The Hustle Trap (and my greatest escape trick you never considered!)

For many years the way I worked in school, and later in my career, was similar to how I obsessed about food. I put so much time, attention, and effort in because I always felt, “I should be doing better.”

In college, I received awards and scholarship money to study in Spain. I minored in American Sign Language and became fluent. Then, when I graduated, I moved back to Spain to perfect my Spanish so I could use it in my career.

Upon my return to the US, my company honored me with several awards and promotions in a short amount of time in light of my high performance at my job. I received amazing benefits including a rent free, high-end apartment in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Washington, DC!

Still, I was constantly focused on the idea that none of this was enough.

“I could do more and I could do better.”

Despite the amazing perks that came with my career choices, I was so busy obsessing about doing better that I never paused to actually enjoy it. I was constantly focused on the next thing I had to do.

If you’re letting your life experiences pass you by because you’re so focused on what’s “next,” you’ve probably also come to believe that pushing and being hard on yourself will *motivate* you to accomplish your goals.

But the truth is, thinking this way and living this way leads to feelings of low energy, low mood, lack of focus, and cravings for things like sugar, caffeine, and refined carbs. 

“…we inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of work, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure).”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

So what the heck is the point of hustling?

If you’re always worried about the next thing and never experiencing any benefits… well, THERE IS NO POINT.

I want to give you one big, game-changing tip that will make all the hustling feel like progress rather than overwhelm so you can kick those relentless cravings that make you feel like crap.

Here’s what to do:

Each night before you fall asleep, give yourself a few minutes to reflect on all the things that happened that day. It’s so easy for a whole week to go by in a blur and get stuck in overwhelm about how much more you want to do!

Hit pause on any thoughts of to-dos popping up in your mind. Close your eyes and visualize yourself moving through your day. I find this practice to be really powerful! Remember, it doesn’t have to be a “big day,” like a promotion, graduation, anniversary, or marathon to celebrate that you’re making progress. Even the days that something feels like a mistake or it didn’t work out often turn out to be our biggest life lessons.

Celebrate each day as a stepping stone toward the person you want to be and the things you want to accomplish. Notice the gifts even in the small stuff like waking up, brushing your teeth and moving to where you need to go. They add up to the big stuff.

You’re already doing “more than enough.”

I recommend setting up a hike with a friend or booking a massage as a celebration for yourself to pause, take in pleasure, and mark progress in your hustle.

You’ve got this! I hope you put this into action and find it helpful. I’m always wishing you ease in your hustle, body, mind, and heart.

Tight squeeze,

Holly