21 Quotes from Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes” that Made Me Say YAASSS Too!

A good book is life changing.
Mind altering.
A gateway to new experiences.
All of the above.

I recently read Shonda Rhimes, creator of Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, & Private Practice (it’s off the air now but I loved that show too!), new book YEAR of YES. 

I read the reviews before I purchased the book and the majority were great, with details about what resonated the most for them. Sold.

I want to resonate. I want to connect. I want to say YES to somethings. Wait, what was she saying YES to? Why was she saying YES?

It’s amazing how small things, conversations or some times one word and change the trajectory of our life. Shonda was already a badass, whether she knew it or not, but in YEAR of YES she shares how one 6 word sentence on Thanksgiving changed her life. Now, it could very well change yours.

Instead of doing a basic review, I wanted to share with you the things I highlighted while reading this book and some mini revelations or my experiences that came along with it.

1. “Standing around like Wonder Woman in the morning can make people think you are more amazing at lunchtime.”

I didn’t know this was a real thing. Apparently, there are studies that say power posing like Wonder Woman for 5 minutes will improve self-esteem and hours later improves how others perceive you!

How do you post like Wonder Woman?

Stand up like a badass legs in a wide stance, chin up, hands on your hips. Like you own the place. Like you have on a magical silver bracelets and know how to use them. Like your superhero cape is flapping behind you! (Shonda’s words) 

2. “I work to feed and clothe you. Do you want food and clothes? Then be quiet and show come gratitude.”

I just had this conversation with my children! Be grateful for the big things, but especially the small things. Please don’t take for granted you have food and clothes everyday, because many do not. Be grateful.

3. “I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.”

I think this might have been the only quote that made me feel like I was going against Shonda Rhimes. Along with this quote, she mentions don’t be a dreamer but a doer. Now we all know that I “dream big” but she made me want to do both and the person she is referring to in this quote, could very well be doing both.

4. “Shonda, how do you do it all? The answer is this: I don’t. Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means that I am failing in another area of my life.”

There is no balance. It’s priority. It’s management. You can’t balance motherhood, career, marriage, this, that and everything else. You can manage it effectively. Don’t be so quick to think some people have it all together because you don’t really see what’s their lacking in their life.

5. “If I had only known that not even Whitney’s hair could look like that …”

Shonda spent years in high school trying to make her hair look like Whitney Houston, only to learn as an adult that it was a wig! Sorta like me trying to look like Mary J. Blige. She realized that she wasn’t a failure for not ever actually being able to recreate that look, she just didn’t own the same wig.

Stop trying to be like someone famous or look like someone else, because everything you see isn’t always the real deal. Be your best self.

6. “Being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever.”

When you have a child, you are officially in charge of raising a human being. It’s not easy but rewarding.

7. “Working or staying home, one is still a mother. One is not better than the other. Both choices are worthy of the same amount of respect.”

I think for women who have never did one or the other, it’s easy to judge. We’re all moms and want the best for our children. Sometimes, I think women who work outside of the home have it harder. They work all day and still come home to be mom. On the flip side, women who stay at home could easily feel they never get a break.

8. “I am a powerful woman who knows no powerful women.”

It’s important to have friends who you can relate you.

9. “If I don’t poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell.”

This spoke to me because I’ve been told, “You’re quiet.” “You’re hard to read” “It took a while to get to know you.” I don’t have a rough exterior on purpose, but it’s just who I am. Now that I know how certain people perceive me, I’ve been trying to be more open.

10. “Did you notice not a single woman in this room can handle being told she is awesome? What is wrong with us?!”

Some women can not take a simple compliment. Instead of just saying, “Thank you” when someone compliments you. We’re known to say, “Thank you, but … (enter negative statement).” Accept the compliment. The person thought enough of you to give you one.

11. “Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

It’s not luck. It’s hard work. When you work hard for everything you have. You’re not lucky. You’re a badass.

12. “An honest opinion is priceless.” 

The kicker is an honest opinion “the first time”. If I have to ask you two to three times for an honest answer or you’re always coming back later with, “Well, honestly I really didn’t like this because XYZ!” What!! I mean really, WHAT! I should always be able to trust you when I ask you ANY TYPE of question. I don’t need a co-signer. I need you to tell me the truth.

13. “It’s not bragging if you can back it up,” I whisper to myself in the shower every morning.

Self explanatory!

