Diary of a Recovering Hustler…

Dear Diary,

This weekend has been hard. I feel like I haven’t got anything done I wanted to. I have been trying to finish off a website for 2 weeks which I am yet to do. I have a heap of emails that need clearing out and responding too. I head away this week and was wondering what work I could take with me. And then today with washing, cleaning and then a nap for a couple of hours to recover from a virus that got me last week (damn cough!), my day is gone. Tonight I could see the signs, I stopped and took a breath (well 5 deep ones actually), I slowed down. I gave myself a break and a mental pep-talk. I took time to cook dinner, to clean up and to be with my kids. I really thought I was a recovered hustler, but it doesn’t take long before I can fall into that trap again, so perhaps I am ‘recovering’.

It had me thinking how hard it has been to change my thought patterns and how my old hustler ways were somewhat of an addiction. I have to keep check of myself all the time, as I know that I could so easily fall back into my old ways.

My hustle addiction had me on highs that made me crave more. The busy-ness. The adrenaline rush of something new and innovative and fast paced. The external validation from others when I did something great or being part of some kind of entrepreneurial society. When I would come down from those highs, I would look for my next ‘hit’. If I didn’t get a high? Then I was in a mopey low, so would work even harder to find that next high. Which then restarted the cycle.

That burnout last year was hard. I felt like I had let myself down. I felt like I was weak. Why could I not handle it? What was wrong with me? And would I now ‘fail’ because of it.

But now I know different. I hadn’t let myself down, I had woken myself up. I had woken myself up to the entrepreneurial conditioning I had received for years where hustling was celebrated. I had woken up to the trap of seeking validation from everyone but myself. I had woken myself up to the cycle of destruction I had created. And with changes I then woke myself up to the fact I could do business differently and still be successful – but now success is on my terms and done my way. And damn I call bullshit on everything I was fed for years. I feel mad and angry and let down. And determined to speak out about it, so that other women don’t fall into what I did.

My lovely naturopath had stern words with me recently – don’t fill up the ‘space’ that is being created with moving on from Sass Place. Phwoar. That hit home. She was onto me. We have only known each other the last few months, and already she knows me and my ‘addiction’! What she said has stuck with me. It is now words that I am using as a filter for lots of things. It has added another tool to my belt, as that filter now allows me to decide that if I bring something in, then something else has to go. Like an energy exchange, I only have so much of it! My other things in my tool belt are those two little men I look at everyday and my self-care!

I know that the tools I have will continue to keep me on track. My willpower will keep me strong. My support team will keep me accountable. The hardworking, determined, passionate me will still be there just as I was, only this time I will do things differently. I know I can keep on this path, that is so much better and so much healthier for me. I will continue to be a proud recovering hustler. 

xx Carly

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