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  • Writer's pictureJuliette Horne

Rejecting hustle culture

Updated: Oct 3, 2021


Being busy. Being time poor. Juggling a tight schedule. Trying to do it all, be it all. No excuses. If you just work hard enough you can too. It’s an enticing narrative, backed by a myriad of inspirational quotes and influencers. But it just at its core it’s an oversimplified message layered with shame for those who despite their best efforts fall short.

Lockdowns seem to have amplified the impact of social media in this respect. Not only do we have to survive a pandemic but now we also have to be productive. To work from home. To care for children. Even this isn’t enough. We need to keep exercising, get in enough steps, prepare instagram worthy meals, and take on some sort of craft and/or DIY projects.


What does it boil down to? Well, its about status and again, it’s about shame. What hustle culture tells us is that if you can’t do it all you aren’t enough and you just aren’t trying hard enough. This is the opposite of what we need with so much uncertainty and so many challenges in our everyday lives.


If we scratch even further beneath the surface something deeper comes up. It’s a constant striving, a need to overcompensate for the feeling of ‘not being good enough’. At the most primitive level its about avoidance. Perhaps more specifically, experiential avoidance. Hustle culture is a tool, it is employed to get rid of the difficult thoughts and emotions that are integral to the human experience.


There might be a temporary relief, a dissipation of those uncomfortable experiences that come up. And that is powerful, it hooks us like a drug. If I just keep trying harder surely I can reach some arbitrary level that will get rid of those feelings for good. I will be enough. But it’s simply not possible. Our minds have evolved to keep these internal threats present to try to prevent social rejection.


So I’m choosing a different path. I’m rejecting hustle culture. I’m choosing to do less, to be less. Is it hard? You bet it is. But it’s liberating, to be okay just as you are. So I’m settling for so called mediocrity. Choosing to invest my efforts in the things that matter to me, not to others. I am no longer bound by what I ‘should’ be doing.

If you struggle with this internal need to achieve, to be more, never feeling enough. Let’s talk about it. There’s a way forward, it isn’t easy, but it is certainly worth while.




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