By Alysha Light, FLIGHT PR
Ask any entrepreneur if they consider themselves a hustler, and most of them will proudly say, “Heck yes!” The concept of the hustle is glorified in business and entrepreneurial communities, because we’re struck by the image of the self-sufficient go-getters who are putting themselves out there, making things happen and having no one but themselves to thank for the the leaps and bounds they've made along the way.
For a long time, I was damn proud of my ability to get sh*t done, to do more with less, to fire on all cylinders and go out into the wild in pursuit of big game because hey, fortune favors the bold and those bills aren’t gonna pay themselves, amiright? In a 2016 C&C piece, Dr. Lauren Hazzouri broke down why so many of us are addicted to the hustle: "We're human-beings, and humans tend to repeat anything that feels good," she wrote. "For women, especially, nailing the presentation and bringing home the bacon feels SO damn good."
And she's right. It does feel good to secure a big win. But how "good" is it really, when you're spending every waking moment on your phone or laptop and missing out on life in the name of the hustle and grind?
That's how I operated for the first few years after launching my business in 2013: no vacation, no team, #nodaysoff. Just me, grinding away 24/7 to prove that I can get things done for my clients, fast. That I was basically superwoman.
Unsurprisingly, I was burning out from the constant grind. I was bending over backwards and stretching myself so thin for small wins and inch-by-inch growth. I knew I needed to reprogram my mindset if I wanted to stay physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself
Here’s the thing about the "hustle" mentality that no one tells you: Even though it champions hard work and self-reliance, it's ultimately rooted in fear. Your core belief is basically, If I'm not constantly chasing new opportunities and busting my ass, then I don't eat. I’ll let people down. My business will stall. You become terrified of the things you think you might lose if you dare to take the world off your shoulders for a moment.
Plot twist: When I stopped hustling, that's when my business grew the most. In no way have I lost my "go get 'em" attitude – but hear me when I say that my business tripled when I let go of the idea that things would stop if I stopped...chasing, pursuing, stressing, hustling, stretching, bending over backwards, etc. In fact, it was just the opposite.
There’s a spiritual principle behind this that basically shifts your mindset to one of stress and anxiety (or fear) to one of ease (abundance). What you’re basically doing, is signaling to the universe that you trust it to operate on behalf of your highest good, and that you believe things are always working out for you. Because they are. And when you really get this, you find yourself in “the flow”—that amazing space where things start flowing with minimal “effort” on your part.
Setting intentions > goals
One of my favorite people on Twitter, Maryam Hasnaa, believes in setting intentions rather than goals. Having adopted this for myself, rather than focusing on a list of things I want to accomplish, I’ve started asking a simple question: how do I want to feel?
One of my intentions this year was to feel ‘in demand’. If I'm in demand, that implies money is flowing and my inbox is flooding with new business opportunities. And guess what? That's exactly what’s happened.
As Rumi once said, “When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. [There] is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.”
Grasp it, and prosper girl!
Alysha Light, a reformed hustler, is founder of FLIGHT PR, a boutique PR agency for companies at the intersection of tech, design, marketing and entertainment. Follow her @lightalysha.
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