Frances Cahill

Habits & Health episode 37 -Frances Cahill

Habits & Health episode 37 with Frances Cahill, and is about how disrupting lack of confidence can be. Frances explains how creating new habits can bring great improvements in confidence. She is a Brisbane-based author, public speaking coach, fear-disruptor and courage companion.

Her community is made up of people who are fearful of speaking in public. Her role is to provide the right tools, techniques and practical scripts to guide people to speak out loud and perform on whatever stage they are facing – every time for life.


Book: Your Kitchen Olympics: … and other remarkable athletic feats

Favourite books:

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee The Narnia Chronicles - C. S. Lewis

Favourite quote:
No one can make you feel inferior unless you let them
Eleanor Roosevelt
Habits & Health links:Facebook Page
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The Frances Cahill interview link:

This video is related to an older episode featuring Bas Lebesque

Jingle 0:00

Habits and health episode 37. Welcome to the habits and health podcast, where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. Brought to you by an educator and coach for anyone who wants to create a healthier life.

Here's your host, Tony Winyard.

Tony Winyard 0:20

Welcome to another edition of habits and health. And my guest today is Frances Cahill. Well, I say Caill in that way, because that's how it looks like the name is pronounced. But as you're gonna hear in a minute, it's not actually how the name is pronounced is very different. She's a Brisbane based author, a public speaking coach, a fear disrupter and courage companion. We'll find out more about that very soon her community is made up of people who are fearful of speaking in public and her role is to provide the right tools, the techniques and practical scripts that to guide people to speak out loud and perform on whatever stage is there facing. So that's Francis Cahill, not Cahill, who we're going to be hearing from in a few seconds. If you do like this episode, please do share it with anyone who you feel would get some real value from some of the nuggets that Francis shares with us. And hope you enjoy this week's show. habits and health my guest today Frances Cahill that I thank you because as we started, as we were discussing before we started recording when I saw your name, I presume that it was Cahill pronounced but I was wrong. It's not pronounced like that

Frances Cahill 1:36

This is a rogue branch of that family. I think Tony. we always have always will be the rogue Australian branch of the family.

Tony Winyard 1:47

You mentioned Australia and you're in Brisbane?

Frances Cahill 1:50

That's right in sunny Queensland.

Tony Winyard 1:54

What would that be called a Brisbanite?

Frances Cahill 1:58

Yes, Or Brisbanian.

Tony Winyard 2:00

Okay. Are you a native Brisbanian?

Frances Cahill 2:02

Yes, I am a native Brisbanian for about 20 years, and then I went went away for 35 or so up and down the east coast of Australia living and working in various places. And then about 10 years ago, I came back.

Tony Winyard 2:18

And you help people with public speaking and confidence and so on?

Frances Cahill 2:25

Sure. Do. I'm your courage companion. Tony on courage

Tony Winyard 2:29

companion. Yeah. And how did that come about? And what what led you into that?

Frances Cahill 2:35

Oh, goodness. So I've always been a speaker. And I've performed in community theatre and onstage in music. Since I was about eight, I think or first started singing hymns and sister Ruth's class. So performance and confidence in front of people, etc, was one aspect of, of my life. And my academic background is in sociolinguistics. So that's a study of language and society and appropriate communication and good messages, all of that sort of stuff. And I also in in my professional life, it just seemed to be that people would gravitate to me to say, how do I say this better? Or can you help me and I came back to Brisbane, after a devastating divorce, I found that my confidence had been reduced to zero, absolutely to zero and over a period of about six to seven years, I pulled on all of that information, my community theatre and my performance background, I sociolinguistics. My professional life, all of those things, put it all together and started to develop programmes for people in that very, that very event of their life where they want to say something. And either they don't know how, or fear is stopping them. So it was it's a, a series of programmes that brings you from fear, transforming it, not getting rid of it, but transforming it into being able to speak confidently out loud whenever you want to, and whenever you need to.

Tony Winyard 4:12

What are your thoughts on why? Why is it that people are so fearful about speaking in public?

Frances Cahill 4:19

a number of reasons and one of the mostly I don't want to look like an idiot, you know, I want to be able to be seen as smooth and confident and being able to articulate when we look at the causes. And I did a very rough survey of my clients at one stage. And I said, when do you do you remember ever being able to speak well in public or speak confidently? And I can say probably 60 to 70% of people said, Well, I used to be alright in primary school. But there was that day I did the you know the vote the oral present. about fish in Japan or something, and I just lost it. And I froze. And forever since then people have that body and mind memory about being terrified in front of people. And it's very common I've and not just with my clients, I asked people, when was the last time you remember that you could speak well, or even in just talking about speaking in public people, you can see their body starting to tense up. And of course, your listeners can see me tensing up. That you can see that their whole body is reacting to the thought of speaking in public and you think, Wow, that's a really ingrained fear. So let's get started.

Tony Winyard 5:46

Well, they can't because this is an audio only podcast.

Frances Cahill 5:53

But I'm giving you the full picture here.

