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The Trap of Perfectionism and Doing it Right

Lindsey Rainwater

Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

Last month I shared my thoughts via audio about how much can you, or I can accomplish in a day, and the importance of asking for help and allowing others to support us. 

What is on my mind today has a similar flavor, and that is the notion of "doing it right".  As soon as I typed that phrase my internal dialog said "whatever that means", my rational mind wants to argue that there is no right way of doing anything, and yet the pressure that can ensue surrounding this myth can take over and paralyze my efforts.

A lot of the "do it right" thinking comes from the desire for perfection, an unattainable yet tempting place that women (at least myself) can tend to strive to be even while knowing it's not possible. 

"Pressure comes from all sides and settles uncomfortably in the laps of women trying to do everything the right way." -Karen Kleiman

A mind field of this type of thinking can pop up in areas where we are navigating something new, a path not walked down before. There is nothing like being 8.5 months pregnant that brings out the opinions of others the floodgates of advice comes rolling in causing lots of thoughts comparing to others and judging myself for what I do or don't know, "I have not thought of that, crap I should read more on that topic".  Because we live in a world where anything can be googled and Pinterest will be there to reliably show us all the possible "hacks" to get it right, it can be difficult to put the opinions aside and find a way that works for you. 

"Too many [women] are becoming anxious and depressed because they are overwhelmed and disappointed. Too many are letting their lives be poisoned by guilt because their expectations can't be met, and because there is an enormous cognitive dissonance between what they know to be right for themselves and what they're told is right for their children." .-Judith Warner

Regardless of the topic, there is an overwhelming amount of information available to us from others, our own research and imagined idea of how we are "supposed to" get something right. 

So how am I handling the feeling of "get it right" perfectionism as I round the corner into motherhood? Not overly gracefully but I am certainly putting effort into a few actions that have provided some reprieve that I will share with you. 

The first thing I have done is to do my best to have perspective and empathy about where the information is coming from.  I remember when my Father died three years ago, many people would say things to me like "when my grandma died", and at first I was offended that anyone would compare a grandparent to a parent, "do they have any clue what this is like".  When I chose to hear that person through the filter of empathy and love, I could see that more than likely they were just uncomfortable and wanted to relate to me in a way that they could, not really knowing what to say.  With unsolicited parenting advice, I am applying the same school of thought, this person is wanting to relate to me, be closer, and possibly share something that meant a lot to them, they might feel like they are handing me the keys to the parenting kingdom, maybe they are! The point is to rely on empathy and perspective to see people as my ally and with the filter of love. 

The other strategy I am employing to combat perfectionism and the "Do it right" mentality is to try to cut myself some slack.  This, is by far the hardest action for me to take and yet the simplest. The best way to actually do this are these two simple things; let myself off the hook for not knowing how to do something I have never done, duh, and, to not compare myself to others.  I was talking to a friend yesterday about how my workouts have not only changed but in the past week felt nearly impossible, I never thought I'd see the day that walking up hill was hard.  The best thing I can do for myself during this time is NOT get on Instagram and look for "moms to be that crossfit" to compare my efforts to others.  We all have our own experiences and for me sticking to my own without muddying the waters with what others do can be the best way to stay away from feeling like a failure. 

The beautiful underbelly of all of this is that if I peel off the layer of wanting to get it right and achieve perfection and see the innocence in my thoughts, my true intention is that I really want to be my best for those in my life I care about and the work I do in the world.  If I can remember to have empathy for myself and others I have a real chance at enjoying my experiences instead of making them right or wrong. 

How about you, does this resonate? Do you have a difficult time navigating new territory without comparing yourself to others or striving for out of reach perfectionism? 

Send me a note or comment here, I would love to hear from you! My intention is to blog as frequently as ideas come to me and I appreciate you reading along!  I look forward to posting about my experiences as I continue integrating motherhood into my work and relationships. 


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer & keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

Hang Up Your Hero Hat and Ask for Help Instead

Lindsey Rainwater

How much can you accomplish in a day?  Well, if you are anything like me you take a certain amount of pride in what you are able to do with your time and most of the time, when you want something done you simply, handle it.

In the spirit of keeping things fresh and exciting, listen to this short and insightful dialog around asking for help.

Is it hard for you to know when to ask for help? 

Let me know what you think about the audio, something new I am playing with :) 

Click here if you'd like to listen on Anchor.com instead of in this post

Name *
Name
Audio Feedback

    Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

    How the Future of Work Can Inform Life Integration Choices

    Lindsey Rainwater

    Lindsey Rainwater, Photo taken by From the HIp Phtoto, March 2017 

    Lindsey Rainwater, Photo taken by From the HIp Phtoto, March 2017 

    Tony Robbins and others talk about ideas like "integration" instead of balance, for people like myself that are deeply passionate about their work and friendships, then it becomes less about choosing and more about integrating.  I often hear people say, "I don't act that way at work" or "in my personal life", statements like this rattle me! It is impossible to fragment yourself in that way. Sure, we can all perform certain tasks or deliver on objectives but who we are all bleeds together, you are a whole person everywhere you go and if "part of you" is not at the party, well, everyone including you is suffering. As I like to say, "who you are at the kitchen table is who you are at work"... my kitchen table is about to be set for 3, and I am anticipating the adventure of how that will propel me to be even better and have more to offer in every area of my life.

