I used to have three jobs at any given time for many years. It was just the way it was. As a young woman who valued her independence and having nice things, working hard and making money became synonymous with working all the time.
In order to have more I had to DO more. On weekends my friends and I danced to songs about hustling and living the life and we celebrated our “busy-ness” in conversation until it seamlessly melded into the greeting itself.
It sounded a lot like this on repeat:
Them: “Hey, how are you?”
me: “Oh, I’ve been busy.”
Hustle culture is often elevated and celebrated as an unspoken way of being in environments that didn’t seem to understand a whole lot about “being” to begin with.
And, for many of us, if you weren’t seen as a “hustler” at work, you could be overlooked for promotions and opportunities that could impact your pockets in a big way. So we bought into the hamster wheel of go-go-go and worked tirelessly to either recreate the lifestyle we were born into or avoid it altogether, but in a fraction of the time.
And weekends? Those could only be fun or restful if they had been “earned” during the week by working to the bone and bringing you to the threshold of burnout. Sound familiar?
Let’s go on a little journey, shall we?
Consider, if you will, the last couple of years of our global history and the themes that have presented over and over. And before you think I’m heading down that particular rabbit hole, I want to highlight that any time we consider a shared global experience of any kind, we first (and instinctively) are considering our society from whatever perspective or worldview in which we were raised or currently hold given our environment.
No matter who you are or where you come from, we are all impacted by the messages of our communities. Many of which glorify hustle culture as the way to “get out” or “make it” in a world that has come to value having over being.
But what if your body begins to burnout from upholding those messages? When it comes to how we see work and the role of achievement, the health of our physical body tends not to be what we think of first.
Okay, try this:
Close your eyes and think of only the word “work.” What is the absolute FIRST thing that pops into your head before you shoo it away?
Then close your eyes and think of what “doing less” means to you. What feeling comes first? Then what image?
I’m not a gambler by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d be willing to bet that it was much easier to imagine “work” than it was to feel what “doing less” might look like without doing a little mental gymnastics.
The good thing is that we’ve collectively reached a place where many of us are ready to change the narrative around what “work” looks and feels like. However, it would feel next to impossible to heal and embody a new narrative of doing work differently in isolation when the harm was done over time by society.
But how in the world do you find a community of people who aren’t touting the necessity of hustle culture, overworking and burning out to achieve your goals and survive? Especially when the way we even “do” community these days looks so different.
Here are 5 easier than you realize ways to cultivate community and begin healing the impact of hustle culture in your own life:
1. One of the easiest ways to do this is to change the way YOU see the world. How do you want to feel and exist? What conversations do you want to be having? With whom?
In order to stop the cycle of hustle culture and step into the space of consciously working, doing less, setting healthy boundaries and still achieving more, we must seek out the spaces filled with other humans desiring the same.
And we’re out here…because here you are.
2. Read books by people who are doing the work to reframe what work looks like sans hustle and burnout (hello Do Less by Kate Northrup…just saying), and get in the communities and conversations they hold if they resonate with you.
3. Join spaces that prioritize healing from a place of wholeness and not lack. While many community spaces focus on healing, there are still some that prey on the wounds that hustle culture has inflicted. So listen to your body and steer clear of spaces that feel gross or are being led by people who aren’t practicing what they preach. I, for one, feel lucky to have been a part of The Origin Membership for all these years learning alongside some incredible humans building amazing businesses and lives without killing themselves.
4. Look around. Literally. When you enter into shared spaces or walk your neighborhood, notice the other humans who are “being” around you. Is there anyone who exudes a peaceful, calm yet focused energy? Say “hello.” Making new friends is still allowed as adults and doesn’t have to be hard.
5. Add it to the Universe’s “To-Do” List. I’m sure your own to-do list is miles long and you could still add more if given the chance, but how much of that can you actually accomplish on your own…or even want to? Honoring the limitations of being human by welcoming in the power of a divine source of your understanding can be so liberating and will undoubtedly free you up to welcome more ease and clarity about what you really want. This is why this is my favorite weekly planning page in the Do Less Planner. It feels so good to hand things over and see them happen in ways I couldn’t even imagine.
Healing hustle culture and choosing to do less isn’t about selling all your worldly possessions, quitting your job, giving up what you consider luxuries and living a life of unkempt cultish living in the middle of nowhere (unless of course you want it to be).
Doing less is NOT doing “nothing.” It’s doing the things that actually make achieving the desired outcome of your efforts possible, but without the burnout. It’s about connecting to your body in a new way and with others as your whole self. And defending your desire for a life filled with more of what you value and less “doing” is a surefire way to keep feeding the beast of hustle culture.
So find your people. Let them see you and celebrate you for thriving. Let your well-lived life become the beacon that calls in more people who are seeking what you would have found.
And, in case you’re not part of our beautiful, free Do Less community, you are welcome to join. It’s free and full of thousands of people seeking to live a life beyond the grasp of hustle culture.
Now, over to you. How has your community, culture or family structure impacted how you relate to work…for better or worse?
TAKISHA AUGUST, Origin Community Manager/Head Empress
TaKisha is the holder of all spaces for The Origin Company. On calls, in the community, and sometimes 1-on-1 in the inbox helping members of our community feel seen, heard, and more confident about how to use the tools inside of the Origin membership.