EP6 – Done is better than perfect plus overwhelm with guest Katie Barron

Hello and welcome to self startups with Annette Clubley. So today I’m going to be talking about done is better than perfect. And then I’m going to be talking in a little while to the lovely Katie Barron. We’re going to talk about overwhelm.

So part of the reason I’m talking about ‘done is better than perfect’ is the conversation I had with Katie back in November. The astute among you will recognize that it’s now January, so some time has passed since this talk! A lot of things got in my way, including Christmas and an illness, but part of it was me putting up the publishing of these talks while I chose the perfect platform and worked out the logistics.

I think this is important to mention because I’m not perfect either. And I often meet women in business who say I can’t publish my website yet because I still need to tweak the images, rewrite the copy, change the offer, et cetera. Or they’ll say, I’ll start doing Facebook lives once I have tidied the house, had the haircut ,lost 10 pounds.

You don’t have to wait to start your business or promote your business. It’s more important to start taking action and I want you to do that now. Don’t wait until it’s perfect.

Now, one of the things that I want to talk about is the fact that I skipped Katie. I’ve done a number of these interviews, and I actually just forgot that I’d interviewed Katie.

And that’s part of the reason why there’s such a gap between then and now. So I’m not perfect either and I’m going to talk about perfectionism when I talk to Katie later.

You know, I often cringe now when I look back at some of the work I did, when I first started my business. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. No one sees that work now. It doesn’t really matter. It helped me get practice and it helped me to get started.

So my challenge to you today is have you started taking action?

If you need help, join one of my programs and I can help to keep you accountable.

Katie and I have known each other for around a year. We’re in the same mastermind group. She lives in Cornwall with her family and she’s a neuro coach who provides transformational coaching for women suffering from overwhelm. She runs a group, a Facebook group and has an app called thrive to help you stop struggling and start living. It’s a lovely conversation listen in.

Annette Clubley: Hi. So hello Katie. Today, I’m going to be talking to Katie Barron, who is a transformation coach, and she mostly helps overwhelmed women. And I think there’s got to be a lot of people listening who are overwhelmed and woman basically. And just about every woman I know is talking about how much they’ve got to do in the run up to Christmas and that kind of thing.

So this is the time of year when we’re all feeling it

Katie Barron: Yeah, really stressful.

Annette Clubley: And so that’s the topic for today and I’m pretty much going to just hand it over to Katie and say, how do we cope with overwhelm?

Katie Barron: Oh, yeah. Straight into the deep end.

Annette Clubley: Yes. Do you have a magic solution? Magic wand please!

Katie Barron: There is definitely a solution, but it’s not necessarily magic. Yeah. Thank you so [00:04:00] much for kind of inviting me in to kind of chat about it. It is a subject that is very dear to my heart. because as you said so many women in particular just really struggle and feel overwhelmed pretty much all the time. And as you said, the run-up to Christmas is just a massive trigger for many of us.

 Just because it feels we’ve got more to do. We, we are told that we can have it all, but I think for the majority of us, we feel like we’re doing it all.

Annette Clubley: Yes. Yes. And it’s all that stuff like it’s the end of the school year. So you’re, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of events going on.

Katie Barron: Yeah.

Annette Clubley: There’s, you know, but you’ve still got the normal run of the mill routine of the homework and, you know,

Katie Barron: Absolutely.

Annette Clubley: Trying to create the perfect Christmas for your family and yeah.

Katie Barron: Yeah. And that’s, I mean, not that is one of the, kind of the biggest issues really. That level of perfectionism. I think you summed it up there about creating the perfect Christmas. And we put this complete pressure on ourselves to get it [00:05:00] right. That it should be a certain way. And actually that’s one of the big mistakes we make with overwhelm that we just actually are seeking this perfectionism all the time.

 And we look, unfortunately we live in an age where we’ve got social media, so we’re bombarded by these photos and images. And we often follow people who are kind of not in our sphere at all. who’ve got these perfect lives and they’ve got the tree up and the. I’ve got a friend who is brilliant. She has just the most awesome woman, but her gifts and we’re talking so we are like towards the end of November, at the moment, her gifts will have been bought wrapped and stored successfully. Her tree will be up by now. She has just got this level of perfectionism. And when we hold ourselves to that, actually it’s really, really crazy, but actually puts more pressure on ourselves and we feel even more overwhelmed rather than just kind of going with the flow a little bit more.

