Dr. Ruxandra LeMay, Psy.D. – Talks Career, Business, Relationships, Motherhood, And The Journey So Far.
When it comes to women stepping up, standing out and thriving in various sectors, you can tell I’m always in because one of my greatest joy is seeing women contribute positively and significantly to global development and their communities at large. I believe the role of women is still greatly undermined in our society today. So when I had the chance of reaching out and communicating with Dr. Ruxandra LeMay, I considered it a great opportunity to learn, share knowledge with one another and get others inspired.
Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a licensed psychologist with experience and interest in communication, relationships, stress and anxiety management, executive coaching and entrepreneurship. She is the author of My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution For a Happier Marriage and the upcoming My Spouse is Different Than Me: How to Mediate Irreconcilable Differences and Grow in Your Marriage. Dr. LeMay as she is mostly called is passionate about using positive psychology to increase self-awareness, improve relationships, manage stress and anxiety, and even feed your creative, entrepreneurial spirit.
Her strength, courage, confidence, tenacity and dedication towards what she does influences me to want to do better especially after realizing we both had our first career’s in Accounting. It was so heart warming that she was so kind and open hearted towards doing this interview. And from her being a corporate controller in a male dominated industry for 15 years before turning an entrepreneur and business woman, Dr. Ruxandra LeMay shared her career experience, her journey towards increasing self awareness, improving relationships and how she handles being a mom and a wife all at the same time. I do hope you have an inspiring read!
1. Can you briefly tell us more about yourself and what you do?
- I like to say I have a dual personality. I am still working in my first career in the corporate business world, while I am pursuing and enjoying my psychology passion as a side hustle and as a licensed psychologist. I write a blog, books, and online courses to help busy individuals that are juggling a career, family, and other activities. I create and find content for individuals that need or want some sort of improvement in their relationships, in their interactions, and in their emotional life. We are so busy nowadays, that we don’t really find the time to go to therapy, but we still need some resources and some actionable steps to help us alleviate the stress in our lives. I create content for smart and practical individuals, who with the right resources, are able to make meaningful changes in their lives.
2. You were in the corporate world for some good 15 years before turning a psychologist/author/entrepreneur, what inspired you? What was your major driving force?
- I was raised with a strong focus on financial security so I naturally started out my career in business management and finance. My upbringing and education truly developed the Left side of my brain, and I was excelling in planning, organizing, and following directions. I was skilled at science-y stuff, sequencing ideas, reading non-fiction books, and living life in a very linear, logical sequence.
- But as I was growing up, maturing, and diving into grown-up things like work and relationships, I realized something was missing in my life. To be totally honest, I was kind of miserable and I had lots of anxiety, over lots of things. I was young, not married (although in a relationship with my now husband), and did not have any kids. I had poor self-awareness. I could not explain my feelings, my anger, my fears, my interactions with other people, my quick jump to judgment, my biases, my strong opinions, my constant drive for more, nor my overwhelming nagging thought of “not being good enough.”
- I tried my first therapy session. I thought it was stupid and I hated it because the counselor told me “I shouldn’t feel anxiety, because it’s irrational.” Duh! I already knew that! Her invalidation reminded me of my early experiences when everyone in my family would tell me not to feel mad or sad or any other negative feeling they couldn’t handle and just to get over it! But the good thing that came out of that one and only session was my homework assignment, reading an anxiety workbook. Things started to make sense and I was completely hooked. I was hungry for more. I decided to go back to school and pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.
- That was 12 years ago. This journey has not been an easy one, but it is totally worth it. This transformation positively affected so many areas of my life.
- I became aware of my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and how they affect not only my own well-being, but also the ones around me.
- I improved the relationship with myself because I understand the parts I like and don’t like about myself and I have the knowledge and the power to change what I don’t like.
- I gave myself a chance to have a healthy relationship with my spouse; it’s not always a smooth ride, but it’s a successful work-in-progress.
- I became a mother, whose first goal in life is to have a good relationship with her kids, while teaching them to be kind, hardworking, and independent.
- Finally, I decided to nourish and nurture the Right side of my brain. I gave myself permission to develop my free-spirit, entrepreneurial sense by writing books and creating courses that could help others experience the same life-changing resources without worrying about not having the time, or the money, or access to a therapist that they truly like.
3. How did you feel switching careers? What were your challenges? Any regrets or do you feel there is something you should have known or done better?
- I didn’t do it abruptly; as a matter of fact, I am still with one foot on one side and one on the other. I am the breadwinner for a family of five so I can’t take big risks financially. But I was so passionate and obsessed with psychology, it just felt so natural. I had so much more interest and passion in my second degree than the first one, which was business management. And I’ll be honest, there’s a self-healing component, when you are teaching others how to cope better. But working full time, going to school, and raising a family was definitely physically and emotionally draining.
- Other than the passion that fueled me, I had three other things going in my advantage. I have a very understanding boss who allowed me some flexibility in my schedule. He trusted that I would get my job done no matter when I was going to do it. And I never failed his trust. I took that very seriously.
- I also have a great, supportive husband who accepted to take a non-traditional role and stay at home with the kids.
