Becca Rich of The Holistic Time Coach: “Find joy”

Find the things that help you get out of your head and into your body, into your spirit, into your happiness, or into the universe. People who have perfectionist tendencies often overthink, and work and try extremely hard to feel loved, wanted and successful. It’s easy to get lost in the never-ending pile of work […]

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Find the things that help you get out of your head and into your body, into your spirit, into your happiness, or into the universe. People who have perfectionist tendencies often overthink, and work and try extremely hard to feel loved, wanted and successful. It’s easy to get lost in the never-ending pile of work and thoughts of “not good enough.”

Many successful people are perfectionists. At the same time, they have the ability to say “Done is Better Than Perfect” and just complete and wrap up a project. What is the best way to overcome the stalling and procrastination that perfectionism causes? How does one overcome the fear of potential critique or the fear of not being successful? In this interview series, called How To Get Past Your Perfectionism And ‘Just Do It’, we are interviewing successful leaders who can share stories and lessons from their experience about “how to overcome the hesitation caused by perfectionism.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Becca Rich.

Becca Rich is a Holistic Time Consultant and Coach at She works with business owners, creatives, and leaders who started their businesses to get time freedom yet end up overworked and drained. If you want to make the most of your time and life, and create a thriving and more sustainable relationship with time and work, make sure to connect with Becca.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Thank you for this opportunity! I’m excited to be here.

My childhood definitely had its ups and downs. I was born in the US, in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay. I grew up on the water, and to this day water soothes my soul. As a kid, I loved learning new things, collecting school supplies, organizing them, and playing teacher with my best friend, Maddi. But my family was pretty dysfunctional.

My parents divorced when I was young, so my older brother and I split our time between homes for our entire childhood. My dad is an entrepreneur, starting his own business when he was a teenager, so he worked all the time running and growing his company. My mom went back to school and became a physician’s assistant, so she also worked a lot during my childhood. Both of my parents were perfectionists, with very strong inner critics, both coping in their unique and dysfunctional ways. Growing up with parents who were rarely present and emotionally detached left me feeling alone, and as a highly sensitive person it was very difficult.

Later when I moved 1000 miles away from home to Louisiana for college at 17 to study engineering, I quickly got very sick and burned out. Just like my parents, I developed perfectionist tendencies and an unhealthy relationship with work, and myself, at a young age. After burning out, I slowly started to heal with the help of my now husband, other loved ones, yoga, meditation, energy healing work, and more. It’s taken me quite a long time to say, but my childhood has prepared me for the more authentic life that I’m creating for myself now.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else” — Yogi Berra.

I feel like I went through 75% of my life in a foggy, cloudy dream. I made huge life decisions while I wasn’t in tune with who I actually was and what I deeply wanted. Looking back, I was an unhappy human on autopilot in the herd of the white middle-class “American dream.” (I also want to acknowledge my unearned privilege of growing up in a white middle-class family.)

When I found yoga, meditation, and energy work and learned what being in the present moment offered me… my life changed. I started to really get to know who I am, what I like, how to create a life I actually loved, and how much was so out of whack within myself and around me.

