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  • Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell

JUST is a 4-Letter Word

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

The word ‘just’ has a few different meanings. As an adjective it refers to what is morally right and fair- “a just cause”. As an adverb, it is much more finite as in “I just saw that” or “That’s just what I need”. But there is another meaning for the word that suggests more limitations as in “I’m just a custodian” or “I have just enough”. It is a close cousin to another 4-letter word- ‘only’ as in “I am only the runner-up” or “I only have a high school diploma”. The problem with the word just (and to some extent, the word only) is it delegitimizes us and the gifts we bring to the table. It also puts a hard stop on our future selves because if we think we are just “a this” or just “a that” then we might be inclined to believe that we can never reach beyond where we are. And, if we think we can only do this or we can only do that then why bother throwing our name in the hat for that promotion because well, we only just might not get it.

If you believe you are just anything or you can only do this one thing, then you are essentially saying there is no point in expending any more effort. This, by the way, is the default setting for a life of mediocrity. In this life you are stuck, always settling for less and never realizing your full potential. For fun, remove the words just and only from the examples above and read them again. You might notice what was a limitation is now a declaration and declarations have more power.

©2023 Tasha D. Manigo-Bizzell


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