Less Hustle. More Flow.
Updated: Apr 9, 2019
Why I needed to let go of the word #hustle.
Some people may not feel me on this but hear (or read) me out. I'm a recovering 'hustler.' I was fully bought into the idea that to achieve success I needed to do it all. Wife, mom, entrepreneur, sister, daughter, friend, etc. etc. I needed to push through the exhaustion, ignore the feelings, put a smile on my face and keep going.
After all, that's what I saw other's around me doing, especially the the women I looked up to. I would even venture to say, it was somewhat taught in my years at University. The harder you work, the better you do, the more recognition you get. It was a badge of honour to talk about how little sleep you got and how late you were at the library working on a project. It's no wonder I took this into my career life. I am a driven, passionate person and I had ambitions. It was clear to me that to achieve my ambitions, I was going to have to work hard. Period.
This worked for quite a while. I worked my way through a few different jobs, learning (how to do the hustle), and climbing the proverbial ladder. Then I hit the good ol' glass ceiling; I got laid off during my first maternity leave (a blessing in disguise, but we'll leave that story for another time). This ambitious girl wasn't going to let that stop her, so what did I do, I decided that my career trajectory wasn't going to be at the hands of someone else, I started my own business.
I hustled hard in that business for 8 years, doing well financially but not so well physically and emotionally. They say starting a business is a little like having a baby, well I did both at the same time. A few other life circumstances happened, as they do, and eventually the burnout sunk in. You can read that story HERE.
Here is what my journey through burnout has taught me and why, today, I fully embrace the concept of Less Hustle. More Flow.
Constant hustling is NOT sustainable.
You WILL burn out at some point.
Our bodies talk to us.
Often through pain. If you have physical pain, emotional pain, exhaustion or illness, listen. It's there to teach you something.
The energy of 'hustle' is essentially the same as the 'fight or flight.'
This the response that our bodies naturally have as a life saving mechanism; we are not designed to remain in a constant state of 'fight or flight.' If we're constantly hustling, we're constantly in fight or flight.
There is another way.
A healthy way to be ambitious, driven and succeed at life. It involves, slowing down, taking care of ourselves, tuning in, and balancing our energies. It also takes courage, going against the grain and challenging what is essentially status quo for society today.
Life doesn't always have to be a grind. Flow feels SO good.
That's a choice we make. It can be easy and feel good.
*Note: This does not mean there won't be pain and hard times. Trust me, there will. But we get a choice in how we feel and respond to those hard times.
We cannot do this thing called life alone.
This might be single-handedly the biggest lesson I learned. There is support out there, in many forms, and we need to seek it out, ask for it, and sometimes pay for it. I can almost guarantee you it's worth it. Trying to overcome the hustle alone, is well, just more hustle.
Hustle isn't all bad.
It's when we get stuck there that the problems start. Too many of us are stuck there. It's like the yin and yang, when we can hustle in a healthy way and balance that with lots of flow, we all win.
Each of these points is a blog post in itself, and I have no doubt I will dig into them. For now, I hope this gives some insight into my personal journey, my beliefs and the foundation for my next ambitious undertaking; supporting others in their journey to healing, bridging the gap between knowing what we 'should' do for our health and actually doing it (creating your health blueprint), and facilitating in-person experiences to deepen the conversation around true self-care.