To me, this quote advocates for both being intention and spontaneity. I ended up someplace else because I didn’t know where I was going, and while completely unexpected…this place has helped me become my true self. And now that I know who I am and what I want for my life, I get to co-create with the universe. I get to be intentional and purposeful with my life, while allowing for flexibility and freedom.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. This book was simple yet extremely powerful to me. The obstacles, lessons, and synchronicities Santiago encountered while externally very different, felt so familiar deep down. So many obstacles have popped up in my life, especially the intense fear, that have stopped me from doing the things my soul deeply wants. This story’s message reaffirms my personal journey of pursuing the life I want to live, to feel to fear and do it anyways. And whenever I read it, it feels sort of like instant realignment to my soul and the universe.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  1. Integrity is the first character trait that is instrumental to my success. It’s extremely easy to get lost in the hustle, external versions of success, and money. But at the end of the day it doesn’t ever feel enough or fulfilling enough. When I make decisions and run my business not in my integrity, even with the most money in the world, I don’t feel fulfilled, happy, or successful. However, when I do make decisions, and live and work in integrity with my true self and my core values… that is true success. And what also happens is when I am in integrity, I make more money, I become more successful, and I find more people in alignment with the movement that I want to create in this world.
  2. When I first started my time management coaching business, I thought that people wanted to be more productive. I thought that my messaging and how I helped people was helping them get a ton of stuff done in as little as time as possible. And the more that I talked about that, the more that I kept attracting clients and customers who didn’t really care about resting and taking care of themselves well. They were being productive at the expense of who they were. That work never felt in alignment and never felt good to me. Since slowly making the shift over the last year and a half towards: I help people get things done while resting a lot, while taking care of themselves, while having a really good balance between work and their life, that’s when success starting to feel real to me. And because I help others with this, I live it too. I get to show people that you don’t have to be rich or have a huge team to work 3 days a week. Time freedom is possible TODAY.
  3. Resiliency is the second key to my success because as a business owner. Entrepreneurship is a journey. It’s a struggle. It’s an experience that has its hurdles and obstacles and challenges, and the resiliency is what keeps businesses alive. 50 percent fail within the first five years. Obviously there’s many different reasons for closing, but I would bet a lack of resiliency is up there. If I would have closed my business last year because it was really hard, knowing what I know how… I would be really disappointed. And I wouldn’t be able to help the people that I help on a daily basis find time to be human, find time to rest, and learn how to be more than their work and their businesses. It takes resiliency to be alive and to keep growing and learning. It also takes resiliency to know when to keep going or be led someplace else.
  4. In 2018 I was starting my first business, an online business to teach yoga over zoom. Now in 2021 yoga on zoom is everywhere because of COVID, but back in 2018 people weren’t really into doing yoga on zoom. My resiliency to doing market research and pursuing my dreams helped me pivot into doing holistic time management coaching and consulting. I saw people needed help making time for themselves, and without my resiliency, I would have never made that connection, never have quitted my engineering corporate career, never became a digital nomad. My resiliency to continue to try and also to take care of myself has been instrumental to where I am today.
  5. The third character trait that is extremely instrumental to my success is presence. On the journey of creating a business, and the life that you love…we can get wrapped up in one day thinking and the future. And we forget about living today. When I am present, I don’t neglect my need as a human being. When I am present with the people in my life who I love and enjoy time off, I am healthy and fulfilled. And it all contributes to my success as a business owner and as a human being. 
    When I learned how to be present in my life, that is when I started to step off the hamster wheel of “never enough.” I started to create sufficiency and true gratitude in my life, and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without learning how to sit with my thoughts and feelings in meditation, being present to the challenges and obstacles that come forward in my day-to-day, and learn how to be with myself.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Let’s begin with a definition of terms so that each of us and our readers are on the same page. What exactly is a perfectionist? Can you explain?

Someone who has perfectionist tendencies is someone who works really, really hard to achieve their version of perfection. They tend to have all or nothing thinking, or black and white thinking, which just means that if they don’t see their vision of perfection, everything sucks. All of them, or their business, or their lives feel like they suck and it’s all a failure. Good enough work isn’t good enough for someone with perfectionist tendencies.

They’re really highly critical of themselves, and usually other people. There’s a very strong voice, internal voice of criticism and judgment, and harshness.

Most of the people that I work with, and I would say, something that I tend to fall back on when I’m stressed out or exhausted, experience a pattern in which they set themselves up to fail. We set a huge goal, knowing they’re unrealistic and most likely not doable. So, before we even start, we know deep down that there’s a really slim chance of meeting it. This reaffirms that voice that says “you’re a failure.”

The premise of this interview series is making the assumption that being a perfectionist is not a positive thing. But presumably, seeking perfection can’t be entirely bad. What are the positive aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?

Love this question so much! People who consider themselves a perfectionist typically go the extra mile, and do pretty well at anything they set their mind to. Another positive aspect of being a perfectionist is when it comes to personal development and growth, growing never stops. Someone who is always learning, growing, and trying to do their best is definitely necessary for being a business owner, and a great citizen and neighbor.

My therapist once checked in with me and helped me see this as a positive aspect. She helped me see how much I do to heal, grow, and learn. And, once you gain awareness and realize that you have perfectionist tendencies, you do everything that you can to heal that.

Also, the deep seeded root of perfectionism is that you just want love. And I think that once you also realize that, it’s a beautiful thing that you can begin to give yourself.

What are the negative aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?

The barrier to getting started on the things you want, or need to do, is really high. For example, I could’ve kept reading self-development books and learning more about how to be happy and my best self, but without implementing and practicing I would have just stayed stuck and extremely frustrated with myself.

And the darker side to always growing is that it’s never enough, which can become toxic. When you live in a state of never enough, you are headed straight towards burnout, exhaustion, and depletion. It’s difficult to sit still, to rest, to celebrate yourself and those are all important pieces to being human.

From your experience or perspective, what are some of the common reasons that cause a perfectionist to “get stuck” and not move forward? Can you explain?

Perfectionism is really complex!

But when you boil everything down, it mostly comes down to fear. The fear of seeming weak. The fear of feeling not good enough, unlovable, or unworthy. The fear of rejection. Even if a lot of these things haven’t happened ever or recently, our brain tells us that it’s going to happen to us.

Quite possibly because they happened when we were children, we didn’t feel good enough at school, or in our family, with our friends. Maybe because our employers, partners, and society required perfectionism from us at once point. These voices and standards end up becoming our own.

