Let me start this by saying that I am writing this one for me. I’ll probably have to turn around and read this a hundred times over the next few months. That said…. Let me just say that I understand what it feels like to be running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to get things done… in the past 30 days I have worked without a single day off… and I’m currently on a 8 day run with the “God’s Not Dead Tour” in the Northwest. Our new record is almost done, and unfortunately all that is left is my part : ) which means as soon as I get home I’m headed to the studio to finish it off.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed lately, but my blog is really meant to inspire all of you guys to overachieve!! The truth be known, I am an overachiever in that the things that I get accomplished tend to be far above my “paygrade”. What does that mean?? Well my talents are far less in capacity than the results that I tend to squeeze out of myself. That is generally viewed as a really good thing. But what happens when you begin to wear yourself out? What happens when you’ve worked so hard that you literally can’t fit another thing in even if you wanted to? What happens when you begin to view yourself as defined by what is accomplished? You BURN OUT. I’m a pretty tough guy, but I do usually burn out about once a year… I start whining to my wife about how hard it is to keep everything going and she just shakes her head. Why…. because every year I forget the power of the word “No”.
The other day we were on stage getting our soundcheck done on the Newsboys tour and I asked a question over the PA that apparently couldn’t be answered. Everyone paused and stared at each other in the arena. I’m the boss on the road and I quickly got the feeling that they were all trying to figure out how to tell me what I was asking for wasn’t possible without telling “the bossman” no. I then said this over the PA. “Hey guys, No is just as good an answer as Yes….. just tell me the truth and we’ll move on”. Everyone was a bit stunned. Then my road manager, Graig, piped up and said…. “yeah, we can’t do that today, but we can work on it for tomorrow” Awesome, MOVING ON. I even had several guys from the Newsboys crew come up to me after that soundcheck and tell me how awesome that statement was. Think about it….. “NO IS AS GOOD AN ANSWER AS YES.”
Funny… aren’t we the ones who keep allowing this junk to happen?? I’ve found in my life that it is better to fully present in less things, than barely present in a lot of things.
I’m still working this out, but every year or two I have to go back to the drawing board and weed some things out so that I can be better at the things that matter the most to me. For instance, 3 years ago I built a studio in the basement of my house with the intention of running it full-time with a full-time engineer. It was a great idea……. I had the space, and I had the gear, but I was missing one thing in the equation…. ME. People wanted to work with ME, and I wanted to have my hands in the projects that were getting done there, but I literally didn’t have time to be what I wanted to be. I couldn’t balance family, church, touring, recording B429, and a studio so I had to stop it. Otherwise it would’ve just been a money making attempt, with mediocre results. In a Godly man, mediocrity is unacceptable unless it is a temporary byproduct of an attempt at excellence. I’m ok with failure… even mediocrity, if it is not allowed to become the status quo of your life. At least that’s the way I view mediocrity and because of that I have an extreme tendency to scrap anything that I don’t believe is excellent… so the studio is not open for business anymore. Maybe some day… just not today.
The same could be said for online marketing. There’s email, facebook email, twitter, linkedin, youtube, vimeo…. and a thousand other things too…… but lets be honest… unless you NEVER work, there is no way to be truly involved on all of those platforms… heck it’s hard enough to be involved on just twitter, facebook, and email for me….. so what do I do??? I say NO to anything that I can’t do well. I don’t want to have something to do that I resent.
In relationships the same thing applies. If you have a friend or family member that is wearing you out… it’s probably because you ALLOW them to do it. It’s ok to say NO to someone, in fact I’d argue that it is GODLY…. it’s ok to not be available all of the time. They may be frustrated at first, but after a while they will start to get the point… that you only commit to things that line up with your priorities, and they will respect it, when they figure it out.
