Dr Katherine Iscoe uses a varied life experience alongside a healthy dose of academic research to mentor people to find their potential. She tells Ara Jansen sometimes people just need to get out of their own way. 

During her life, Dr Katherine Iscoe has been a pastry chef, owned a restaurant and seen it go bust, worked through an eating disorder, moved countries and was medicated for depression.

There were of course plenty of highs and successes too. Importantly they have all been part of ongoing and valuable lessons which have made Kat who she is today – confidence mentor, author, speaker and shoe addict.

Born in Canada to two academics, Kat moved around a lot. Combined with her parents eventually splitting up, Kat’s relationships were constantly changing as was her sense of identity.

“I’d look at magazines like Vogue and thought maybe that’s what I needed to do or look like to be loved and popular,” says Kat or Dr Kat to those who have worked with her. “These days people look at influencers the same way.”

“Often people just need to get out of their own way. I wanted to develop something which worked quickly. Eventually I developed a program that sums up my life experience of 42 years and helps expedite people’s potential.

“As I started working with people I realised they wanted to look good and feel good but 99.9% wanted to feel really confident about themselves. That drove me to work on my own development because there’s always another level to reach.”

Her bespoke and strategic method of mentoring is designed to build internal strength, mental flexibility and adaptive resilience.

“Any expert who says they are not changed by their work is either lying, not human or not doing their job. You can’t help someone to change and not be changed yourself, even in a very small way,” she said.

Just over a decade ago, Kat moved to Perth and threw herself into study and discovery by doing a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences, a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Health Sciences, a Doctorate in Exercise Physiology and Biotechnology and a post-graduate certificate in counselling.

“I wanted to be someone who was positive, and more than that, understands that everyone has a story; never to be judgmental or take things for granted. To live the best life, you have to do it with love and gusto. I never teach what I haven’t learnt or use myself.”

This led her to create a unique science-based process which is informed by extensive research, personal experiences and academic qualifications. It’s the basis of the work she does with clients who want to unlock their potential to achieve their goals and dreams. 

Along the way she’s also written a cookbook and one on body confidence and created several education programs as well as becoming a professional speaker. She’s also co-founded a company that has developed a smartphone app to accurately track body measurements.

In her programs and mentoring work, self-talk and creating positive self-talk is one of the cornerstones. A technique she uses with her clients is to have them text her each time they have a disparaging thought about themselves or their actions. 

“It offers an objective way to look at your thoughts, because typically you don’t notice the nice thoughts. The negative thoughts are insidious. I do this over seven days and I’ve never had someone who hasn’t had a lightbulb moment. It often creates a chance for a reset and snaps you into being more conscious.

“Change is hard but everyone has a unique recipe that’s sitting right in front of them.”