The hustle mentality is the unwavering desire and continuous commitment to acquire satisfaction with your life and status based on what’s important to you and the goals you set for yourself. If your goal is financial comfort, making money is pivotal to your hustle; if your goal is fitness, exercising, and eating healthy is pivotal to your hustle. Having the hustle mentality can aid in desired success and results, but if not balanced with self-care, flexibility, mindfulness, and balance, can also reap negative results.
The hustle mentality for me is driven by a desire for financial freedom and emotional wellness. The flaws in my hustle mentality, however, are rooted in “destination addiction” constantly feeling as though satisfaction is achieved in something I don’t have yet. Because I’m always working for something greater and better than my last accomplishment, I also find myself lost in perfectionism. Nothing I do is good enough, I constantly aim to outdo myself. Everything I do leads to something else I need to do in the future. Where is the end to “the hustle” for me?
Here are some examples of how the hustle mentality manifests in my everyday productivity:
- Constantly thinking I’m not doing enough.
- Overbearing perfectionism
- Specific goals and expectations of myself and my productivity
- Lack of flexibility for self-care
- Always having to do something during the day or in the middle of the night
- Thinking up new ways to become “successful”
- Negative self-talk by putting myself down when I’m not achieving my goals
- Always feeling like I have to work
- My worth equating to how much work or what I get done during the day
- Crippling anxiety and nightmares of getting up late or forgetting a deadline
- Nightmares about past jobs, high school, and college
- Panic attacks when my bank account goes below a certain dollar amount
- Constant problem solving
My relationship with the hustle mentality and perfectionism not only causes me mental exhaustion and issues with productivity but is also one of the reasons I developed PTSD. Continuously pushing myself to my mental and physical limits while attending high school and college resulted in irreversible stress-related trauma. Of course, other factors aided in the development and birth of my hustle mentality and PTSD, like my socioeconomic status growing up, but school and my mental and emotional responses to my grades rank top 3 in reasons why my mental health declined at the time. Even now, I still feel the effects of pushing myself too far in my early and late adolescent years.
Steps to Overcoming
Learning to overcome my hustle mentality is a priority. Realizing my mental health needs as well as my unreasonable and unrealistic expectations to achieve perfection is paving the way to a healthier and happier me. I want and need to love myself more.
Here are different methods of self-care I’m learning to prioritize so I can begin the process of undoing the negative effects of perfectionism and the hustle mindset:
- Scheduling time to rest and take breaks
- Having a bedtime
- Practicing positive self-talk (affirmations, manifestations, and mantras)
- Practicing mindfulness activities such as body scans and mindfulness walking
- Scheduling time for friends and family
- Saying “no”
- Asking for help
- Making sure I’m eating enough every day and not skipping meals
- Being willing to reschedule or leave activities/projects to complete at a later date
- Going to therapy and reflecting
- Prioritizing one or two tasks a day
Note and affirmation: I am determined to put myself first especially when I find myself abandoning my needs.
Conclusion and Reflection
The hustle mentality is not innately a bad concept. Sometimes it’s helpful to get yourself in a working mindset, being able to juggle various and multiple projects, business ventures, or hobbies that help you achieve your goals and get you where you want to be. The issue arises, however, when “hustling” replaces or overpowers your ability to slow down and take care of your mental, physical, or emotional health, like what happened to me. Balance, flexibility, mindfulness, and self-care are key. Remember how important you are in the equation between you and productivity. Without you, there is no hustle.
What is your relationship to “the hustle mentality?”
How would you define ”your hustle?”
What does productivity mean to you?
How can you prioritize yourself and your needs better especially if you’re a hard worker and “hustle” to achieve your goals?
Nina is a Latina from Brooklyn, NY who struggles with depression and anxiety. She finds refuge and healing through her writing since she graduated from college in 2016. Nina writes to spread awareness and hope to those who struggle with their mental health silently. She also strives to motivate and encourage self-acceptance. She enjoys creating creative and uplifting content on her blog SparklyWarTanks.com where she shares her experiences, notes, poems, quotes, and articles