This week I reflect on lessons from my “Year of Yes.” Shonda Rhimes coined this phrase in her 2016 book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person.
Higher ed is not great at creating space for women to integrate our desires and aspirations. We are complex creatures – we seek professional success, disciplinary expertise, promotions and positive evaluations, connections with our families and people we love, our hobbies and fulfillment, and the ability to build a life in a place we care about. At least, this has been my experience – and I’ve spent my career accepting all those compromises in pursuit of professional success and recognition. But then last January I came to face-to-face with the truth: this was no longer working for me.
So this year, I embraced my “Year of Yes” and decided to rebuild my life to be integrated and joyful, inside and outside of work.
One of my essential lessons from my year of yes was that I wanted to prioritize autonomy, work that matters, and joy.
This episode celebrates my key lessons from 2022, my personal year of yes. I share these lessons and then invite you to get honest with yourself: What will it take to make 2023 your “Year of Yes”? Where in your life are you playing small? How often do you say “no” as a way to stay invisible, or even disappear? The most important question I ask you is this: “what do you want your ‘here’ to look like?” And then I encourage you to find the things you can say yes to that bring you closer to that reality.
The Uplift broadcasts the mission of The Clareo Group: to unleash the power of women’s leadership in higher ed. Each episode blends real stories, leadership philosophies, and actionable advice – all designed to help women amplify their voices and elevate their leadership.
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