Hustle culture and why I’m opting out

There’s been a big trend for a while—especially among women—that promotes this so-called “hustle culture.” Basically, every moment that you’re awake, you’re supposed to be on your grind, working toward your lofty goals.

Lots has already been written about how toxic this culture is and I doubt I’ll be adding much that’s new to the conversation. Hustle culture is not good for your mental health. But what I realize is how much I’ve internalized this as a means to define myself and that it’s very unhealthy for me.

Sure, I know a couple of people who fit the model of hustle culture. They’ve been able to achieve a lot, especially in terms of making a brand of themselves. Not surprisingly, this also results in making a lot more money than I do. In many ways, this is still what I use as my measuring stick, which means I’m always falling short, I’m always behind.

Part of it is that I don’t even know how attainable it is for me anymore to push myself that hard. If I try to push myself any harder than I currently do, I can usually achieve a short sprint but then I have to rest for days to make up for it.

I’m still trying to find out what my limits are. Maybe what my limits are will change over time and someday I will be able to do more than I can now. But for now, my limits are pretty set in stone.

I really hate saying that my disability limits me. Hate it. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. I can only do as much as I can do. Most of the time, that’s a lot less than I would like it to be. But trying to push myself any harder always backfires.

The real thing I have to do is keep reminding myself that I’m measuring myself against a yardstick that isn’t applicable to me. Even if it wasn’t, though, I really don’t think I would want to be on my grind all the time, constantly working toward the next big goal I wanted to achieve.

I guess it all comes down to what I want to be known for and it’s okay if I’m never a household name or getting invited to speak on talk shows. I want to be known for being kind and helpful. I want to be a fierce advocate for those that I love. I want to do the most good that I can in the world, which will not necessarily equate to being well-known. And I’m okay with that.

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