    The above quote is from my last article "the Context of Integration" if you missed it, check it out to inform my context for this blog... see how I did that? :)  My intention is to focus this blog post on all things integration, now that we have some context around why I am talking about integration on a whole new level, let's chat about how the future of work "mentality" can inform a schedule or ideals for living.

    Now as a disclaimer,  I am writing on these topics and speculating amidst my journey being pregnant, nothing I share has been vetted by myself as a parent, yet. So I am sure those of you that are parents already have informed opinions about what I am writing about based on experiences you've had, so please join in the conversation! It will be really great to see if my intentions and ideals line up with reality, only time will tell ;-)

    Back to "The future of work" idea... what is this concept all about anyway? It certainly is a heavy buzz phrase being used and I do have my own opinion on the topic and there is of course always also what google has to say.  

    The Future of work is a lot of things to a lot of people based on their motivation and topic they are relating it to, and, for the purpose of our discussion lets keep it simple;  if you distill down the concepts it boils down to what is possible relating to work, because of technology.   For instance, growing up, my Dad was an Engineer, he "went to work" everyday, to an office where his computer and the people he collaborated with also went, to do his job, returning home each evening leaving all the things required to "do his job", there at the office.  Now, if my Dad did that exact same job today, he could work 100% remote, from anywhere in the world.  Thanks to laptops, iPhones, and video conferencing a role like his could be done completely outside of the construct of a company occupying an office space etc.  

    With that flexibility all sorts of freedoms become available, he could have easily taken a lunch break at home, taken a 30 minute break to do the afternoon carpool pick up, and really allowed for a completely different co-parenting arrangement than what I grew up with.  My Mom would have had the flexibility during the day having him home, and arguably, he would have gotten the same (if not more) work done with less the typical office distractions.  The idea of co-parenting becomes more liberated when you add in "future of work" concepts because lines are blurred, it is no longer a linear process of "we all leave the house, we all come back to the house" but instead, the home becomes a hub  and off site offices or daycare becomes less necessary.  

    An important note to add here is that remote work requires many upstanding character traits both for the employee and the employer.  I am not saying this transition from office to home can happen over night, however with the right culture and values in place, anything is possible when seen through the lens of abundance.  The good news is if the organization and it's employees can take on the venture, the concept of the future of work can really liberate our existing "jobs" and create new dynamics that disrupt the old styles and models of work.

    One of my favorite ideas that is found inside of this same notion is that of "jobs" no longer existing and instead collaboration or aligned talent becomes the new way.  Think freelancing, but at signifiant scale.  However, that is another blog for another time, coming back to the topic... what is most important here is the idea that IF we are working in collaboration, with location freedom, the opportunities to get extremely creative with integration becomes completely available to anyone that wants to try it out. 

    In 2011 my mentor and friend, Bryan O'Rourke suggested I read a book called the 4 hour work week, I did and now I am going to suggest that you, go read that book if have not before!  That book planted a very important idea in my mind that has since collided with other similar ideas and helped inform many of my day to day decisions.  I realized after reading that book that my choices, what I as spending time on, was completely up to me, and my evaluation of how I did certain activities was also, up to me.  I (nor anyone else) is at "the effect" of any choices, you at some point, made a choice that is contributing to what is your current reality.  So if you are doing something and want to be doing something else, make a new choice.  For instance, would you rather spend an extra two hours per weekend with your spouse instead of cleaning your house, well, outsource that chore to a person that likes cleaning and pay them to clean your house, get that time back.  Feel like you can't afford that? How much did you spend at Amazon or at Starbucks today? The money is usually there if you look for it.  That is one example, but I really started asking myself questions about my time, where I spent it, was it really creating the results I wanted and how could I change if it wasn't? 

    A good place to start would be to take an inventory of what you are currently spending time on.  Just like analyzing your bank account transactions to assess where your money is going, assessing what you spend time in is a very similar activity.  Are you committed to suffering or thriving? wasting time or creating time?  All of these choices are yours for the taking. 

    A good way to do this is print out a by the hour calendar, or use a digital daily view and write in each day, then for the week what you are doing and for how long, don't lie, you will only cheat yourself if you do.  Once you have done this "reverse" calendaring of sorts, start to look at what you spend time doing and for how long, create groups, rank them, include sleep, tv time, time with loved ones, gym activities... record everything you do... how long does it take you to get ready in the morning etc.  After you have inventoried your time, take a good look at the facts about what you are spending time on and only when ready,  ask yourself these two vital questions.  

    Do you actually want to create time to integrate new and exciting endeavors? 

    Do you want to experience thriving or have you created a life of suffering to keep you safe?

