“HUSTLE” is the word we usually encounter around social media, blogs, vlogs, news, and even songs. The term has become very popular that people typically link it to success. Hustle Mentality means the need to work or hustle harder, stronger, and faster. It’s the need to devote most of your time and energy to work. It also means to grind and exert ourselves at our maximum capacity, every day, and accomplish our goals and dreams at lightning speed that matches the digital world we’ve built around ourselves.
The mindset of being productive at all times, at all costs, has been embraced by many and is often used to gauge success and productivity because culture tells you that the more you work, the more productive or successful you are.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the value of hard work. Working hard is essential. I have a father who was an OFW who rose out of poverty & worked hard to build a better future for our family. I understand that we can’t sit around expecting our circumstances to improve without putting in the work and effort. I also believe in being persistent towards your dreams, never giving up, and constantly striving for a better life, but I also think that our worth is not defined by the number of things we do and how many goals we accomplish.
You can’t equate achievement over being busy. The question you should ask yourself should be: “Why is this important to me?” or “Why am I doing this?”. We lose motivation and things can get toxic if we hustle just for the sake of being busy. It would be best to do things for the right reasons- things that matter most to you.
So when does hustle become toxic and what can you do about it?
Problems with health
You’re always worried about what to do next. You always feel stressed about all the work you need to do. You have feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion and increased negativity or cynicism. You feel unworthy or not enough when you don’t get any job done or when you’re not doing anything. These feelings could take a toll on your physical and mental health. The hustle culture encourages an unhealthy lifestyle. Put self-care on your to-do list. Simple things like drinking enough water, eating right, getting enough sleep, and taking a break after hours of deep work are essential. Feeling your best affects the quality of your work and well, almost everything that you do. Treat your health as your most valuable asset. You only have one body and now is always the best time to take care of it.
Work is affecting your relationships
People you care for feel unimportant when they’re around you. You are not present when you’re supposed to spend your time with them. You have issues with your personal relationships because people around you feel less valued. Spend quality time with the people you value most. Be present when you’re with them and invest in memories. These people are the ones who genuinely love you regardless of titles, achievements, or the amount of work that you do. They’re the ones you can truly count on when everything else fails. We should be creating more moments of genuine connections and meaningful experiences.
You are always competing
You always think about what somebody else is doing or what they have, so you work your a** off to get ahead. Seriously? You get into shitty work and hide your insecurities behind those achievements and for what? To prove to others that you are better? Your work cycle continues and that’s exhausting and no fun! Genuine happiness is found in having the freedom of being you and finding meaning in the work that you do. Find out if you are really choosing what is important to you, not what society has told you should be important.
You are having guilt about taking a rest
You are struggling to take a break or you find it hard to relax or enjoy because you feel you’re becoming lazy or irresponsible about leaving work behind even for just a while. You couldn’t use your free time to rest, recharge, and restore yourself, so you fill those hours with more work as a way to feel worthy, fulfilled, and in control. You need to check yourself. You just might have turned into a robot. Seriously, your attachment to hustle is doing you more harm than good. You are letting your work lead your life instead of letting you lead it. Sometimes it’s better to take one step backward so you can make a reflection and think about your next step.
You don't enjoy life and forget about your other hobbies
You miss doing the things you love and enjoy. Your relationship with yourself is not growing. Remember that work is just part of who you are. Think about the other details that you enjoy. You may love to do other things. What are the things make your heart skip a beat outside of work? Your life doesn’t revolve around your career alone. Life is too short to ignore the things that make you truly happy.
I am a firm believer that you can be successful in all areas of your life. You can have a fulfilling career. You can earn abundantly. You can have beautiful relationships and still get to do what you love. There is beauty in taking a step back and looking at the big picture in a world full of information, distraction, hustle-ness, and the society telling you who you should be. We work for freedom and hustle for the right reasons.
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