Hustle vs Flow: Balancing the Masculine and the Feminine at Work
We all have both a masculine and a feminine side inside of us. Which side do you tap into more often when you’re at work?
In the work environment, I like to identify these masculine and feminine sides as the hustle and the flow.
This isn’t about gender identity or roles. I’m talking about balancing the energies inside of us, so that we can bring our whole selves to work and be appreciated for who we are. So, what happens when we’re in hustle or in flow?
The Hustle: Grinding and Pushing Through
Hustling at work shows up as grinding: When you perform those essential tasks that you may not necessarily enjoy, knowing that they will get you closer to your end goal.
You’re crunching numbers, you’re performing research, you’re cutting through the noise to solve a problem directly. Other hustle ethic tasks, depending on your job, might involve responding to emails or making phone calls.
I think of strength, courage, independence, and assertiveness when I think of masculinity.
In masculinity, I see straight lines and harsh angles.
These are solid, productive traits.
But if you spend too much time in your masculine side, at work or otherwise, then you may be off balance.
Tension can build: using straight lines to get right to the results can come off as too harsh and aggressive, leaving your coworkers wondering what you’re so mad about. You’re not mad; you’re just getting work done. But this gets in the way of balance and harmony.
When you’re leaning too far to your masculine side too often, this can build up an unhealthy fear of failure. This imbalance can grind you down, making you feel like you actually can’t get anything accomplished. And a sort of depression can creep in, making you feel like you shouldn’t even try something if you can’t completely master it.
Leaning masculine can be exhausting and draining, causing you to feel depleted after work and needing alone time to recharge.
At Revelry, we embrace the Core Value “Fear is the mind killer.” I find that it helps me remind myself how to balance my masculine energy. If I get stressed out or frustrated that I can’t finish or solve something, I have to take breaks to cool off or ask for backup.
Personally, I used to think I needed to tap into my masculine side at work and leave my feminine side at home.
In my work at Revelry, the hustle looks like writing stories, triaging tickets, face time with clients, basically — doing the work.
The flow, on the other hand – the feminine side of our work ethic – is equally as important.
When I’m in flow, I’m creating space to think. I take the time to feel out the nuances of peoples’ responses and actions.
The feminine side of our personalities is the fluid. Creativity, asking for help, the ability to adjust, and the flow state are all feminine qualities.
Being in flow allows me to read between the lines, teach others, speak from my heart, act from intuition, feel out a situation before speaking or acting, show concern for the welfare of others on the team, and, of course, take care of myself.
But fluid without structure can be scattered and directionless.
Leaning too far into our feminine side can cause us to overcompensate for the comfort of others and shy away from bringing up necessary tough conversations.
The masculine and feminine should ideally be in balance inside each of us, so that we may pull from the strengths of both qualities.
Being aware of the balance in our world
Sara Blakley, the founder of Spanx, has given many inspiring talks about this balance, both internally and externally.
“We all have masculine and feminine inside of us. The feminine energy and what the women are bringing is really important — intuition, vulnerability, collaboration. My mission is to elevate women and elevate the feminine is because I feel like it’s been so suppressed on the planet and when it’s more balanced, the world is going to be a much better place for all of us.”– Lessons on Confidence, Criticism, and How to Thrive as an Underestimated Founder
We call on both sides of our personality in order to live a balanced life and remain in context.
BOTH are necessary for my success at work. Living life too heavily in the masculine hustle side can lead to burnout, frustration, overwhelm, wanting to give up and quit. However, living in flow all the time isn’t necessarily possible or reasonable.
But I do love when I achieve a flowstate in my work — to me, that is the perfect balance of masculine and feminine.
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