Annette Clubley: Do you think there’s going to be an additional pressure this year? Because we didn’t have [00:06:00] Christmas last year?

Katie Barron: Yeah. And that’s a really interesting one. I hear that all the time on kind of like, because Christmas was canceled last year. I’m, you know, I’m willing to be proved wrong, but I’m yet to meet someone who didn’t have some form of a Christmas celebration, but it’s we build up this kind of story. And it’s the news. And again, this adds to overwhelm about what we listen to and the fuel we put in our brain. So I do a stress workshop and we talk about, I talk about fueling your brain, but if you’re listening to the news or kind of looking at social media, that’s telling you all the time, we’ve got to make it right, because we didn’t have Christmas last year. It puts that extra kind of pressure on that we don’t need to be there. We almost kind of open ourselves up to setting us up for failure.

So here’s that kind of key one that I always tell people one of the biggest mistakes we have and if you have a, well, it doesn’t matter whether you’re overwhelmed or not. If you have a to-do list that resembles can you remember [00:07:00] the Andrex puppy used to run off with a toilet roll toilet roll, or for anybody who is a kind of a young child’s mother and my youngest is nine. Anybody who’s to do list is like a nine-year-old’s Christmas list. Or the Andrek’s toilet roll because we’ve got so much to do. It’s just the worst possible thing that you can do for your brain and your sense of overwhelm because you start the day thinking I’ve got so much to do. It actually stops you from getting on with anything, because it’s just stores so much that we have to do in this massive, great big list.

So top tip is always rule of three. You only want three things on your list, your to do list. Now. Again, one of the workshops that I was delivering, there was a lady there who felt really positive. She’s a parent carer. She has an awful lot to do in terms of managing her child’s kind of wellbeing, medication doctor’s appointments, et cetera.

And she would write everything down on a Sunday, she felt so [00:08:00] prepared because she got a whole week planned and sorted. And she heard me say just three things on your list for the day, because it moves you from feeling I can’t possibly do this to, I can do this. And so you feel successful and she said she found it so difficult, so challenging.

She still writes everything down, like a massive, master list. But then day by day, she’ll just put three. And she said for her, that just created such a sense of space and achievement. And she said actually at night I sit and I tick off my list and it gives me a little buzz.

And actually in a neuroscience sense, we’ve got kind of like this part of our brain that’s wired for kind of like rewards. So actually writing three things down and being able to tick them off gives you that same kind of reward that a chocolate hobnob would do or a glass of wine or winning money on the lottery. And I know it sounds really bizarre, but actually it stimulated that part of your brain is stimulated in the same way.

So if you can [00:09:00] do a short list, three max and tick them off, it’s really, really healthy for that sense of overwhelm and also that kind of reward as well.

Annette Clubley: Oh, that’s super interesting because I mean, even just listening to you, I’m thinking to myself, can you have a list of three and then other things that you don’t have to get done today?

Katie Barron: No! No Annette, there is no wriggle room. Stop it!

I have this every time everybody tries to negotiate with me and I used to really be quite, quite gentle and kind with it now I’m just like, no, it doesn’t work Annette. Just three things. Then, you know, if you get anything else done, that’s byproduct, but you write three things that they are your top three.

And anybody working in business, you’ve heard this before about moving the needle. What are the three things that you have to do? And it’s just about, when you think yourself, you’re kind of, you’re a flight you’re on a long haul flight. And that’s what it feels like. Life feels like that very long ball flight. You don’t need to get to [00:10:00] your end destination, the plane doesn’t take off and instantly orientate straight away to the direction it’s going.

It takes one degree turns and that’s all we need to do day by day. Just really small turns. Power of three, just those little steps each day. And we will get to where we going. Whereas actually it’s almost like we take off and instantly like haul, try hauling our lives around in a certain direction rather than keeping it really simple.

