Book Review: Year of Yes – Part II – Say Yes to Saying No

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You can say no. No is not a bad word and is a complete sentence. Just say no and stop. An explanation is not necessary. An obligation may be felt to give the why behind the no. If we want to say no, frankly, it is no one’s business as to the why. Shonda has three ways to say no:

“I am not going to be able to do that.”

“That is no going to work for me.”


  • Conflict: She states we avoid saying no because it may lead us to participate in a difficult conversation we rather not experience. Confrontation is unpredictable and not easy. Shonda discovered by dealing with conflict, peace and freedom emerged. Many of us are comfortable being spoken about, but not spoken to. We sidestep these conversations to escape conflict. Before all this, Shonda would just give in to avoid confrontation.

Now when conflict occurs, she clarifies with the question “What do you mean by that?” The answer helps to reveal the reason for the dispute so it can be resolved. Shonda said dealing with confrontation made her bolder and actually increased her free time because complaining and feeling sorry for herself wasted time and energy.

There is a post-it on her bathroom wall that says “I can say it or I can eat it.”

  • Unhappy People! Shonda realized unhappy people do not like it when an unhappy person becomes happy. They want to pull you back down where they reside. She found by complaining and feeling sorry for herself, she did not have to do anything about her problems.

Don’t go down to Pity City with them. No solutions can be found in this state. – Lynn Lok-Payne

  • Badassery Tribe: Now she surrounds herself with people whose self-worth, self-respect, and values inspire to elevate her own behavior. People who require her to be truthful and kind. Shonda sisters and a few friends saw her brilliance before she felt it herself. This is her Team Badassery. Say Yes to these people in your life.  Shonda discusses how Christina, a character from Grey’s Anatomy, lived and spoke her truth. The final piece of advice Christina states on the show is “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy. But he is not the sun. You are.” Love this statement. You are the sun. Be the bright light in your life. Shine from within.

Walk your own path. Everyone has different rules and beliefs so pursue your own. Live your life and be comfortable with saying no. A why explanation is not needed.

Happiness comes when we live our own rules and follow our own path. – Lynn Lok-Payne

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