Written by Fola Veritas

July 2023

We live in a society that values success and doing whatever it takes to maintain it.  This could lead us to believe that the key to happiness lies solely in reaching goals. What if this pursuit of success actually has a cost, impacting our mental wellness and the relationships in our lives?

This hustle culture has infiltrated much of our society and can be seen in our school system, on social media and in the workplace.  The desire to strive and accomplish is part of our human nature, yet not many people talk about what happens when this “striving mentality” leaves a trail of disaster in its path. Let us discuss some of these harmful effects and why it is may be of benefit to maintain a balanced approach to protect your mental health and build strong relationships.

So why is hustle culture harmful and what can we do to create more balance?

First off, it is important to recognize the pitfalls of grasping onto a striving mentality. When we constantly push ourselves to achieve, we often neglect our own wellbeing. We may sacrifice our sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, and even time spent partaking in hobbies—all so we can claim success. This takes a toll on our mental health, and can lead to increased stress, burnout, anxiety, and even depression. Remember that success does no good when it subtracts from your wellness.

In addition, the hustle mentality can strain our relationships. When we hyperfocus on our ambitions, we may unintentionally distance ourselves from the people who matter most in our lives. Our focus on success can make us neglect quality time spent with loved ones, overlook their needs, and even lose touch with what it means to maintain meaningful connections. In the end, this can lead to increased feelings of loneliness, isolation, and regret.

Let us now explore how we can maintain a balanced approach that leads to optimal mental health and improved relationships:

  1. Prioritize self-care: Every day is an opportunity to dedicate time for activities that recharge your energy and help you care for body, mind, and soul. Making self-care a priority will help reset your focus.
  2. Set realistic goals: It is great to have ambitions, but remember to set goals that are attainable and not overwhelming. Break them down into smaller, achievable steps and write these steps down so you can keep track of your progress.
  3. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity: Society may have programmed us to think that failure is inevitable. What if instead we saw it as a chance to grow and learn? Embracing a growth mindset can help you move forward and overcome challenges.
  4. Celebrate progress: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along the way, no matter how small. Pat yourself on the back and remember that celebrating boosts motivation and reminds you of how awesome you truly are.
  5. Nurture relationships: Valuing connections and nurturing relationships means making time for loved ones. Show interest in their lives, listen attentively, and be present. Building strong connections leads to a healthier life.
  6. Practice mindfulness: Be present and focus on the here and now. Practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing and meditation to reduce stress and increase mental clarity.
  7. Seek support: If you need it, seek help. Reach out to loved ones, friends, or professionals who can provide guidance and support and the occasional hug to motivate you to refocus on what is really going to feed your soul.

Remember, life is about balance. Hoping to pursue your goals and dreams is an innate human desire, but it does not help if it is at the expense of your mental wellbeing and relationships. By adopting a balanced approach, you can protect your energy and cultivate consistent contentment. So, take a step back, reassess your priorities, and embrace a life that allows you to enjoy the moment.