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The impossible pressure of finding joy 

Why hustle culture tries to sell you joy just to keep you confused (and spending)

It's so easy to get caught up in the spin of life and doing, especially in a society that is hyper-focused on productivity, success, and external validation. We can get so far away from ourselves and our desires that we lose sight of what truly makes us happy. The constant pressure to achieve, to perform, to be the best version of ourselves can be overwhelming and exhausting. But what if we took a step back and gave ourselves the opportunity to come back home to ourselves, to do something simply because we want to do it?

The more time I have spent deconstructing societal standards and expectations of joy the more I am able to access my own.

Most of us have been brought up to believe there is one “realistic” way of achieving what success and happiness should look like. We are told that we should have a certain job, make a certain amount of money, have a certain type of relationship, and so on. But what if those things don't align with our own values and desires? What if the societal definition of success and happiness does not fulfil us?  And what if we're not there yet? Are we meant to just be miserable? If you're anything like most people, you don't buy into this at all… And yet, somehow, we still have this thought that if we nailed all of this stuff, we would be happier.

So what do we do about it? If you want to break free from limiting beliefs and start creating y own standards and expectations. It's time to give ourselves permission to choose our own happiness and to strive for our own joy.  And that is a hell of a lot easier if you have worked out what that could look like for you.

One way to do this is by taking a step back and getting clear on our values and desires. What is it that truly matters to us? What brings us joy and fulfilment? Once we have a clearer understanding of these things, we can start setting goals and taking actions that align with them.

Another way to break free from societal expectations is to challenge the stories we tell ourselves. We may have internalised beliefs that we are not good enough, that we can't achieve certain things, or that we are not worthy of happiness. It's important to recognise these limiting beliefs and to start chatting back to them to try and quieten their monopoly a little.

It's also important to surround ourselves with people who support and encourage us to be our authentic selves. And that’s all of us.  Not just the bits we want to show people when everything is fine.  It is the bored bits, the grouchy bits and the insecure bits.  We don’t get to be our full selves unless we allow all of these bits in too. 

The baseline that we're rarely taught is, does it feel good? Do you like what this striving is resulting in for you? And if happiness was a possibility for you? What would it look like? Once we have an outline of our vision, it is a lot easier to colour it in.

A black woman in an orange shirt



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