There is a time and place to push, hustle, and grind. I’ve always lived my life in that way and from that place. Perhaps you have too. Yet, here I am in a new place. To access the wisdom needed now, I must be still. A movement is coming, and, first, we must be still.
I am completely over hustle culture vibes, and I know I’m not alone.
Our culture of overwork has gotten out of control. While more and more of us are opting out of the puritanical workaholic mentality, many companies are unfazed and continuing to do business as usual. Fueled by corporate advertisers and influencers glorifying productivity, success, and the constant pursuit of more, hustle culture is a mindset that encourages individuals to work longer hours, sacrifice personal life, and prioritize productivity above everything else.
This soul-sucking lifestyle is clearly not sustainable and leads to chronic stress, burnout, and even physical health problems. So why are we still clinging to it?
Hustle culture is not just a fad, it’s a deeply ingrained aspect of the over-culture. We have been taught from a very young age to sacrifice our needs in the name of productivity. The truth is, we were not built to produce, produce, produce. Our human bodies and psyches are not machines.
The Toxic Effects of Hustle Culture on Our Wellness
There is plenty of research to show that hustle culture is actually making us sick. A recent study found that the constant need to be productive can make individuals feel guilty or ashamed when they’re not working, leading to a toxic cycle of overworking and burnout.
Chronic stress and burnout can have long-term effects on mental health, leading to increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Evolutionary biologists like Ernst Mayer have described these ailments as the products of an evolutionary mismatch. Humans are not well-suited to the stressful environmental circumstances we have created, and our own cultural norms around work and productivity are actually at the root of many societal ills.
The lack of readily available work which honors our dignity and sovereignty can be a catalyst on our entrepreneurial journeys. There is a deep need to create work for ourselves, to create work that is in alignment with our health and our purpose when the status quo is most definitely not.
When we work for ourselves, we can create systems that honor our strengths and needs. We can exercise agency over our schedule, our rate of pay, and our boundaries that most workplaces do not afford their employees.
Shifting Towards Regenerative Livelihoods
One of my favorite reads lately has been Regenerative Business by Samantha Garcia. In the book, she talks about how we can make shifts in our daily practices to align our businesses with the earth’s cycles, and with our own somatic needs. She illustrates how the status quo of production at all costs is not a natural way to grow, saying “Your business isn’t the individual rose that blossoms into a fit of opulence in the late spring…your business is the entire rosebush that goes through the seasons and produces new blossoms year after year, even after a snowy winter.”
Those of us who are neurodivergent, dealing with trauma or illness, or simply don’t fit into mainstream culture have an even greater imperative to create livelihoods that allow us the flexibility and space to tend to our wellness.
Claiming sustainable livelihoods is revolutionary within a system that tells us that our wellness doesn’t matter, that we cannot expect to be treated well, and that we must settle for being overworked and underpaid. It is tragic that the ability to rest when we need to is seen as a radical concept in today’s culture of over-productivity.
Trusting the Universe and Honoring Our Timing
In my own business, I am practicing something I like to call sustainable slowness. It means that I keep showing up, I go at my own pace, I pause and rest when I need to, and I trust that everything will unfold in perfect time if I honor my own timing and keep taking one step after another.
I create enough spaciousness within each project to allow for the ebbs and flows of life to occur. I tend carefully to the details and energetics of the creative process when I am working collaboratively with a client.
I know that building my business in this way is a slower process than it would be if I hustled and pushed. I also know that the way I build my business is the way that my business will run, and I want my business to feed my soul.
How are you rejecting hustle culture and creating sustainable or regenerative systems within your life and business? Or how would you like to? Download our free brand visioning guide to get started.
© Moon Seeds Studio 2023