Our best measurement of personal success should use our own goals and guidelines.
I'm always inspired by super motivated people who can juggle multiple jobs, take care of business on the fly and never get flustered or seem off their game. You know these people – maybe you are this person. We like to say they hustle. The average person who holds a job, occasionally overbooks their calendar and needs voice reminders is also out there hustling. It's just at a different pace.
Many people get caught up in gauging their self-worth and accomplishments by what they see other people doing. Well, if you already thought you were the equivalent of being picked last for an elementary school ball game, now you are even more defeated. And guess what, your motivation drops even further, and so does your productivity.
People need to stop sabotaging their hustle and just hustle the best they can. Here are five reasons why some people don't think their hustle measures up and how to escape this negative thinking.
1. Seeing younger people accomplish more
You can't look at your boss, who's 20 to 30 years younger, and wonder why you didn't hit such career heights at that age. First, so much is different just in the realm of technology that there are opportunities today that weren't even dreamed of when you were that age.
But maybe you think that's an excuse. You could have worked harder or studied more in school. Yet, this faulty thinking still has you measuring your accomplishments by someone else's standards. In truth, most people work to a certain comfort level. Quit beating yourself up over something you would not have and could not have done. Learn to be happy with the career comfort level you chose because it suits you just fine.
2. Not going to a prestigious college
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, some of the most successful and wealthy people in the world share another shocking statistic. They all dropped out of college. Some people might look at their colleagues and see Ivy League diplomas hanging on their walls, but again, you can't use their accomplishments when judging yourself.
Yes, a diploma from a prestigious college or university can go a long way in the corporate world. But it is certainly not a requirement, or the big three above would not be at the pinnacle of wealth and accomplishments. Depending on the company you work for, they might even forego a college degree for on-the-job training. Much of the world of work relies on jobs and tasks not covered in college courses. Stop worrying. Don't let someone else's framed piece of paper get you down. Your college degree and your willingness to learn on-the-job is sufficient hustle.
3. Failing to recognize small accomplishments
The only way to start seeing your hard work's value is to break up large goals into smaller accomplishments and celebrate them like it's 1999. Who says you have to toil for weeks on a huge project that seems to have no end, feeling miserable that you have so much to do. And what’s worse, you can't see much progress.
One solution to this problem is to take that project and divide it into individual portions that mark a certain point where you can celebrate their completion. At the end of each portion, compliment yourself on a job well done, and be satisfied with how far the job has come. Make a visual chart or project board with the large job sectioned out and put it in a highly visible place. This graphic will be the validation you need to prove you're hustling and getting stuff done. Even just a quick glance at it here and there will boost your motivation and keep you focused.
4. Taking on too much responsibility
Sometimes accepting a promotion or taking on new work responsibilities just takes you too far out of that comfort level where your hustle lives. In the corporate world, most people are groomed to climb that ladder and amass more and more titles and jobs. However, this life is not for everyone.
Some people just adapt to change and can take on massive amounts of responsibility and never miss a beat. These are the true leaders, and they make their way to the top because they are equipped to handle all the stresses and responsibilities most people get anxious just thinking about. Not everyone can be a leader, and not everyone should want to be. Great leaders need responsible, hard workers to hustle for the cause. Even if you are not the one in charge, you add an essential element to your team.
Additionally, it's OK to know your strengths and to want to be the best at just a few things rather than be good and several. The average person, stretching themselves too thin, usually fails to get noticed, because they have too much on their plate and can't settle into honing a few key strengths. Sometimes refusing to add responsibilities to your work life is the best thing for your career. It's not that you aren't hustling. You just value quality over quantity, and your hustle is concentrated on your best skills, not on a perpetual hunt to accumulate more.
5. Not factoring in family and home life
When you measure your hustle, don't leave out all you do with family and home life responsibilities. Work is work. Work should not be life. When you're not hustling at work, you are getting things done at home, which absolutely adds major credit to your overall hustle game.
Working moms and dads have the responsibilities of raising their children added to their hectic work lives. These days, especially when families struggle with remote learning and childcare dilemmas, the home struggle is real. But you're getting stuff done like a boss, and you cannot compare your situation to the single co-worker who takes work home, works every weekend, and asks for extra projects. Is she hustling? Absolutely, but hers is a different kind of hustle. She's not fixing breakfast, helping finish homework and fixing ponytails before heading out to her 9 to 5. And she's not finishing remote learning lessons after fixing and cleaning up supper for four. Family life is a hustle like no other. Don't you dare forget to count it.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. Are you hustling the best way you know how? Are you satisfied with the jobs and responsibilities you have? And are you celebrating all of your successes, not just the rare tremendous accomplishments? If you cannot answer yes to these questions, you need to be easier on yourself and ditch your current expectations.
Sometimes it's difficult to see yourself in a different light after gauging your value with the models created by others. However, the first step to being satisfied is setting your own goals and creating your own standard. It's time to prove to yourself that your hustle is strong!