Breaking Free from Hustle Culture: Recognizing the Signs of Hustle Culture

In today's fast-paced world, hustle culture has become the norm.

Many of us feel compelled to constantly work harder, push ourselves to the limit, and sacrifice our well-being in pursuit of success. But what if I told you that there’s a better way?

One of my clients recently shared with her group how she identified that she was in a hustle culture and the group discussed things she could do to ensure she doesn’t join the culture. This week, I’m focusing on the hallmarks of the hustle culture. Next week, I’ll share steps to take so you don’t join in that culture.

Hustle culture can be subtle and pervasive, often leading us to unknowingly adopt its toxic mindset. Here are some signs that you might be caught up in the hustle.

Constant busyness

Feeling like you always have to be busy to be productive, even when it leads to exhaustion and burnout. My client noticed that the water cooler chats no longer existed. Her usual mid-morning breaks she used in order to find out how her peers were doing and gain feedback on her staff’s interactions with other teams were no longer part of the norm. Instead, she felt like everyone was in a rush to get back to their desks to meet deadlines.

Guilt over rest

Feeling guilty or unproductive when you take time for yourself, leading to a cycle of perpetual overworking. In the absence of the water cooler chats, my client invited a trusted colleague to lunch. While they used to block 90 minutes for the lunch, her colleague insisted 45 minutes was all she could spare.

Valuing productivity over well-being

Prioritizing output and accomplishments above your mental, emotional, and physical health. There used to be a pretty active and competitive Peloton group trying to beat each other most days of the week. My client noticed that when she asked members in the group about their morning workouts, she was told that “no one has time to work out anymore.”

Lack of boundaries

Difficulty setting boundaries and saying no, leading to an overwhelming workload and neglecting personal needs. During a staff meeting, my client noticed how her boss had a couple new projects to assign and proposed that two colleagues take them on. My client knew that those two colleagues were already missing out on after-school sports events for their kids, yet neither of them said no, nor did they negotiate for more resources, something they used to do quite regularly.

After my client ran down this list, she asked whether she was crazy for noticing these things. The group moved down the list with her so that she could see if she had fallen victim to hustle culture. She realized she had adopted some of these bad habits and needed help getting out. Stay tuned for next week when we talk about what the group came up with to help her leave the hustle behind.

Work with me

If you just ran down this list and realized you’re part of hustle culture, I have good news for you…you don’t have to stay in the hustle. Click here to schedule a time for us to talk about how I can help you find a more fulfilling life.

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