The truth is that you are giving up something really important when you can’t say “NO”. When you can’t say NO, you end up trading your actual responsibility (your spouse, children, job) for an assumed responsibility (friends, extended family) that will eventually compete with and damage your ability to function in a Godly manner. The more that you prioritize the needs of anyone over your immediate family, the more that cracks will grow until the levy breaks. Maybe instead of always saying “yes” to people requests in an effort to please everyone… we should change our thinking to “who do I take time away from when I say yes to this?” If the answer to that question is: My family… you may need to go back to the drawing board and muster up a little confidence to say “NO”. Now everyone needs a little time away with just friends…. but that’s why computers, and phones have CALENDARS. Schedule it way in advance so you’re not going out to ride motorcycles with your buddies when your son has a basketball game, which would be an appropriate time to say “NO” anyway, right?
My wife has an amazing ability to say “no” gracefully and it has served us as a family REALLY well through the years. People don’t have to sit around and wonder if were in or out, because it’s “YES” or “NO”, and not a passive “maybe”. Maybe shouldn’t be allowed in our conversations… haha…. As far as I’m concerned I’d rather you say “NO” to me than “Maybe” because I can plan for that.
What is this all about???? Well…. maybe it’s time you take back over your life… and stop being quietly angry with people who are just doing what you allow them to do. There is a time to work your tail off…. that’s any time that you’re on the clock…. but after that is when you have to have the ability to prioritize what really matters in this life. Keep your priorities straight and don’t forget the power that you have with a 2 letter word that truly changes everything!!!
Ummm, yeah, I totally see that in you -because I have the exact same problem. NOW GET OFF THE INTERNET AND GO HUG YOUR WIFE!!!!
I agree with Christi!
Thank you for this message. I really needed to hear that. I tend to take on too many committees or projects and then become stressed out because others don’t seem to have the same drive that I do. A few years ago my New Years resolution was to only do the things that brought me joy. No more saying yes because I felt obligated to say yes. It has been really hard and sometimes I don’t do as well as I wish I would. But I am getting there.
Thanks for the reminder. Blessings
thats an awesome blog jason. thanks for making these. keep em going 🙂 cant wait until the new album. awesome music. I love how u say no is a Godly answer. I myself really gotta tell myself no sometimes, and stop saying yes. thanks for writing this. Your awesome.
Thanks so much for sharing this encouragement. I have spent most of my life continually being a people pleaser instead of standing up for myself. It took me so long to realize that I was letting some of my friends dictate how I acted. If they called and wanted me to come over, I got up and went. And when I was there I was thinking of how I should have just stayed home and spent the time with my family. It has been in the last couple of years that I have done a lot of introspection and learned that pleasing others was making me miserable and not allowing me to follow the path God has set before me. I have also been working hard on my boundaries with my friends and family and truly stopped and asked myself what I wanted. And in doing that I have become stronger in my faith and in myself. I now ask myself daily what activities are worthy of my time and beneficial to me and those important to me. I am still a work in progress but I have definitely learned the power of saying NO. Thanks so much for reminding me. It is so nice to see others struggle with that simple word as well. Much blessings to you and your family. -Elizabeth
Very well said. God bless you, sister!
I’m learning to break away from this same thing. I am actually going through it right now, but today after thinking it over I found the answer to my problem was…well, “no”! After reading Jason’s post and giving it a lot of thought, I read what you just said and saw what a powerful thing God has done for you in overcoming. I believe I’ve just found the answer I’ve been seeking for a very long time. Thank you (both!) for sharing your story. 🙂
Thanks for another eye-opening post…I’m beginning to fully understand that I can’t please everybody, and, everyone can’t please me either! And that’s okay. We’re only human, right?
Ultimately, I think one of my biggest weaknesses is my reluctance to say no…but as the world is beginning to push me harder, I’m starting to push back instead of letting it bulldoze me when stuff gets real.
God’s blessed you with some pretty tough endurance, but we all have limitations! So yes, please do yourself a favor and have yourself some chill time. XD
I have a hard time saying no sometimes only because I am afraid of offending the other person. However, over time, I have started to learn that I have to think of myself when deciding whether to say yes or no to something. I don’t mind picking up extra shifts at work, but sometimes I have to draw the line when I’m busy or just plain burnt out. Great blog, Jason. God bless.
