Push, Push, Crash: When the Hustle Becomes Too Much

The Push-Push-Crash Cyle

Push-push-crash. How long will it take you to break this cycle? If you are reading this now, this is your chance. This is your moment to step into a different kind of hustle, make a better choice.

What Is This Cycle?

But let’s back it up so that we both know what I’m talking about. You’re feeling ok, maybe better than usual. So you push. You start something new or pick up an old project. You get an idea that you start exploring. The hustle begins. Excitement takes hold. Maybe you get some juicy adrenaline. You push your boundaries; those lifestyle boundaries meant to protect your energy start to slip. The morning routines, the healthy eating, the rest; all of it has gotten you to this place of feeling ok, better, good. You rationalize that maybe you don’t need them anymore. You hope this is it, this is your chance to take life and your productivity to the next level. 

At first, the adrenaline, excitement, and hope carry you. Defiance and denial play a role too. You want to defy your limits, deny that you are so dependent on those lifestyle habits. Defiance off what this cycle has taught you before, denial that your physical and mental energy, clarity, and capacity are dipping. Instead of slowing down, cutting back, and leaning into what your body is telling you, you push. 

Little girl with hands covering face in fear
Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Pushed By Fear

You push because of the fear. Fear that you are not enough. You’re not worthy. Of love. That’s the heart of it.  When you do what you need to do; take care of yourself, slow the roll, and respect your very real limits, you feel less productive. Like you’re creating less value for your loved ones and the greater community. This haunts you. You fear you’re running out of time to create impact, lift others up in a meaningful way, and live out your life’s mission. And you feel like you have something to prove.

You want to prove that your current challenges won’t hold you back, beat you down, stop you. Prove that you are worthy of being loved. That you’re doing your part, making a difference, fulfilling your purpose.

The Crash

So you push. You push beyond your capacity. Your body, mind, and spirit revolt. They collapse in exhaustion. They fail to function properly; go offline. Basically, you crash and burn. You do the only thing you’re capable of doing; rest. You go deep into recovery and reflection mode. 

Crashed airplane
Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash


Anger at the Crash

How did I end up here again? Admittedly, you spend too much time beating yourself up for your foolish, frustrating, and counter-productive choices. The whole point of the hustle is to get more done, faster. Now your production is close to zero. Frustration festers as you consider your fear-based behavior.

You linger a little too long mourning the old you; she who could have sustained this path for many months and never crashed in this way. Your energy may have dipped, a nap may have called, but never this guttural exhaustion and the steep recovery period.

Compassion for the Push

Then you shift into compassion and forgiveness. Fear is so prevalent in our society. Its message is driven into us at every turn starting in childhood. Fear only relents when we finally recognize our true nature; we are inherently whole and valuable. We are children of the Universe, Source, God. Created from love and light, we cannot be diminished. We are loved, supported, and taken care of in every moment. Even on our toughest days. 

A woman held, supported and loved
Photo by Catherine on Unsplash

Losing Center

Challenge and hardship turn to darkness when you lose your center and forget that we are all one. There is no separation. The physical merely creates an illusion of levels, difference, and separation. When you reflect, you see that you have lost your center. You realize that fear has slipped back in and taken hold. You see that the path back is grounding in your faith, realigning your actions with your beliefs, and re-engaging those boundaries once again. Picking up those habits that you built to protect your body, mind, and spirit, brings you back to confidence, peace, and clear knowing.

The Red Flags

With clarity, you can look back and see the flags that told you trouble was ahead; the indicators that the Push-Push-Crash cycle had started again. Flags that you didn’t see before, nor understood as a tool to break the cycle. Now, you know. And as Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”  

Push-Push-Crash No More

Challenge Yourself

Going forward, you will respond to those flags by pulling this letter up from your files and re-reading it. You will ask yourself:

  • Am I protecting my energy? My body? Mind? And Spirit?
  • Are my healthy boundaries and habits slipping?
  • Have I lost my center?
  • What is driving me; fear or love?
  • What do I need to change?

Stay Centered

There is a very high cost to the Push-Push-Crash cycle. It sets you back physically, mentally, and spiritually. You have a greater overall sustained capacity to heal, live, and contribute when you stay centered in the slow roll as opposed to the short-lived overdo period followed by the extended no-can-do time. You feel better, more productive, and more capable of being present to Loved Ones.

Choose Better

You tell yourself that you are having trouble because of your health challenges. You say they stop you and interfere with living your best, fullest life. The hard truth is that you lived this cycle long before you were sick. It was just a much longer cycle. Your health issues shorten the duration of push-push and amplify the intensity of the crash. This cycle won’t go away until you make different choices. Choose better. For now. Later. Healing. Happiness. 

You Are Not Alone

You are not alone in this. Think of how many friends, sick and healthy, have talked about this push-push-crash cycle. They too are frustrated. So many are hustling in this way. We all have something to learn, cycles to break.

Time To Change

Now is the time to make the change; slow the roll, listen to the flags, and respect your limits. Ultimately, you will feel far more productive at a steady 60% than a 100% sprint followed by 10% during recovery. Walk the level field rather than ride the roller coaster. Don’t stop the hustle; simply smooth out the flow. Dream big, reaching for the sky with your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Man reaching up into Star speckled sky
Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Push, Push, Crash: When the Hustle Becomes Too Much”

  1. I love this!! The reminder to “slow the role” with out the “fear” of am I doing enough if I actually do that!!! Thank you

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