Is Hustle Culture Slowly Killing You?

Culture has multiple layers including social norms, beliefs, values, morals, and ethics. Where we grow up, how we grow up, and the culture we grow up with (whether one or many) dictates a lot about who we become. It impacts our personal belief system, values, morals, and how we experience the world.

Many people are starting to realize that normal does not equal “okay”. Just because social norms exist in your culture, does not mean you have to follow them. Unfollowing social norms doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a person that chooses to think for themselves. The downside to culture is the expectation that you continue to carry on the same behaviors as everyone in generations before you, no matter how detrimental they are. And if you don’t, then you might be subject to judgment, ridicule, or shame. 

Hustle culture is an epidemic in some circles, and particularly within the entrepreneurial space. It’s being pushed by influencers of all kinds, as well as mainstream media. The idea that you can achieve anything you want if you just work hard enough has been ingrained into our brains from a young age. But this kind of thinking also comes with its own set of problems. It can lead to burnout, mental health issues, and physical exhaustion. Working hard is important, but knowing when to take a break is just as critical for your long-term success and well-being.

It’s important to recognize that hustle culture isn’t sustainable in the long run. There will always be things that need to be done, but taking the time to rest and recharge is essential. If you don’t, you may find yourself struggling with fatigue, anxiety, and depression – all of which can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.

If you’ve lived in the United States for some time, it’s no shock to you that our culture is highly revolved around productivity. In being highly productive, we’re conditioned to believe that working long hours is normal and expected. Consistently having a full-time job, showing up to work early, staying at work late, taking few vacations, and working at home are common (sometimes expected) parts of being in the American workforce.

We feel driven to respond to emails, texts, and calls immediately and sometimes our jobs require that of us. But the productivity doesn’t start and stop with our careers. In our personal lives, many of us learned that we need to earn relaxation time by being productive beforehand. After working a 40+ hour workweek, taking care of your home, and even family, in what world does it make sense that you have to do MORE WORK in order to relax? In this world and in this culture is the answer. 

You’re conditioned to believe that everything needs to be immediate. You’re always looking towards the next thing; the next goal, the next promotion, the next move. Nothing ever feels good enough even though you constantly strive for perfection. Success feels like the determining factor of our worthiness as humans. If we choose not to work, or find other ways to live, we might be shamed. It feels wrong and bad if we do anything outside the social norms we’ve been conditioned to follow our whole lives. It’s like we need permission in order to do what we actually want and enjoy because sometimes it’s different than the norm. 

It’s time to take a step back and recognize that hustle culture isn’t healthy. It can be hard to break away from the ingrained social norms of society, but it’s essential for our wellbeing. Success doesn’t always look like working around the clock, and your worth as a human doesn’t depend on how much you achieve. Take the time to rest and recharge and enjoy life for what it’s truly worth.

Bucking the hustle system:

The hustle culture doesn’t have to be killing you slowly, but only if you take the necessary steps to make sure it does not. Make self-care a priority, recognize your limitations and create realistic goals that don’t overextend yourself. Do what’s best for you, listen to your body and mind, and remember that it’s okay to take a break when needed. It’s time for us all to start paying attention to our mental and physical health before hustle culture takes its toll.

While you’re stuck in this hustle, high productivity, and immediate gratification culture, you’re slowly killing yourself. The stress consistently living in your body will likely lead to major medical and/or mental health conditions down the line. But none of this is taught, discussed, or looked at in our culture unless we individually seek it out. The system is designed to keep us stuck in the norms and to not think for ourselves.

What we’re conditioned to believe and do is actually impacting our bodies in detrimental ways. So, what are you going to do about it?

Let’s connect to the real you beyond your productivity.

During childhood, we develop our sense of self, personality, and how we want to show up in the world. This growth often continues throughout our lives as we face life’s challenges, losses, changes, and experience different relationships with others. Growing up, we often adopt our parent’s worldviews, values, beliefs, and morals as our own. As an adult, we typically evaluate those parts of ourselves and determine what fits and what doesn’t. We learn to evolve as our own individual person with individual belief systems and unique worldviews based on our lived experiences. 

Unfortunately, many of us are forced to recognize and learn about parts of ourselves because we’re often oppressed and discriminated against. If this isn’t our lived experience, we may not look too deep into who we are, our identities, and how our culture impacts us. The difference here is privileged and oppressed identities.

Privileged identities are the norm (or standard) within a culture and the oppressed identities are ones marginalized (not the standard). An important part of learning more about ourselves includes identifying and exploring our own identities.

First, you’ll want to identify your various identities, which may include the following domains:
  • Age and generation
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Nationality
  • Indigenous heritage
  • Disability status (congenital or acquired)
  • Religious/spiritual orientation
  • Socioeconomic status (low, middle, upper)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Education status (grade level, degrees, etc.)
  • Military service (active, reserve, veteran, retired)
  • Roles (parent, sibling, child, grandparent, etc.)
  • Career status
  • Relationship status

Second, reflect on what each of those identities mean to you. How does each identity impact who you are, how you live, and how you experience the world? If you want to take this step to the next level, you can reflect on and identify which of your identities are oppressed and privileged; it’s common to have a combination of both. 

After recognizing your different identities and how they each impact you, it’s helpful to understand your intersecting identities. As you learned earlier, culture involves multiple layers which is also true for the different parts of ourselves. It’s important to understand how each of your identities intersect and impact each other. For example, instead of only considering what it means to be a woman in our society, consider what it means to be a single woman at age 40. Or what it means to be a latino man in our society.

You’ll start to notice that the intersections of your identities can mean different things. It greatly impacts how others in society might view you, especially depending on if those identities are oppressed or privileged. Self-exploration, especially identity exploration, can be challenging. It might be difficult to recognize our privileges and what that means for us. Increasing your self-knowledge of these areas is important in understanding others’ lived experiences, feel compassion for others, and do the work we need to remove our own biases. 

It’s time for a shift in mentality and it starts with you. Take the steps to break away from hustle culture and live a life that is healthy and enjoyable. Your physical and mental health will thank you.

Are you ready to let go of the hustle?

Start investing in yourself, and your overall wellbeing. Remember, self-care is the best care and we’re here to support you on your journey! Call Us Today (813)333-1425

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