I’ve been battling with two intentions that seem to contradict and work against each other in my work and my life and that is my desire to hustle and my desire to rest. And it’s an inner battle that I know I’m not alone in facing each day.
Here’s where I think the problem starts.
1. We’re told how important hustle and hard work is
So many people and posts are reminding us daily to hustle it out in our work and our lives. How good things only come to those who hustle; that she who works the longest and the hardest is the one who will succeed, and that we can’t truly want this if we’re not willing to sacrifice everything for it.
2. We see how impactful it can be in our business and our lives
There’s a reason why we glorify hard work; big and beautiful things can happen when we show up, do the work, and make things happen. When we give our business 100% and all of our focus, incredible things can start to happen. Hard work and growth will almost always go hand in hand, and once we’ve seen this to be true in our own work and lives we can start to get hooked on the hustle along the way.
3. We see rest as weakness and hustle as strength
In our desire to do it all, we’ve glorified the hustle and pushed aside our innate need for rest as something that makes us weak and less worthy than those who seem to hustle it out without the same overwhelm and exhaustion than can haunt us along the way.
And one of the biggest mistakes that we have made is that we’ve confused hustle and rest as two contradictory things, instead of the perfect companions for a healthy, happy, and sustainable creative life. We cannot hustle without rest.
Now, of course, this is way easier said than done. Our work ethic is rooted in something way deeper than a sentence alone can fix. So many of us have attached our work ethic to our self-worth. For me, so much of my struggle is rooted in the fact that my work ethic is attached to one of my core values in life: to be financially independent, to provide for myself, and to be a contributing member of society. Somewhere along the line, I’ve confused rest with something that will take me away from fulfilling that value.
I thought my biggest struggle in my first year of business would be the money side of things - finding clients, making a profit, building something sustainable in the long run - but my biggest struggle of all was facing my relationship with my work ethic and my perception of rest and losing the guilt that was holding me back from making healthy and purposeful decisions along the way.
I have a feeling I’m not the only one who has struggled with this, or some version of this work ethic/rest battle that can rage on inside our heads. It’s safe to say that we cannot go on like this, yet this isn’t a struggle that can be easily fixed, this one’s going to take something much more than that. It’s a journey that we all must navigate ourselves as we figure out how to balance our ambitions with our personal lives, our financial needs with our need for space to rest, relax, and recharge, and our self-worth with the things that define it and the things that don’t.
Here’s a couple of things that I have been doing moving forward;
1. Valuing rest as much as I do hard work
Reframing rest as something that can fuel my hard work and my pursuit of a life full of happiness, joy, and inner peace, has been the catalyst for a whole new approach to rest and hustle in my life.
I love working hard; using my time to make things happen, be purposeful and profitable in my business, and growing and evolving through the work I do is essential for my wellbeing and happiness.
I’m just also accepting that rest is essential too.
2. Redefining my work ethic
Questioning my thought-process when it comes to my work ethic has been so helpful while I try and navigate this new approach to my work, life, and wellbeing. Every time I feel thoughts such as:
“Who cares if you need to rest; there are bills to be paid so get back to work"
“You’re so weak if you need to rest this much - can’t an afternoon off every
now and again be enough?"
“You can’t take yourself seriously if you’re not willing to work every hour under the sun to grow your business and make more money"
I’m taking the time to question them and I'm working hard to redefine my approach to hard work, hustle, and rest. My workday feels more mindful, my ideas