In our everyday conversations, have you ever noticed the number of times we describe ourselves with the word "just?" I'm "just" 22. I'm "just" a student. I'm "just" one person. The word "just" isn't the problem, its the context we use it in. It is useful in so many other uses like "just a few more minutes" or "they just got their food." When you think about it though, "just" is a way to underestimate what we describe. As I have gotten older, the more I struggle with using the word "just" to describe us because one, I hate the idea of people thinking what they do isn't valuable, and two I do this all the time unconsciously even though it is a pet peeve of mine.
We all deserve more than the word "just" when describing ourselves, passions, or anything we are or do. There is a huge difference between "I'm a stay at home mom" and "I'm just a stay at home mom." When we let the word "just" become an adjective to who we are, we tear ourselves down every single time. Using "just" to describes ourselves is a big neon sign on our foreheads brightly saying self-doubt. We sell ourselves short of our accomplishments and tasks. I get that not everyone should be bragging 24/7, but at the same time should we continually tear ourselves down for the sake of not looking arrogant? If you are trying to build your confidence, changing your language and vocabulary you use is the step in the right direction.
I know I fall into the trap of this "just" description of myself all the time, I brush things off I do and lamely use the word "just" to describe myself. I know this word truly doesn't define us and isn't a big deal, but words do matter. When we continually describe ourselves not wholeheartedly, we create a big problem and even bigger habit. If we can't see the value in what we do whether consciously or unconsciously, who will? Be proud of who you are, even if you are in an in-between stage of becoming who you want to be. We all have different stories and paths, and I don't believe we should feel embarrassed if do life the way we want.
For the next week, think before using "just" when describing yourself or others. Try to catch yourself before you drop the j word, and while you are at it, try to make a habit to use others besides just. The world is tough enough and outside forces try to tear you down, don't fall into the trap of yourself down too. You, no matter what you do or who you are, are better than "just." Would you appreciate a person limiting everything you do and who you are into just one word? No, you wouldn't. There is so much more to you, and we all need to start the habit of describing who we really are rather than giving a one-worded answer.