Say No to the “J” Word

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Ellen Leanse, Apple and Google alum, recently posted a commentary on the word “just.” She illustrated how often, and in what contexts, women utilize and rely on this word. Not only do women use the “J” word far more than men, but by and large, they do so in a deferential or apologetic fashion. “I was just wondering if …” or “I just needed a minute of your time …”

It seems that women still feel the need to continually provide justification for their existence and ask permission for their presence in the world.

I, and many of my female colleagues, found her post to be personally revelatory. Like untold thousands of other women who read the message, we are now monitoring the “the “J” word in our day to day texts, emails and conversations.

Yet, I could not help but take this concept to another level – the world of treatment and recovery.

How many women and girls come to us every single day because they have been told by parents, peers, advertisers, the media, that they are “just” not good enough. They are not pretty enough, smart enough, popular enough, and let us never forget, definitely not skinny enough. Then how many hours, days, even months do we work to convince them that they deserve to take up space in the world, to live BIG, that they are more than good enough, that each one of us has profound value and worth; that each individual is meant to be her unique self, not an “idea” of herself, the female she will finally be once she gets inflated lips, breast implants, and loses enough weight.

I encourage you to read this post, then consider dropping the “J” word from your interactions.

This is one example of a little word with big psychological implications. Be aware of what we say, how we say it and what that says about our sense of self. Make a change and drop the “J “word, or at the very least be conscious about using it. Little steps can and do lead to big changes.

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