Little words mean a lot, don’t they? Yes, I know, you’ve heard that all before. But it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Sometimes, just one word can make or break a LOT of things.

I mean, simple addition or subtraction of something containing a mere 3-4 letters can change the entire feel of a statement….and sometimes even the meaning itself.

So that’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the little things—like words–when you’re talking about yourself. (Whether out loud or in your head!)

This is especially true when this whole creative entrepreneurship thing is new to you, when your idea is young and kind of impressionable. When you’re in the contemplative stages. And when you’re looking for your way in the big ol’ world of “your own thing”. (You know, that thing you’ve been wanting to do for so long–getting started and pursuing that business you keep dreaming about? Yes, THAT “own thing” world!) 😉

These are the moments when there’s a specific kind of vulnerability….and where mindset is everything. (It always is everything, but sometimes, it’s more obvious than others!)

And it’s funny what throwing in certain little words can do–and I’m talking about a certain three little words that seem innocent enough, but might actually be holding you back. (Not THOSE three little words, mind you!) You ready?

The words are “just”, “only”, and “still”.  And they’re BIG.


Short answer: They can unintentionally downplay you. And what you’re doing. Even though it’s epic. Or it’s gonna be.

Longer answer: They can downplay where you are in the moment, making it sound like the point you’re at on your journey is something that requires an apology. Like somehow you have a deficit that you have to make up. Inadvertently throwing them in your self-talk might make you feel embarrassed, ashamed, or worse–like a fraud, even though you’re doing (or about to start doing) what you were born to do.

I know, I know, that’s a LOT to get out of a little ol’ word! But stay with me on this one…

You don’t have to pretend that your business–or the full-on pursuit of your idea that gets you to your business–is farther along than it is. I’m not asking you to lie about anything. Not at all. If anything, I’m asking you to be more truthful! Here’s how dropping those words from your vocabulary does two big things for your mindset and hence your dreams.

Check out these examples: “Oh, I am just starting out with my business….” (apologetic translation: “and I haven’t had any success yet, please don’t judge me!”) or this one “I have only one client, but….” (apologetic translation: “and maybe that’s not enough to consider myself a real business owner…”). Or how about this one: “I am still looking for my first big client….” (apologetic translation: “and nothing has happened yet, nothing I’ve done so far or am doing now even matters, don’t judge me!”)

You get the idea!

Two major points here:

-The sheepish inclusion of such words might not seem like much, but sometimes they can discredit you as the real deal. Even if you don’t feel like you’re “there” yet, one essential part of it all is believing that you WILL be there. And acting like it as much as you can from day one. I’m not asking for perfection, NOT at all. I’m just asking you to OWN your brilliance as soon as you can. Even before you get that first client. Not arrogance, just confidence–and belief in yourself and what you do above all else. And it works the best when you’re just so damn lit up about what you do that you KNOW you can make things happen for your clients–that’s just plain inspiring! (Both to yourself and to those around you!)

-When you throw in this kind of apologetic self deprecation, it makes it sound like you’re fighting where you are, rather than honoring every step of the journey.

Here’s the paradox: you need to not only believe that you’ll get to where you want to be and believe it with all your heart and soul, but also you need to honor just where you are right now. And honor that it is an essential step on the journey, as every one is. And you know something, if you struggle with where you are right now rather than honor it, it just might make it a LOT harder to leave that place.

But if you simply report on where you are, talk happily about where you want it to go, and simply see that where you are is exactly where you need to be right now, then somehow, those little words might just drop off on their own. Chances are that presenting yourself as both honest about where you are and confident about where you’re going, this will not only help you along the path, but also inspire others to follow you.

So don’t be afraid that someone else might not be impressed with where you are and where things are going for you. Just be you and speak your truth. And your intentions. If you give this a go, chances are that anybody you’re talking to will admire you for actually getting out there and getting started–more than you might even know!

It “only” takes “just” a little bit of adjustment to how you see yourself and your business that might make ALL the difference in your confidence, your happiness, and your success. And it “still” works even when you’re the big-time expert!) 😉

What do you think? Are there little things you find that you say about yourself and your business that might be tearing yourself down, even if you don’t mean it to? Have you ever re-adjusted your word choices in little ways that have made a big difference? Tell me about it!


3 Comments on How “Just”, “Only” and “Still” are Some of the Biggest Words In the Book (And How To Keep Them From Keeping You Down!)

  1. Merri
    October 21, 2015 at 8:11 am (2 years ago)

    Wonderful! How the subtle aspects of words can make a huge difference! I had not cued in to how often I use them! In addition , must admit, my word trap (along with those outlined above so well!) is …… ALMOST ! I am making a conscious effort to be cautious with that one and what it might imply!

  2. Conny
    November 7, 2015 at 4:44 pm (2 years ago)

    So true Jennifer and I’m guilty to think and say them too. I find that it’s mostly us women that use these little words, not often you hear men talk like that. With these little words we can sabotage ourselves big time, it’s like we don’t want others to judge us, but we don’t even need them to judge us, we fill that position already 🙁

    • Jennifer
      November 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Sure enough! And the good part is that they’re easy enough to recognize and to eliminate. Even after all this time I do STILL (ahem!) find myself using them far too often. But bringing awareness to it does help….and that awareness also helps to get back to where you want to be, that being confident in what you do. 🙂


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