14. “No is a complete sentence. I’ve heard that cliché over and over. So I decided to treat no in the same way I treat saying thank you. Say no and then don’t say anything else. I come up with three different clear ways of saying no …

  1. I am going to be unable to do that.
  2. That is not going to work for me.
  3. No.

15. “When someone says something petty or nasty, one of those little passive-aggressive things that would usually just pick at me for days, my new response is not to shut the door and bitch to anyone who will listen. Now? The moment they say it? I ask What did you mean by that?” in a calm voice.

I LOVED this! So many times people but passive aggressive things on Social Media or say something real slick and hope that you just “get it” and not have any real responsibility about their comments. Now I also ask, “What did you mean by that?” It catches them off guard because they weren’t ready to be called out on their gibberish.

16. “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy,” she says. “But he is not the sun. You are.”

This was the final quote from Christina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy, as she left the show last season. We are all our own SUN. Don’t let your life revolve around anyone (but God). Get what you need.

17. “Why marry the guy when you have the Chocolate Factory? He loves me. I love him. Still. I can’t imagine giving him any more attention. I try. I just can’t imagine it.

I loved that Shonda told the man in her life this. This took guts, “I can’t imagine giving you any more attention!” Wow!! Some women would be grateful to have a man propose to them, but here she is turning one down because … she can’t imagine giving him any more attention! What a way to walk away!

18. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tell you to.

Everyone’s happiness is different. Find yours. Enjoy life. Period.

19. “You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than.

That’s right. Don’t explain. Well, unless your mom and dad really want to know.

20. “The point of this whole Year of Yes project is to say yes to things that scare me, that challenge me.”

Could you do something like this? How would your life look different if you said yes to the things that scared you? How would your life look on the opposite side of fear? Quick, choose one thing that scares you and vow to do it for 2016? What is it? Can you share it with me?

21. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote ended the book. So simple. YOU MUST do the things you think you cannot do. I bet you that is a great feeling when you actually get it done.

Did you enjoy the quotes? Which one resonated with you the most? Have you read the Year of Yes? What did you think about it?



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  • NewYorkStateofMom
    January 11, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    YAAAAASSSS!!! I loved this whole post it was like re-reading the book again! There were definitely some gems I over looked. At the end of 2015 I learned to snap out of #3! My instagram post was ALL about #4, be great in whatever role you’re presently in, something will always lack but something will SOAR. #9 INTROVERTS UNITE! I get the “Wow, I thought you were a bitch” comment way too often, I’m learning the balance of that’s their inner conflict being thrown on me and I need to fix my face sometimes lol. I don’t know how I overlooked #18 but I need to hang that up somewhere. Thank You for this post, let me go get my highlighter!

  • LaShon Renee
    January 12, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I purchased the audible version of the book but I couldn’t get through it. I tried but her personality just didn’t do it for me. Thanks for the highlights now I know what I missed.

  • Mimi
    January 12, 2016 at 11:45 am

    I’m going back to the book with a highlighter and notebook. I think some of these should be framed and hung up in my office. I really enjoyed the book and her candidness. I think as women we look at one another like we have it all together when we really don’t.

    I love this post and for me my most important take away is no is a full sentence and I intend to use it freely.

  • [email protected]
    January 12, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    I haven’t finished reading it as yet but I plan to by the end of the month. The last quote is an all time favorite of mine.

  • Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green
    January 13, 2016 at 12:07 am

    I tried to squint past your post. lol I just got my book and I plan to crack the spin tomorrow morning on the train. I can’t wait. I’m feeling these and they are speaking to my heart.

  • Tyra
    January 13, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I only read like the first two and skimmed because my book arrived yesterday and I don’t want to ruin it LOL! I am even more excited now.

  • Christine K. St.Vil (@MomsNCharge)
    January 14, 2016 at 2:17 am

    I love and respect Shonda. She is so dope. I wholeheartedly agree with the whole “I don’t do it all” mantra and I tell people that all the time. There is no way you can be bada$$ in every area in your life at the same time. I’ll be adding this book to my list once I get done with the ones I already have (sooo many great books out here)!

  • Val_unapologeticallyus
    January 16, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Love this post! I finally ordered the book and can’t wait to dive in!!! Love me some Shonda!

  • 21 Quotes from Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes” that Made Me Say YAASSS Too! - Pushing Lovely
    October 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm

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