My friend Linda and I made a pact when our children were young and we were pulled in many different directions…JUST SAY NO!
It was a well-known slogan at the time in a marketing campaign directing young people to “Just Say No” to drugs. It fit perfectly as we were invited to do more with our limited time, luring us and our egos, into thinking we could do it all! ”Look! Up in the Sky! (or in the school, at work, at home, at church, on the soccer field, making dance costumes, planning the next community event) It’s a bird, it’s a plane (moving so fast, how can you tell?) No, It’s Superwoman!!”
That’s the lie we tell ourselves when we select our roles. “I can do it all – it’s the American way!” But can we? Should we? How many of those roles are we doing well?
Often I said “yes” thinking “I’m going to do that role better than it’s ever been done before” so people would notice me and appreciate what I did. Which had more to do with my self-confidence than what I could offer that role. We become people pleasers and say “yes” to a project, knowing we really don’t want to.
Our daily roles can be spouse, companion, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, friend, employee, and student. If we concentrated on those roles with the intensity they need, we might not add more roles. But don’t we have a commitment to our church, school, athletics, community events, government and neighbors? We become coach, mentor, fundraiser, volunteer, kid’s taxi driver. Relationally, we are roommates, caregiver, household engineer, confidante, boss, tutor, best friend, financial manager, entrepreneur, accountability partner. When life changes, we may be alone in our role as single parent, ex-spouse, empty nester, widow. When our job is demanding there are extended hours, traveling, meetings, night shift, unusual work schedule. I could go on and on! But if you circled roles from this list, how many would be selected?
As a Life Purpose Coach, I help clients navigate their roles and find balance. When I discovered my purpose as a Life Coach with an emphasis on keeping the family unit together, based on my own life experiences, it makes sense for me to serve in Marriage Ministry at my church. It makes sense to mentor couples who need partners to help with their challenging roles. It doesn’t make sense for me to volunteer in the church nursery or deliver meals to seniors. Those are tremendous opportunities for others that have a purpose or gifts in those areas. I have power to JUST SAY NO when it doesn’t fit and feel confident in why I’m turning that down. I am intentionally serving where I have the most to give to others.
What roles are you playing? Are you multitasking to be in those roles? Are you drained and stressed all the time? Have you had roles in the past that are clearly marking a path to help you serve others in that same role? What is God accomplishing in your life through your roles or where do you need his guidance? Ephesians 5:15 tells us “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise.” Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org