    Part of this mind shift is giving up any notion of martyrdom or complaining, sure life can be hard, but talking about what you don't enjoy less action will no longer work once you know the facts about your time spending habits. 

    Once you know the answer to your question, if you are willing to integrate thriving into your life, the future of work becomes a concept that is totally obvious and easy to consider. 

    In my world, all of these activities and concepts combined by a very realistic (almost obsessive) knowledge of where my time goes, is really informing how I am planning to integrate being a mother, my work in the world and all of my favorite relationships into one big pot of Lindsey Rainh2o, soup! 

    Commitment, choice and intention.  Every single day can be filled with work helping others, time with those you love and time investing in yourself.  Although, becoming a mother is the largest integration I have ever imagined, I do believe that rather than thinking I can "do it all", whatever that means, instead, I get to choose from a place of choice.  I choose now and plan to continue to choose to create time each day to do the things I really love doing and that mindset, I believe will contribute to informing how I co author the next chapter of my life integration. 


    Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

    The Context of Integration

    Lindsey Rainwater

    For the past 6 years, this blog has served as a fabulous landing place to share on a variety of topics and learnings. 

    Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

    Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

    At each bend and turn my journey of life takes, I see how my writing here also mirrors wherever I am and paints the color of my perspective in those moments in time.  For years I have shared my own personal take on what topics that are most current for me and how my business and life intersect and the tools in relationship to my own experiences. 

    Another one of those "life curves" is here and this time it's My curves that are really taking shape and allowing for the baby growing inside of me to evolve. My husband and I will be expecting our first born in mid July of this year.  What a journey it had been the past 5+  months! My experience of being pregnant has naturally brought up all kinds of feelings and thoughts, and what I really want to share here is the transformational minded thoughts and ideas I am experiencing while moving towards this life change.   

    Of course, being pregnant is literally a change in and of itself. Beyond the physical change, is the real life practicality of how to plan accordingly and weave together all that life is offering up.

    Some of the topics I will be sharing with you over the coming weeks are how the future of work, which is NOW, by the way the future is here ;-) allows for a totally new take on the working dynamics for co parenting and what's possible.  The societal pressures and models out there leave something to be desired, at least for me, and I've found my current position on the topic to be "make it up", create a way, a new method and then see if it works! Of course I am more than likely not creating something that has never been done, but thinking outside the traditional lines is what is most important to me. 

    I plan to share with you over the coming weeks how I am personally approaching moving towards motherhood and also prioritizing and choosing all the things that really matter to me.

    Tony Robbins and others talk about ideas like "integration" instead of balance, for people like myself that are deeply passionate about their work and friendships, then it becomes less about choosing and more about integrating.  I often hear people say is "I don't act that way at work" or "in my personal life", statements like this rattle me! It is impossible to fragment yourself in that way, sure we can all perform certain tasks or deliver on objectives but who we are, all bleeds together, you are a whole person everywhere you go and if "part of you" is not at the party, well, everyone including you is suffering.

    As I like to say, "who you are at the kitchen table is who you are at work"... my kitchen table is about to be set for 3, and I am anticipating the adventure of how that will propel me to be even better and have more to offer in every area of my life. 

    Stay tuned, my next blog will be about  how the future of work mentality is helping me create my future work routine.


    Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

    IHRSA 2017 Recap

    Lindsey Rainwater

    Another IHRSA Annual Conference and Trade show has come to a close and it was by far one of the best show's I have ever attended!

    Two weeks ago I shared with you about what I was looking forward to regarding the show and the ILC experience being my number one driver around my anticipation of the show.   I will tell you, the ILC experience was by far one of the best investments I have ever made!  If you have not looked into this lovely opportunity, I would highly recommend it.  Not only is it an elevated way of attending the show, having access to the keynote speakers but also having a quiet place to sit in the ILC lounge was a huge plus as well.  Especially being 5 months pregnant, having a meeting place to sit for a few minutes and then re-join the show, was a fabulous bonus!  

    The trade show floor was buzzing, the energy as always is so high and positive and the education sessions were so very insightful.  I really enjoyed the Women's Leaderships Summit event, both empowering and inspiring with female leaders from all over the globe.  Another highlight was that my friend Bryan O'Rourke was welcomed to the IHRSA Board of Directors, a very exciting accomplishment for him,  IHRSA is lucky to have him.  An event I have now come to look forward to is the annual Augie's Quest Bash to defeat ALS, and this year was beyond exciting where over 3 million dollars was raised at the event to apply towards research to find a cure!  Two and a half years ago my father passed away from ALS and being able to put my energy towards this important cuase means a great deal to me. 

    Outside of all the other excitment that came with this year, I am beyond grateful that I was recognized as a IHRSA Rising Star and was able to share in this video.  Please check out the video and share if you'd like. 

    As always IHRSA is such an enjoyable event, seeing people that you only get to see once a year is such a pleasure!  

    What about you? What are some of your favorite IHRSA moments this year? Please do share, I would love to hear what the show meant to you! 


    Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O