Are you sick of the hustle culture?

I get it. 

Sometimes the way to get ahead, or even survive today is to hustle. 

As a woman in her early forties, I had to rebuild my life, beginning again, staying in friend’s basements and couch surfing until I could even afford a 1 room bedsit. Restricting my eating, so I could afford my rent and basics. 

I have also been that person hustling to climb the positional ladder, and hustling for mahi as a business owner.

But whilst the hustle can help us, it can also hurt us physically, emotionally and socially. Let me explain… 

Psychologist and internationally acclaimed author, Susan David recently spoke about the effects of Hustle culture.

Hustle culture promotes the idea that working hard is the key to success, and that one must constantly grind and sacrifice personal well-being in order to achieve goals. It can be particularly prevalent in industries such as tech or entrepreneurship.

Hustle culture affects individuals in different ways, but some of the common outcomes can include burnout, stress, and a lack of work-life balance. It can also promote a culture of overwork and underappreciation, where workers are expected to always be available and willing to put in extra hours regardless of whether it is healthy or sustainable.

There are some statistics that suggest hustle culture may be harmful. A 2019 study conducted by the World Health Organisation found that burnout is now a recognised medical diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases, and it is often linked to workplace stress.

As someone who firmly believes in personal agency and authoring our own path, I believe the first point for reflection needs to be internally located. This could mean, as a starting point, considering the realities and how much of the hustle we are experiencing is actually due to us, as opposed to work-related factors. Some questions to guide your self-reflection may include:

  • What are the facts? What is actually expected of me?
  • Why am I feeling as though I have to do more, and become more? What long-held scripts may I need to rewrite?
  • How am I using the term ‘I’m too busy’ to deflect from giving myself permission to rest?
  • How might my Hustle be harming myself and those around me?
  • Where is my identity located: Am I a Human Being or a Human Doing?

Once you have completed your own self-reflection, then consider your workplace using the following questions as a guide:

  • How are ‘on’ and ‘off’ times perceived regarding expectations?
  • How familiar are you with your role and do you have the necessary resources?
  • How many projects are you currently engaged in?
  • Is there support or praise for constantly being busy and overworking?
  • To what degree does your work environment prioritise flexibility?

Every organisation operates within its unique set of restrictions so understanding the specific nuances and constraints is crucial.

The pressure and treadmill are real.

Our striving mindset is causing us stress.

Our survival needs are sucking our joy.

Isn’t it time to embrace a more balanced approach to work and life, where self-care and personal well-being are given equal importance to career success?

When will you start? 

Need a speaker?

There are plenty of speakers to choose from. I am not the norm. You won’t be bored to tears by the same ole’ approach and dribble. How about bringing Mary-Anne for the conference or all-staff day.

Give me a stage and I’ll own it. Give me a room and I’ll energise it. Give me your people and I’ll inform and inspire them. 

Need virtual delivery – no sweat! I have facilitated virtual full and half-day workshops, virtual keynote speaking at online conferences, and might I say, you still get the Mary-Anne goodness you deserve!

More details here


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