- And finally, I mastered time management. I always had extra projects in my purse in case I got stuck in a line somewhere. I also learned the concept of “good enough” and how to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies.
- I don’t have any regrets, other than being grumpy at my kids during the stressful, exhausting times. Sometimes, when you have so much on your plate and you are exhausted, you are not emotionally available for the people you care the most about. I try to be mindful of that.
4. It’s great to know you are also married with kids, I understand it’s not easy but how do you cope having to do all you do and likewise play the role of a wife and a mother? What has helped you so far?
- As I mentioned, a supportive husband who’s willing to share the household chores and child rearing is a big help. But I surely have learned a few things in the process.
- Men and women handle things differently so I had to let go of my “perfect ways of doing things” and not micro-manage everything my husband did (that was hard).
- Men who work outside the home will generally dedicate most of their energy to their work and not stress much about the household or what the kids had for lunch at school.
- Women who work outside the home will stress over work, household chores, anything kids related and have additional guilt over not doing everything perfectly.
- Being involved in my kids’ life is still top priority. I think we are just wired like that, to put our kids first. That’s ok. I had to sacrifice some other things like my social life, which is also ok. Thus, most of my life consists of kids and work.
5. Being a psychologist with some level of experience and exposure, what do you think affects women generally? Do you think being a woman limits or incapacitates one in any way?
- I have 3 boys and I teach them the same thing I would teach my kids if they were girls. There are general biological, mental, and emotional differences between us and there are too many to list. But I seriously cannot label them as advantages or limitations because they can be both, depending on our choices and circumstances.
- What I do preach is individual self-awareness, which is learning your strengths and weaknesses and relating them to your goals. Learn how to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Then, based on that, you’ll know how to create a realistic path to get closer to what you want.
- With that said, this is what I noticed in the last 15 years in the corporate world. I also recently watched a video with Shery Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and her thoughts are totally consistent with my observations. She talked about how the data shows that women systematically underestimate their own abilities and just don’t negotiate for themselves in the workplace. Men attribute success to themselves, women to other factors like luck, hard work, team effort. Success and likeability are positively correlated for men, and negatively correlated for women. This means that the more successful a man is, the more likeable he is. But the more successful a woman is, the less likeable she is.
- Moreover, there are still some stereotype that are unfortunately alive and well. Things like if a man is assertive, he just wants to problem solve and get things done; if a woman is assertive, she is just an unhappy B****. So, although women do have more opportunities than ever before, we still have to navigate this fine line between being warm and feminine and being assertive and goal-oriented.
6. How do you stay positively inspired? What motivates you?
- I can definitely say that my sources of inspiration and motivation have changed over the years. My kids are my biggest motivator; not only that I want to provide for them financially, I want to become the best person I can be so I can model the right behavior for them. My kids go to a school that’s big on discussing and incorporating virtues in their lives. There are many, but I know I would like wisdom, perseverance, and authenticity to be the ones I excel at. A life without regrets is also a good motto and I try to practice that every day.
7. What helpful resources and advises will you recommend for growth psychologically and for a healthy mind, body and soul?
- On my blog I have a monthly post with inspiring resources for your mind, body, and soul. For example, some of the things featured are Marie Forleo, Dr. Axe, Kriss Carr, books on how to handle difficult personalities, meditation exercises, or being in a relationship with a partner with ADHD, and even stretching DVDs or healthy recipe books.
- Recently, I just came across this one book that I purchased as a gift for a friend that was just opening her own business. I found it so moving, I had to get it for myself It’s Grace Bonney’s “In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs”. It has amazing pictures and stories of women from different backgrounds that have become successful entrepreneurs.
8. Lastly, this question is from a blog reader – She would love to know why women gets quite overly emotional about little things and how to deal with mood swings?
- Hormones are a crazy thing and they don’t really go away. You can minimize the extreme fluctuations with some medical interventions, but truly they are just part of being a woman. Just like with anything else, I preach self-awareness and self-care.
- Know yourself, recognize the signs, and put a self-care plan in place that will minimize the consequences. For example, now that I’ve been at this hormone journey for about 30 years and have been through three pregnancies (that were complete hormonal nightmares), I’ve learned there are times when I have to stay away from people, give some gentle warnings to my husband, and take on less projects during those times. Also focus on sleep, better nutrition, and relaxation like a massage, a pedicure, or a shopping trip to Target.
- In my 40s, I am finally confident in my own skin and I don’t feel the urge to apologize for my emotional mood swings, but I do have the responsibility to make sure I don’t hurt others in the process thus, I need to just put realistic expectations and boundaries in place.
Thank you so much Dr. LeMay for taking out time to be here on the blog, I sincerely appreciate it. And I must say I learned quite so much on improving my emotional well being, fostering relationships, and increasing self awareness in particular.
If you have questions for her, please join Dr. LeMay on her blog and website for more empowering resources and action steps to assist you in becoming your own therapist and achieving a fulfilling and prosperous life. Her books are available on amazon and you can download her free ultimate communication styles checklist for a more confident and successful communication in your relationship using this link The Ultimate Communication Styles Checklist.
You can also check out Ruxandralemay.com or follow her on