Please stop dropping it everywhere!
“What do you do?”
“Oh I’m just a stay at home mom.”
“I just have a little side business.”
“I’m just an office manager.”
How often have you described what you do or who you are leading with the word “just”? We’ve all done it. It’s becoming an epidemic, specifically with moms, and it’s frankly becoming the new F Bomb in my mind. Here’s why… the word ‘just’ is an apology. It’s a way to downplay what we do, make small what is actually significant, a way to humble ourselves into our self fulfilling mediocre nothingness (bonus points if you know what movie Keanu Reeves just used that term in). It allows us to shrink back and apologize for the space we’re taking up in the room. It’s a dirty word.
Marianne Williamson says, “No one benefits from you making yourself small.” And yet we do it time and time again somehow thinking it will keep us in our rightful place. We will build a sister up when she feels small. We’ll give our best friends so much crap when they try to downplay their achievements but when it comes to ourselves, we can’t bring ourselves to own it. What IS that?
We have so many messages coming at us in this age of internet enlightenment. We’re constantly bombarded with ideas of who we should be, how we should look, how possible it is to have it all if only you try hard enough. So when we don’t show up as “that girl” and we don’t look quite like they say we should, then what? We’re keenly aware of our inability to have it all and somehow that means what we do have, what we do achieve, how we actually spend our days just isn’t enough. And so we use ‘just’ to shrink back, to know our place, to apologize for the space we’re taking up in the room.
But here’s the rub. What you’re doing IS important. And if you’re raising human beings you might just be doing one of the most significant and honorable thing anyone can do. It’s time to step into that and stop playing down what you do, girl. “Just” has got to go.
You are not JUST anything, sister friend.
You are raising your children.
You own a small business.
You run an office.
Do me a solid this week, would you? Try it on for size. Say it outloud to yourself dozens of times while you’re running countless errands or shuttling between your work life and home life. Say it until it feels right. “Oh I’m raising our children!” “I own a small business online that I love!” “I run an office over in Rancho Cucamonga!” Say it. Say it. Say it. And once it sounds right to you, it will start rolling off your tongue in social settings.
The added benefit? By claiming what you do and honoring it by not downplaying, you are subconsciously giving other women permission to do the same. You’re letting your children hear you say that what you do is important and valuable and worth saying without dismissing it as just this little thing.
So what do you say?
Can we drop it from our vocabulary?