Thank you for sharing this blog with us, I love how open and honest you are. I always to please people when I don’t think about myself. I need to take better care of myself. I had to quit one of my jobs because I was working too much. There were times I was working 12 hour days. The one job was only a part time job, I now only work at one full time job. I also didn’t enjoy that job, I worked there for some extra money. Looking forward to hear your new music. I was feeling very tired when I was working those 12 hour days, now I don;t feel as tired. Also I have some more time for myself. Also I can spend more time with God which is what I love to do. I love singing worship songs, that is when I feel closer to God. I hope one to visit your church in Clarksville and hear you lead worship. You are and awesome singer, one of the best. Take care and God bless you, Marjan
Hey Jason, this is so crazy. This past week I decided to let basketball go. My parents were very unhappy and upset. They both wanted me and my brother to go big in the NBA and WNBA. My brother quit in his sophmore year oh highschool, and I’m in middleschool (7th grade). I think the biggest mistake was trying out for the team. It was more tourcher than fun. Well the next week I made the volleyball team and loved it. It was fun and well we were like a family. Volleyball season is over now and I had to make a very big desicion. Basketball or no basketball? I deciced NO BASKETBALL!!! I was done! Ready to say no and live for God, my life has changed in the last months. I’ve been saved, but I redecated my life to him.The crazy part is I was talking to myself, (I’m weird like that) and said I’ve just gotta say no. Once again thank you for this you are a true blessing.
Wow, what a powerful post. Have you been talking to my husband? lol! I’m pretty sure that I could have wrote many parts of this post myself, which is slapping me in the face and saying WAKE UP! Again, thank you! I think we tend to burn the candle at both ends and then we get scared to stop due to the fact of letting someone down or even letting ourselves down. We stack ourselves so high and eventually we just crumble. Ahh the blessing of having a Type A personality.(or is it a curse…lol) For me it’s almost like I need to check out and reevaluate me and the million things on my plate….AND step away from the computer & phone. I always say, “I’m doing all this for a reason” or “but I can handle it,” or “I want it done right.” Then I realize I forgot about ME and honestly my family. When I don’t tend to me and my family’s needs…there is a problem! Is it ok to put others first, yes sometimes, but is it ok to put your family to the back burner, NO!
I could tell Monday night that you were wearing down, but yet you stood there with a smile on your face and directed “the choir” and we rocked those songs out. Then you took the time to thank each person there. Which by the way I am still honored that I even got to be a part of that, and I thank you for it! Anyway, anyone that knows you or is getting to know you, KNOWS that Jason Roy gives 200% of his heart and soul in to everything he does. It was sooo evident that night. Seeing your face & eyes light up when it was going the way you envisioned, it was priceless! 🙂
After I read this post about 3 times, picked my face off the floor from God slapping it saying hello Felicia, is anyone home, I’m talking to you, I began to pray, these verses came to me:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
From the end of the earth I will cry to you when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him
Mark 6:31 Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest
Matthew 11: 28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest
I once read this online and I try (notice I said try) to live by it…
1. Getting clear on what God is calling you to do
2. Learning to say “I’ll pray about it” when someone asks you to do something
3. Learning to say “no” unless God is giving you a clear “yes”
Geez as if you have time to read such a long reply, but it came from my heart! Thank you again for another encouraging post, even if you wrote this for you. You are in my prayers each day! Be blessed!
Just wanted to say thanks for the concert in Bellingham!! You said Yes and we were Blessed by that and meeting you was very inspiring thanks for taking the time. But I can see how busy the band is remember to say No when you can for your family ‘s sake they are #1 you can;t turn back time and re raise children not since I last checked. Sounds like your wife is doing a awesome job keeping the fort up while you are not there even though we know that is where your heart is. I have a 19,18,and 13 year old and went to a parent teacher interview last night and the teachers talked so very high of all my kids I was a proud Mom and came home and shared with my husband. We are not perfect but trying to keep them grounded by being there for them as much as we can. You may want to semi retire when your kids become teenagers because thats when they need us more, and both parents for sure wish you and all the very best and will start praying for you as you travel. Come back to Canada soon EH!! And Edmonton is way to cold in January come to Victoria BC and get another Tatoo. Many Blessings