the book! Great review

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