So yeah, no negotiation.

Annette Clubley: No negotiation. Oh…

I totally see the logic in it because I kind of do something similar. So these are my tasks that I absolutely have to get through today. Because if I do more than that, then I think too, then I don’t know where to start. And I think the key thing is making that start taking that first step, isn’t it?.

Katie Barron: That first step is really important.

Annette Clubley: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So that’s your top tip. [00:11:00] Cut it down to three things. What do you do in those moments where you just feel it’s too much? I can’t. I can’t handle this right now.

Katie Barron: It’s overwhelm. And I, I remember the first time I heard this and I didn’t like hearing it. It’s not that comfortable, but the only thing that causes overwhelm are your thoughts and that’s really hard to take because actually for so many of us, we are incredibly busy.

We have a lot, that we never used to have, you know, we, we are a generation that’s now grown up where we work, we have a home to keep, we have children, we have so many pressures, generations of women before us didn’t have. So we have so much more additional pressure, but actually it’s out thoughts and our relationship to that, that makes all the difference.

 [00:12:00] So it’s really about catching those thoughts at that moment that you are kind of feeling I can’t cope and I just can’t do this. And I hear that an awful lot. It’s about bringing yourself back to the here and now kind of the kind of grounding and the focus. So I’m trained in mindfulness, but I’m always a little bit worried about using the term mindfulness because it’s become so homogenized now, if that makes sense, you know, Sit with a colouring book or, you know, it’s, it’s kind of lost it’s and really it’s about focus because when we feel overwhelmed, it means that we usually catastrophizing about the future or kind of ruminating about the past. It means that we’re not fully in the present in what, actually right here right now am I safe? Am I okay? And the way that you do that as bringing your attention to this very moment. And that’s so, so simple, you know, I, I do lots of different activities[00:13:00] cause I like to work in way with a toolkit because one size doesn’t fit all. There’s lots of ways you can do that, but really it’s about the senses.

 There’s a great activity. That’s just really simple. 5, 4, 3, 2. 1. So wherever you are name five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can taste, one thing that you can smell, And it doesn’t matter which way round you do the senses. So don’t get hung up on oh five, which one was it? It doesn’t, you just work through your senses because all that does is it brings your brain back online because when you feel overwhelmed, it’s almost like the thinking parts of your brain has kind of flipped it’s lid. Or, kind of left the building. The more and more stressed you get you kind of in an emotional state, but when you run through your senses, it’s almost like you’re bringing your brain back to the here and now.

The other one is breathing. Breathing’s really, really good. And I don’t, I don’t do that with a [inaudible]. Although, [00:14:00] my kids actually know that now when they get stressed out, like ‘and breathe’.


Because we don’t breathe properly. We kind of breathe in a very shallow way as adults and anybody who’s seen a baby in their nappy in the cot. Remember seeing their tummy swell and contract. And we forget to do that. And once you start just bringing your attention to your breathing, where you breathe deeply and you stomach swells and your chest rises, and then your stomach contracts and your chest falls, and it’s just that two-part breathing and it helps put your hands on your abdomen and the chest to do it, to feel that, but it actually, your body is then sending a brain, a signal to your brain to say, you’re not stressed your here.

You’re fine. You can’t possibly be under threat. Because everything, we’re wired the way we were when we were kind of Neandertal men and women, our brains still [think we are in danger]. So, you know, a shirty [00:15:00] email from your boss or somebody not liking your social media posts or your kids not getting ready for school on time, all trigger our brains in the same way as that kind of mortal stressor, that we wouldn’t have been killed by a saber-tooth tiger. Our brains react in the same way. So we just need to send it those signals and those signals are bring your mind to your senses or the breathing. And then it just helps reduce that sense of overwhelm because it then helps you to go actually this moment. I’m okay. It’s not the end of the world and yes, I feel I can’t cope, but I’ll go back to my list of three and just taking that next step. It just helps bring your brain back online.

Annette Clubley: I really like the idea of – just the simplicity of that, like just bringing yourself back to am I safe right now? because you know, 90% of the time, not probably 99% of the time you are safe right now. It’s fine. And then that brings you, as you say, back to the moment, and then you can take a step forward [00:16:00] from there instead of just you know, going Arrgghh!

