10 Shonda Rhimes Quotes That Will Help You Kick Butt This Week
As expected, I’m currently trying to crawl my way out of a month of feeling tired and uninspired. I have incredibly high hopes for what’s to come in 2017, but this week, I really need a strong kick in the pants to get me back on track. And that’s where my friend (haha in my dreams) Shonda Rhimes comes in. Shonda knows how to deliver spot-on advice that’s unapologetically blunt. I’ve been devouring her book (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person), commencement speeches, online interviews, and of course, all of her T.V. shows like a mad woman, and I’ve gotten a heavy dose of inspiration and the desire to majorly kick butt this year.
If you’re in need of inspiration, today’s post is for you. I’m sharing 10 of the best Shonda Rhimes quotes to renew your passion in the new year.
The Best Shonda Rhimes Quotes
We all talk a big game. We pin uplifting quotes, make lofty goals, and say all of the right things to ourselves. All of that stuff is easy, but you know what’s hard? Actually doing stuff. This month, I’m determined to stop dreaming about all of the things I could do and just starting doing things. The truth is, it’s better to actually do one small thing than dream about one million big things. And every time we take one action, it becomes easier to take the next action.
When I was growing up, the word lucky was basically a curse word in our house. My mother would quickly remind me that I wasn’t “lucky,” I was blessed. I was raised to believe that God blessed those who lived well and worked hard, and that I shouldn’t wait around for luck to find me. When I wanted something, my parents would tell me how I could earn it. Whether it was good grades, making the dance team, getting into a difficult program, or buying a new purse, I was taught that hard work, perseverance, and grit would help me achieve my goals. Good things weren’t given; they were earned.
And now let’s flash forward to 2017. I’m far from achieving all of the goals that I’ve set for myself, but I have worked hard for many years to create the life that I want. Unfortunately, you’ll find that as you accomplish things, people tend to forget (or blatantly ignore) the years of hard work and sacrifice leading up to your success. I’ve literally heard every story in the book about how and why I’ve accomplished various goals in my life, and very few of those stories resemble anything close to the truth.
In reality, my life is a result of my entire family working extremely hard and sacrificing more than they should have to ensure that I succeeded. And of course, I put in a lot of hard work, long hours, and years of sacrifice as well. So when people say that I’m lucky, I get angry. I’m not lucky- I’m blessed to have had a family who loved me so fiercely and raised me to never give up. Shonda has it exactly right. If you’re out there accomplishing your goals, you’re not lucky- you’re a badass.
You’re not going to want to listen to me or Shonda on this matter, but just try to listen. Your happiness has almost nothing to do with your success. If you win the lottery, yeah, you’ll be happy to have the extra money for a few months. But trust me, that high goes away, and you’re back to your normal life. It’s tempting to think that your life will change once you accomplish your goal, but life has a way of going back to its equilibrium.
No matter how much money you make, how big your house is, how wonderful your boyfriend is, or how cool your job is, you will basically have the same level of happiness. Use that information to change your life now. If you can find a way to be happy where you’re at now, you will be able to keep that happiness throughout your entire life.
I spent twelve years taking dance lessons before I made a single penny from my skills. In addition to dancing and rehearsing almost every single day for several hours, my family spent tons of money on lessons, shoes, uniforms, and specialty training. I didn’t enjoy practicing everyday, and I worked my way through dozens of injuries over the years. Then I started teaching, and I made a little bit of money. So I spent even more money on classes, shoes, equipment, and training. After spending over 20 years in the dance studio, I still wouldn’t call myself an expert. I’m confident in my teaching skills, but I know that I could train for the rest of my life and still have more to learn.
With this knowledge, I know that if I want to do something well, I need to do it every single day. If you want to be a professional dancer, you need be training every day. And when you’re not training, you need to be auditioning and finding new ways to meet people who could give you a job. You need to be choreographing, performing, and sharing your talent with anyone who will watch. If you have to be a dancer, you make it work.
Unsurprisingly, it works the same in other fields as well. If you want to be a full-time blogger, you need to blog full time. If you want to be a doctor, you need to be studying science every day until you can get into medical school, where you can study science even more. If you want to be an author, you need to write books. It sounds stupidly simple, but taking action is harder than it seems. Don’t just be a dreamer – go out and DO. Whatever you want to do, go make it happen and force the world to pay attention.
In my masters program, one of my psychology professors said to reframe your anxiety as excitement. Sweaty palms and a racing heart happen when you’re nervous and when you’re excited, so why not tell your brain that you’re excited for the moment ahead? If it makes your heart race, it matters. And if it matters, you have to do it.
We’re all terrified to go do the things that really matter, but I promise you that everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of that fear. So if you’re really nervous about something, that’s a good indication that you’re on the right track.
I have a hard time saying no. I’m a recovering co-dependent, and saying no can sometimes seem like the hardest thing in the world. Over the past few years, I’ve made it a personal goal to say no to everything that’s not a hell yes. I haven’t completely lived up to this goal, but every year I get a little bit closer. Every no becomes a little bit easier and a little bit more empowering. When you say no appropriately, you allow more YES things to come your way!
Can you tell that Shonda is not playing games? I love her brutal honesty, and I love her realistic point of view. Dreams are great, so don’t abandon them. But you need to turn those dreams into plans, and then turn those plans into accomplishments. Don’t just dream; make your dreams a reality.
It took me a long, long time to embrace this philosophy. For years, I felt paralyzed. I didn’t have a clear path for my life, and I felt like I couldn’t move or breathe until everything was perfectly planned. But guess what? Even if you have your dream life planned out, life doesn’t work out that way. You’ll have tragedies and surprises pop up along the way, and your dreams will change. And that’s ok.
Just keep moving. Take one breath at a time, one step at a time, and one day at a time. Just keep moving forward, and you’ll find where you need to go. Standing still may seem like the safe thing to do, but you’re not really standing still – you’re decaying. Every second that you’re paralyzed in fear in another step backwards. The act of doing anything – even a small gesture- that will move your life forward each day will keep you moving in the right direction.
It can be hard to share the real you. I know from personal experience that the fear of being judged or ridiculed prevented me from sharing so many of my passions with the world over the years, but here’s the truth. People will judge you and laugh at you no matter what, and it has almost nothing to do with you. You could be the best singer in the world, and someone will still have something negative to say about your voice. You could even be the most brilliant scientist the world has ever seen, and people will still try to debunk your research.
At the end of the day, sharing yourself with the world will help you find and strengthen your true self. When you drop your walls and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you will have a few stones thrown your way. But you will also allow people into your life that were walled of before. Trust me, it’s worth the risk.
I wish that more women would discuss this topic. There’s so much pressure to be superwoman when it’s just not possible. No matter how hard you try, you can’t be the perfect mom and wife and daughter and sister and friend and businesswoman all at the same time. It is physically and emotionally impossible. You only have so much energy to give, and it has to be divided between your priorities.
Instead of being discouraged by this fixed amount of energy, use it as a motivating factor to accurately schedule your priorities. What can bend right now and what can’t? What can you give up right now and what do you absolutely have to do? Align your priorities, set realistic expectations for yourself, and most importantly, just do the best that you can do. Even Shonda can’t do it all!
As you can see, I’m fired up over these Shonda Rhimes quotes. Her words inspire me to go out there and make my life happen. If you’re a fellow Shonda fan, I’d love to know your favorite quote. It can be from Shonda herself or even one of her characters on her TV shows!