A while back, I read an article that stuck with me. It was all about the detrimental outcome of using the word “just.” This article was predominantly geared towards women and explaining to them how using that word made them sound inferior, and was similar to the apology epidemic (it’s a fact – women apologize more than men do). However, I believe everyone, both women and men, should throw out the word “just” altogether. After I read this article a few months back, I was painfully aware of how much I used the word. I almost even used it a second ago while writing this post. I am definitely guilty of still saying “just” all the time, but I’ve been trying to quit, I swear. The reason I chose to write about this today is because of something else I read that struck me; not another article, but a phrase:
Be unapologetically who you are.
Let that one sink in for a minute. Be unapologetically who you are. Be who you are without apologizing, without justifying – just being. If that isn’t enough for someone else, don’t apologize to them. Continue on being yourself. They’ll do the same, and everything will be fine. By using the word “just” so often, we are inadvertently trying to hide things that we are thinking and feeling. I was just wondering… I just wanted to know… I just feel like…
No. Own your words. Own your questions. You were wondering, because you were curious. It’s okay to wonder. You wanted to know something, because you wanted to learn more. Learning is acceptable. Do you get what I’m saying here? You don’t need to hide behind a word that makes your comment or question less binding or severe. Who cares if your question is silly? What’s going to happen if you tell people how you feel, will it be so terrible?
After I started to become more aware of how much I used this form of the word “just,” I realized that I was hiding behind it, too. By adding that little word in front of what I was saying, the vulnerability was taken out of my statement. If I included a little tiny “just” before my question or my comment, it wouldn’t be viewed as serious. Once I figured out why exactly I was using that word so much, I started owning what I was saying. Hell yeah, I was wondering. I didn’t want to sound like I was unsure of myself, and I didn’t want to sound like I couldn’t own my own thoughts and feelings. I wanted to be taken seriously – I didn’t want to hide behind anything. This was a huge step forward in becoming more unapologetically me. I never realized how much one tiny little word (that I didn’t even notice I was using) was hindering my confidence.
So, I encourage you to think about just how much you’re using the word “just,” and think about how many times you’ve hidden behind it. If you think you’re up to the challenge, throw out the J word all together (I’ll admit it – it’s really hard) and be more unapologetically you!