SPOTLIGHT: Discover 3 ways to avoid the Hustle Trap now

Years ago I worked in the marketing department of an executive search firm. It was a new department inside the company, and wow did I work long hours.

Looking back, I realize that my boss was caught in a cycle of “do more to get more.” She was working hard to prove herself, and the value of her newly created department.

My tasks were endless. One more newsletter. One more piece of collateral. One more slide deck. It went on and on. And it was never enough. I often worked until 9 pm.

It’s safe to say that she, and myself by association, were caught in The Hustle Trap.

The Hustle Trap is defined as working hard
– and with urgency – in order to succeed.

Studies show that being in a Hustle Trap can actually be a roadblock to your goals, and even cause medical issues.

The latter happened to me.

I remember one stressful day in particular being rushed to the hospital. My heart was beating irregularly; I wasn’t sure what was going on.

The ER ran the normal tests, found my vitals to be fine and determined that there was nothing wrong with my heart or me. The doctor asked a few routine questions. At one point he asked, “How’s your job?”

  • To my surprise, I was unable to respond. Instead, I burst into tears.

The tension in my office was thick and the pressure to perform was off the charts. I hated going to work each morning. Without even realizing it, I was keeping my job-related stress tucked inside my body, which ultimately led to my trip to the hospital.

That ER visit really woke me up. Sitting in that ER I realized it was time to go in a different direction, and escape the Hustle Trap that I was in. My life depended on it.

  • Looking back, this was when my entrepreneurial spirit was woken up.

It took a while, but ultimately that trip to the ER lead to my passion in life: activating others to live happy, fun and fulfilling lives.

Now to be clear, I’m still guilty of falling into the Hustle Trap from time to time. When I find myself “hustling” too much, I:

  1. Remember that “it’s all made up.” And that I’m in charge of how this “all” goes.
  2. Remember the “fun factor.” When I’m having fun with my work, it’s not a hustle… it’s a passion project. It turns into hustle when I forget that the means to get to the goal are just as important as the goal.
  3. Change the chemistry of my body by releasing the four happiness brain chemicals: Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphins.

What are you doing to avoid the Hustle Trap?


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