The Problem with Hustling for Your Worth
We all get sucked into this thing called "hustling" without even thinking about why we're doing it, or if it's creating more of what we even want in life.
First, let's define it. Dictionary.com says that a hustler is everything from someone who is "an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter" to a prostitute. Maybe we can close that gap a little. For me, a hustler is someone who is excessively pushing toward a goal. But there are some side effects, and we seem to accept them as normal. For example:
Never feel like what you're doing is enough
Qualifying success through effort
Self-judgment when the goal is achieved easily
Pride over number of hours worked or "hustled"
Never fully "arrive"
Always onto the next thing
Here's the thing: I have never met anyone who proudly hustles who is also content or happy. They always seem like they're on the verge of something with all this anticipation but can't seem to ever fully arrive. And this can leave them always pining for something, even if they don't know what it is.
No matter what it is, one thing is always the same - it's more than what they have now. Just more.
Now, don't get me wrong; I have desires and goals. I am always dreaming up something new and expansion is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I love growth, newness, creativity, and to see how far I can stretch manifestation.
The difference is that I used to do this to prove something. I am still not sure what yet. That I am worthy, perhaps? That I earned my way there and that I worked hard for it? It's possible.
I stopped because it was causing me more turmoil than joy. Because the accomplishment of one goal organically led to a new goal and I couldn't get off the ladder. I just kept climbing, but without arriving, it never felt like an accomplishment. It always just felt like I wasn't good enough, yet.
If you've ever experienced this, then you know how exhausting it can be.
Then something pretty magical happened - I stopped trying to be somewhere other than where I was. I stopped looking for what was next and started to create because it felt good. Not because I wasn't whole without that creation, or because upon its completion I would be worthy of something new; but because it just wanted to be created. That's it.
Now here is the magical part - I expanded without having to move. In January on a retreat, I intuited that I needed to create a year-long pilgrimage which has since become Awaken Your Life. The idea was effortless, writing the book was effortless, and filling it has been effortless. I have not marketed this pilgrimage. And there are just two spots left.
No hustle. Not even a little. I even took a long weekend to the desert to sit by a pool to finish the book for it. Because everything about the experience was what my dear friend Kristin Fritz calls "ease and magic."
It got me thinking - can all of life be this easy? And still full of growth, creativity, and expansion from right where I am in the Now?
In fact, hustling is something I think we invented because we're convinced if it's too easy it isn't worth having.
I have since stopped using social media, I don't check email except for a couple days each week, I stopped taking excessive amounts of consults, I stopped saying yes to every offer, I turn clients down if they aren't perfectly aligned, and I am slowly filling my life with things that bring me joy all day long.
And my business is still growing, because we are creative beings and growth is inevitable. You get to choose how you wish to grow. Yes, hustling is a choice. But so is ease and magic.
Do I still pine for things? Yes. Do I still have goals that excite and frustrate me at the same time? Yes. I am human. But disconnecting from the need to push, prove, and provide ammo for my self-worth has created instantaneous gratification and gratitude from right where I stand.
You're so busy being busy you literally aren't smelling the roses - which I am sure you think you will stop and enjoy when you accomplish...this...one...last...thing.
Stop. Be here Now. Because there is literally no place else you can be. Yesterday marked the summer solstice. I know there are beautiful flowers close to you right now. Do yourself a favor and go smell them. ;)