Teri Wilson
November 12, 2015 1:16 pm

If you could have any one person as your life coach, who would you choose? Chances are good that Shonda Rhimes is pretty high up on your list. If not, she totally should be. She’s the creator of some of our favorite shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal), the executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder, an amazing writer and a straight-up pioneer for diversity in television. Basically, Shonda is our queen. And we could all stand to learn a few things from her.

Lucky for us, we can in her amazing new book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. The title alone is giving us heart eyes. Even better, though, is the book’s premise. Shonda has penned a series of inspirational essays about what happened when she spent an entire year saying yes to all the things she was afraid of.

She told NPR the original idea for her Year of Yes came from something her older sister said to her on Thanksgiving day in 2013. “My oldest sister said to me, ‘You never say yes to anything.’ And by that she meant I never accept any invitations,” Rhimes said. “I never go anywhere. I never do anything. All I did was go to work and come home. And she was right. My life had gotten really small. Once I sort of realized that she was right, I was going to say yes to all the things that scared me, that made me nervous, that freaked me out, that made me think I’m going to look foolish doing it. Anything that took me out of my comfort zone I was going to do it, if asked to do it.”

So what happened when she started saying yes? Some incredible things. She appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, gave the commencement speech at Dartmouth and lost 127 pounds (!). But she also did things all of us can totally relate to, like spending more time with her family and the people she loves and figuring out what really makes her happy. At the end of her Year of Yes, her fears hadn’t killed her. It was completely the other way around. She’d managed to conquer the things that terrified her most.

Imagine how much different your life might be if you did the same. What if you said yes? To everything…even for a just day. Life is full of opportunities and chances that we’ve can’t even imagine. That’s the core message of empowerment in Shonda’s new book, and we’re behind it one-hundred percent. ALL OF THE YES to Year of Yes.

Image via Simon & Schuster 

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