I was 39 years old the “second” time I experienced an anxiety attack at work as a result of “hustling”.

Somewhere along the way, I‘d come to equate ‘24/7 availability’ with executive success, and became completely wrapped up with impressing my new boss, my team, and the company.

Naturally, I believed that if I stopped working for one hot second, my boss would regret having promoted me. Just like all executive women with a severe bout of I am not good enough.

But I ignored the tell-tale signs, as high achieving women do. So, I “grinded” my way to the top.

Fast forward. I had an anxiety attack in the boardroom, was taken out on a stretcher, convinced I looked like a fool, and was extremely — I mean EXTREMELY — embarrassed.

It goes without saying that when I returned to the office, I doubled down on my “hustle” and dismissed the episode as “the price you pay”.

Straight up, this is a dangerous belief.

As is the notion that if you’re hustling, it must mean you’re doing it wrong.

For the love. Can we stop heaping on the hustle guilt?

Ask any successful Biz Owner, Executive, Senior Professional, Chef, Cook, Mother, whomever, if they “hustle” sometimes or even a lot of the time.

If you’re a high achiever, the answer is “hell to the yes”.

And, it doesn’t mean they are doing anything wrong.

Continuing to profess that hustling is “bad” or that it means you are on the road to burnout without understanding the CONTEXT is misguided.


Yes, there’s a STRONG however coming up.

My particular brand of hustle wasn’t the kind you write home to Mom about.


My battery was far from charged when I was carried out in a stretcher.

Now, here’s the however. When professionals are deeply engaged in their work and their battery is fully charged, they will hustle like its nobody’s business. When you know how to maximize intelligent energy, your sense of urgency is a damn fine superpower, and it often results in banging out stellar work.

My “hustle” at the time was wrapped up in validation, proving myself, perfectionism, and fear of failure. That, my fellow high achievers, is the burnout producing type of hustle.

The better question to ask is, “what are you hustling for?

Followed by, “and how do you plan to replenish at the end of this hustle sprint?”

Do you get what I mean?

Let’s play nice with our hustle DNA and instead simply show them who’s boss.




Former C-Suite Executive; Current Peak Performance & Executive Coach; NLP Trainer; Speaker; HeartMath Trainer; Featured on Thought Catalog.

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Teresa Vozza

Teresa Vozza

Former C-Suite Executive; Current Peak Performance & Executive Coach; NLP Trainer; Speaker; HeartMath Trainer; Featured on Thought Catalog.

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