Katie Barron: Yeah totally.

Annette Clubley: Yeah yeah, yeah. And then using those, you could use those exercises as well, but you could just as simply just stop yourself and go, am I safe right now?

Katie Barron: Am I safe right now? Yeah,

Annette Clubley: You know..

Katie Barron: And even if you think I can’t cope, it’s like. Okay. I can’t cope, but am I safe right now? Is everything okay? And once you do that, it intercepts those kind of runaway thoughts.

Annette Clubley: Hmm, mm Hmm. Absolutely. Okay. Well, I could talk to you all day. I think, I think we could make this a multi episode.

Katie Barron: Oh, unpicking it all. I spend days on it.

Annette Clubley: Absolutely, yeah, yeah. And all of the different things that affect us. I mean, we’ve just talked. in, you know, in the few minutes that we’ve talked, we’ve talked about all the different areas of a woman’s life. And we haven’t even touched on the fact that some of these women, on top of the house, and the children, and the job [00:17:00] ,and the Christmas, are also trying to start a business for themselves,

Katie Barron: Yes!

Annette Clubley: You know, glutton for punishment kind of thing. So, yeah.

Katie Barron: Yeah.

Annette Clubley: I do think we could just keep talking and talking and talking. Um, so what’s the best way. So how do you work with people? And what’s the best way for people to get hold of you?.

Katie Barron: So I suppose I, yeah, going back to the toolkit, I really believe that kind of not one size fits all. So I’m always about, kind of presenting different strategies that women can use. And that’s why I’m trained in kind of different modalities as well. I’m currently running an eight week course called frazzled to fabulous, where it’s a group coaching course and I’m guiding women from, from that path, from that being completely overwhelmed and nurtured out and feeling, you know, kind of is this it to that, being a feeling in control of their lives again.

 And that’s something that I’m going to be launching probably two or three times a year, starting from next year.[00:18:00] I’ve got an app that is about to be launched. Nearly there, Annette, I am getting close. It’s like, so I’m kind of looking at how I can use that and potentially a membership so that women can kind of have that regular monthly contact and support throughout the year but I’ve currently got a really lovely audio, which is. Is as the stress solution for busy women. So it’s a 10 minute audio that you can just pop on and have me going to through it. It is based on hypnosis, which a lot of women, well, most people find it a lot easier actually than the meditation.

Meditation. I’m a really big advocate for. And I certainly do do that. And it’s one of the strategies that I help guide women through. But it can feel when you are particularly overwhelmed and stressed, it’s harder to get, really important, but harder to get into. Whereas the hypnosis aspect is just about me guiding you straight into that really comfortable, calm and in control position. So I’ve [00:19:00] got a freebie that I can send you the link to.

Annette Clubley: That sounds fabulous. Yes please!. And so it, can we find that on your website? What is the web address?

Katie Barron: So I am katiebarron.co.uk, but I’m also on social media. My normal profile, I think is Katie Barron, katie.barron54321. and I’m on Instagram on katiebarroncoaching.

Annette Clubley: Perfect. Perfect. And yeah, as you say, if you can just drop me across the links, then I will add them so that people can find you that way. Thank you very, very much for taking the time to talk to me today.

Katie Barron: Thanks for chatting with me.

Annette Clubley: I know you’ve got a lot going on with your course going on at the moment.

Katie Barron: Just a bit!

Annette Clubley: Just a bit! As a busy mom with Christmas on the horizon.

Katie Barron: Yeah. But it also, it is absolutely all about how you relate to it. You know, I kind of, for me and I’m working on my business is just so valuable. I love it because I know that I can make a [00:20:00] difference in thousands of women’s lives. So it reduces the overwhelm. And I know the reason why.

Annette Clubley: Oh, fabulous. Yeah, that’s a great why to have. Okay. Thank you for very much for joining me. Really appreciate it. And we will be talking very soon. I’m sure.

Katie Barron: Take care.

You can find Katie at www.katiebarron.co.uk download the iThrive app