For too long, we’ve embraced unrealistic norms about what good looks like – both inside and outside the workplace.
Here are just a few of the myths we’ve been fed by hustle culture:
- In order to be successful, work has to come first at all times.
- As a parent, buying the latest designer baby products proves how much you love your child.
- If you’re not busy every night, you don’t have enough friends.
- As a partner, your love is only as big as the font you use to declare it on social media.
- If you don’t hit the gym every day, you’re lazy.
This list could be endless, but the point is, we’ve set ourselves up to fail by letting the outside world dictate what good looks like for each of us. We beat ourselves up when we don’t meet these impossible standards. And we give into these pressures to the point that we ignore our own internal warning signals of wanting and needing something different. We push past burnout until we break. We spend money to keep up with the latest trends even if it leaves us with crippling anxiety around our finances. We ignore the need for rest to avoid looking lazy and end up shaving years off our lives from the stress.
If we want to break free from hustle culture, it starts by setting our own standards for what good likes in our own lives.
- Instead of rushing to the next thing on the to-do list, you need the chance to pause. You need time to assess your whole life and reflect on how fulfilled you really are so you can determine what’s important, what’s missing and what’s just noise that doesn’t bring you fulfillment. You need to be able to define success on your terms.
- Once you decide what kind of life you want to lead, you need the tools to help you create that life. This requires a shift away from resolution-like goals that create more anxiety than results and instead, embracing small micro-changes that are both meaningful and attainable.
- This means setting weekly intentions and reflecting on those honestly each week to learn, grow and measure progress. And it’s important to celebrate the small wins along the way, which counters the “never enough” mentality of the hustle culture, reminding you that you’re making progress and creating the life you want, one week, one day and one hour at a time.
Remember, we’ve been entrenched in hustle culture for most of our lives, so shifting away from it won’t happen overnight. That’s why it’s important to focus on taking steps and actions so tiny and easy they become too small to fail. It’s these tiny behaviors that become habits, which result in big changes over time and lasting outcomes.