The Meaning of the Word “Just”

I read an article today that really resonated with me.  It was all about using the word “just” and what it exactly conveys.  Ellen Petry Leanse, a former employee of Apple and Google, two highly respected U.S. companies wrote about how “just” is really a permission word.  When using it, typically the user is asking for permission, almost like a slight knock at the door… “sorry to bother you..” air is given to a phrase when the word just is inserted.

It really started to get me thinking about myself and a million different emails that I have written flooded to mind.  When I am using the word “just”, I thought I was justifying what I was saying in those emails, but as I read this article, I realized the way it actually comes across was actually the complete opposite.  Whoever I am speaking to, I was giving them the power and control, while taking away the confidence in myself of the topic I was trying to speak on.  This tiny little 4-letter word, takes away the conviction, the knowledge, the hard work that I do each and every day and I didn’t even realize it.

After, reading this article, I immediately decided that I will no longer use the word “just”.  I don’t need justification when I speaking/writing/typing the words that I choose to use.  I am confident enough in myself to know, that I don’t need the word, despite the habit I have developed with using it.  As I type this, I went to quickly answer an email and already typed it.  But I caught myself before I hit send, and immediately took it out.

I am writing about this topic for a couple of reasons today:

  1. To remind others to be confident in yourself, you don’t need justification for the words you use, you don’t need to ask permission.  Speak with conviction when discussing your ideas and how you look at something.  Others will respect you more for it.
  2. It is always possible to better yourself.  But don’t beat yourself up over the way you have handle things in the past.  Take new steps forward and push yourself to be the best version of yourself everyday.
  3. When you discover a habit that you have been doing that you didn’t even realize may have come across negatively, know that you can take steps to change it.  Even if it is something small.  You have the power to decide how you will act/feel/be everyday.

Thank you Ellen for your inspiration and motivation today.


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