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Say YES the Shonda Way: When To Say YES and When To Say NO!


I just finished reading Shonda Rhimes’ book, “The Year of Yes” and I absolutely loved her book. Essentially, Shonda (you know Shonda, right? THE lady known as the owner of Thursday night television. Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder are all her TV shows.) spent a year saying YES to everything. Her writing style is amazing and the things she learned from saying YES to everything that came her way for one full year ended up being a way of life for her. She grew and stretched so much through this process. I’ve written about saying NO, no is a complete sentence and how saying no is empowering. So, when I read this book, I realized there are times to say yes and times to say no. Here’s how to know the difference:


  1. Something scares you. When you are invited to do something and you know that it will stretch you and be good to help  you overcome your fears, DO IT… even if you want to throw up!
  2. You absolutely know, feel and believe you will be a better person for it.
  3. Said ‘thing’ will help lift you up and be a better person or help someone else be a better person.
  4. It is at the heart of being of service.
  5. Key people around you; your support system, affirms you should say yes.
  6. It could be fun…you know, once you overcome the fears!


  1. It is not in line with your goals or legacy.
  2. The person asking is a continual ‘taker’ of your time and energy.
  3. Said ‘thing’ is an energy drainer and won’t help you grow nor help those you serve.
  4. You know you won’t enjoy it.
  5. You are only considering it because you want the other person to like you.
  6. You simply don’t want to do it.

There is so much out there competing for our time and energy. Life is too short to do things we don't want to do or don't serve our highest good in some way. Click To TweetThe key is recognizing when something IS good for you and scares you yet you should say YES and when something scares you and isn’t good for you.

I am trusting that in 2016 I’m saying YES to the right things and NO to the right things. How do you make decisions about things to say yes to and things to say no to? What’s your favorite way to say ‘no’? Please comment below.

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Tandy Elisala

Family Caregiver Coach, Cancer Empowerment Advocate and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness | Empowered Family Caregiver
Tandy Elisala is passionate about helping family caregivers go from being overwhelmed and stressed to empowered and calm. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. Tandy left her corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously while raising three kids as a single mom. She took care of both parents for 2 1/2 years until their respective deaths. Tandy now teaches what she learned on her journey. Tandy is a family caregiver coach, a multiple best-selling author, inspirational speaker and mom to three adult kids, one angel dog and one diva cat.

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Feel the fear and take action anyway! Seriously… You’ve GOT to say NO to the wrong things so you can make room for the right YES. Sometimes, you want to say no to something because you are scared (insert other limiting beliefs here). In these times, I want you to ask yourself whether you will be glad you did “it” afterwards. Will you expand your network, skills, talents, abilities and put you on a path for success? After reading Shonda Rhimes’ book “Say Yes to Your Life” I gained a whole new appreciation for the word YES and WHEN to say yes. You can read an article I wrote summarizing this idea here. […]

  2. […] Say YES to that which scares the crap out of you, will stretch you and lift you UP! Here’s another article I wrote about saying YES to your one, amazing life! […]

  3. […] The right NO makes space for the right YES! I love love love this. I have written many articles about the power of no and the power of yes. My latest article about saying yes the Shonda way is here. […]

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