For the past year, I have been focusing on my mental health , and one thing that helps to keep my mind off of things that may usually bother me is to read. I used to read nonstop pre college years, and now decided to get back into the habit.
My current read is, “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. It was not until I began reading this book that I realized that I say no to so many things. I don’t even feel bad about it. Growing up, my mother taught me that if I really don’t feel like doing something, don’t do it. (To clarify, this is an extreme feeling of hesitance). It is seen as a “sign” that the universe is trying to save you from something that may occur while you are doing the thing you did not feel like doing. As I got older, I took this to the next level. I said no to so many people so many times for various reasons. To be clear, I am excluding the instances where I said no because I was invited to participate in activities that do not suit me or invited in a circle that I do not care for. Those are exceptions. I rarely participate in an activity if either one of those things are factors. I am referring to the instances where it is raining outside so I am not going, I have to catch up on Netflix and Hulu so I am not going, or, I don’t feel like being around people for the next two months so I am not going. I’ve definitely made those excuses in the past year or so.
Shonda Rhimes begins the book by narrating a story in which she is having a conversation with her older sister, who gets so frustrated with her that she ends up mumbling under her breath “ You never say yes to anything”. Shonda then goes into a moment of introspection and when she does this, she realizes that it is true. She has passed up on amazing opportunities because she declined for no particular reason. Without anyone telling me this, I realized that I have done the same thing for so long. Now, there are two parts to this: On one hand, I have not been getting invitations that I think are worth my time and energy, and on the other hand, I have not been getting invitations from people that I felt were worth spending time with. However, other instances where none of these factors were present, I said no and I am not sure why.
Moving forward, I am going to fix this. I am going to spend time reflecting and getting to know myself more to determine why I allow myself to get in my own way by constantly saying no. Now that I am at a new place in my life, I am compelled to hit the reset button by gaining new friends, mentors, and maintaining the good friendships that I already have. My plan is to put myself out there more. I’ve already started, and I am seeing positive results. I have joined meet up groups of interest, and connected with people through Linked In and Instagram to begin networking. For me, networking is not only for job opportunities. It is also beneficial to build your social circle. Going on a journey for one whole year is unrealistic for me, but one month to begin is fair.
What are you going to say yes to? Share with us in the comments.