On top of the underlying fear is shame and guilt. People who would consider themselves perfectionists often feel shame and guilt when they can’t meet the impossible expectations and standards they set for themselves. They say “if I can’t be perfect at waking up at 7am every day, or working out every day or whatever else they think they should be able to do perfectly” the all-or-nothing thinking takes over, and they quit or don’t even start.

Also, it just takes so much awareness, compassion, and willingness to surrender and see and love our shadow selves.

Here is the central question of our discussion. What are the five things a perfectionist needs to know to get past their perfectionism and “just do it?” Please share a story or example for each.

It’s not your fault.

  1. Number one, go deep to get to the root. — Ask yourself any or all of the questions: “Who or what is the voice telling you have to do something perfectly, or to be perfect? What’s actually going to happen if you don’t? Where did you learn this from? How do you want to move forward from now on? Why? How can you forgive yourself for not being perfect? How can you let go of the perfectionist identity? What are some normal people expectations?” When you go deep, you’ll most likely surprise yourself with your answers. You’ll realize the voice isn’t yours. You’ll notice that living differently is more aligned with who you are. You’ll begin to see that the answers are inside of you.
  2. Number two, integration versus telling yourself to get over it. — One of the most impactful things that I’ve learned on the self-development journey is when we tell ourselves that we should just get over something, or just do something, that’s coming at it with the shame and guilt that is keeping us stuck. And we can’t heal anything in the shame or guilt. We can only heal ourselves with self-compassion and love. 
    How do we integrate instead of force? Well, I definitely approached my healing journey with a perfectionist mindset. And speaking from experience, after years and years of telling myself “just do it”, or “c’mon… you know done is better than perfect” I was in the same vicious cycle. No affirmation in the world could help me. When I started to integrate what I know about myself and my experiences (your answers to step 1), I was able to open up and give myself compassion. I started to tell myself that it was okay that I’m being a perfectionist. I told myself “It’s all right,” and “I forgive you.” And that’s when it actually started to shift.
  3. Number three, use your perfectionism for good instead of evil. — You can use your perfectionism tendencies to plan better, to take action better, and to love yourself better. When you plan, plan with bigger margins and room for things to change. Plan more realistically and compassionately. 
    When it comes to acting, make taking action as easy as possible for you. Knowing that you have perfectionist tendencies, figure out what you need before you start. Is it accountability? Is it a better plan? Is it a strategy? Is it mindset? Is it something else? Figuring out what you need to take action, before you get started and feel any shame or guilt. 
    And then loving yourself. So how can you love yourself better? How can you be more compassionate when you don’t do something in the way that you think you should be able to? If you’re going to be perfect at anything, be perfect at being compassionate and loving yourself. Once I started planning, taking action, and loving myself with acceptance of my perfectionist tendencies much of the stuff that made me feel stuck before didn’t anymore. I was able to heal my perfectionism tendencies not just by sitting around thinking about it, but by actually proving myself that I can do things and put things in the world without being a perfectionist, and enjoying it.
  4. Number four, reflect often. — When someone has perfectionist tendencies, they beat themselves up for not getting enough done or doing it as well as they feel they should have. One of the most important tools that I’ve learned is reflection. So what this means is actually taking time to reflect and notice and see with your brain with your eyes what you have done. This is extremely powerful, because you start to realize you don’t have to do more to earn your worth, to earn rest, or to earn love. And when you reflect on what you’ve done, it creates feelings of gratitude, accomplishment, and fulfillment that are really deeply motivating and healing.
  5. Number five, find joy. — Find the things that help you get out of your head and into your body, into your spirit, into your happiness, or into the universe. People who have perfectionist tendencies often overthink, and work and try extremely hard to feel loved, wanted and successful. It’s easy to get lost in the never-ending pile of work and thoughts of “not good enough.” 
    When you find the things that help you step back and see the bigger picture of life, it truly helps you heal from perfectionism because you realize that while you’ve been so focused on the tiny little details, there’s a whole life out there. The little things become not as important. An example I can shares is: Once I was able to go full time in my coaching business, get out of my cubicle, and live in a place that made me feel super connected, fulfilled, happy…my perfectionism tendencies lessened. I started to become okay with exactly where I was and who I was. I started to feel enough.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

My businesses mission. My movement is to empower people and organizations to authentically & uniquely make the most of their time and life, and allow themselves time & space to be human. When we make the most of our time, we can get all of our basic needs met and care for our communities. Together, we can dream up and create a both/and, regenerative society rooted in care, satisfaction, and sufficiency.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

OMG, this would be so amazing! Glennon Doyle, hands down. Her honesty, vulnerability, strength, and heart inspires my entire life.

How can our readers follow you online?

I’d love to connect on Instagram or LinkedIn!

If you’re an ambitious business owner or creative on the verge of burning out and want time to be human, check out how we can work together on my website.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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