Tony Winyard 5:58

It did make me think, I don't know whether this is there's any truth to this or not. But they say and I'm not sure who they are. Apparently, they say that people fear death less than speaking in public.

Frances Cahill 6:14

I've heard that it was, I think it was Jerry Seinfeld who came up with that, you know, that the American comedian, where people would much prefer to be in the coffin, rather than speaking the eulogy. Speaking, you know, the eulogy. And there has, there was some research that sort of pointed to that, that people would much prefer to die, as you said, rather than speak in public. And while it's very catchy, I don't think enough has been, I don't think enough research has been done into finding out what it is that people are frightened off, you know, whether it is and what type of public speaking we're talking about. So, but, you know, there's no doubt that you could, that we can agree that there for some people, even the thought of the prospect of speaking in public, is absolutely terrifying. And, you know, the, I, I just consider that. The, the saddest thing in that there's so many people not being able to live their lives to the fullest. And I'm not saying that every, that everyone should be turning into a mad extrovert or anything like that, but not being able to confidently interact in their daily life. I mean, one young woman that I worked with, really charming, but very, very shy, and we work quite solidly together. And she sailed off into the diet, so to speak, and she came back and contact me in about a week later and said, you know, friend, I was able to go up to the pub, and order my drink, confidently. And while that doesn't seem very much does it for her to be able to navigate the, you know, in the group of people that you have for her to be able to navigate going through, and then going up to the to the bar, and being able to audit confidently and clearly, because in my programmes we also work a bit on Project projection of, of sound and articulation of of words, all of those sort of things. So it's, you know, it's a big package. And it was thrilling to know that this young woman now was able to, in a social context, be able to just walk up and order her, you know, gin and tonic or whatever it was. And I know, Tony, that alcohol is not in you're not in your purview. But for her, the reason that she'd come to me was that in meetings at work, she would she would hesitate and lose her moment. And particularly in the projects that she was leading, she was speaking to me and saying, I'm losing the lead on the projects, because I'm not able to, you know, say the thing that she wanted to say at that time, and that and then we started working on all of the the aspects of a very quick summary. What's the outcome you're looking for? Is it just to get the message across? Do you want people to like you, you know, that we talk about the actual mechanics of what it is that you want to present. And as in terms of bringing it down to what your podcasts and your theme is about? Tony is that it is a habit. Talking about public speaking, speaking, is often a trigger for someone to have a habit of being frightened. And you know, that's and that habit has been formed from some event in the past, and it's in the past and that's where it belongs and breaking the habit of the body in the mind to trick in whip into that trigger the trigger It's it's not, I'm not saying it's simple, but it is very, very clear the stages that we can go through to ensure that someone doesn't can insert another habit, a habit of being confident a habit of knowing that you've got the mechanics and the techniques and the tools to be able to do it.

Tony Winyard 10:24

As you were explaining, or describing a situation with that young lady. It occurred to me that would also empower her health, because that's going to cause stress. The notice she's getting the way that she's feeling each time she even just, as you say, just asking for a drink at the bar, each time that's happening that's causing more and more stress. And many chronic conditions are simply an accumulation of stress. It's not any one incident.

Frances Cahill 10:51

No, you're absolutely right, Tony. And that's the isn't that the scary thing. Or that, you know, that was scary for me in that in any if you took the first two hours of your daily life, and every time you had to speak or interact with someone, it caused you a point of stress. I'm I'm wondering why more people don't reach out to people like you and people like me to be able to find a way to break those breasts, those stress spirals. Right.

Tony Winyard 11:35

For someone else who has got a real problem with and it's also interesting, because I imagine anyone in the first few minutes of this episode are probably when you're talking about public speaking, in their mind, they're probably thinking, Ah, that's about speaking in front of 1000 people, 100 people that as you just mentioned, this was just one on one going to the bar. So it's not necessarily public speaking is not necessarily scores, hundreds of people.

Frances Cahill 12:00

Absolutely not. And in terms of, for me public speaking means and it will sound a bit trite, but it means speaking in public. What happens when you pick up the phone? Are you frightened? You know? Are you a person who has a problem? are you hesitant to answer the phone? Because you don't feel confident? You know? Are they going to ask me something? I don't know. And I was astounded to find that there are a lot of young people who much prefer texting, because not for any other reason, either. They're frightened to enter the fight. Mm hmm. That to me is something that we really do need to address. And public speaking for me where and I probably would, I want to find another way, perhaps of talking about it and speaking out loud, speaking out loud to someone. And then being able to monitor that and be able to deliver what it is that you want to say to that person out loud anytime you want to or anytime you need to. And not go. I've got to speak.

Tony Winyard 13:12

You've actually just reminded me of I mean, before we started recording, I mentioned to you that I was a member of Toastmasters for a long time. And I'm remembering I don't know it's about five years ago or so Toastmasters had a programme called the Youth Leadership Programme. And we would go into schools. And we would help, in this particular case, it was a group of around 20 13 year olds, I think they were. The school wasn't a particularly rough school, but it wasn't like a public school. So there were some kids, with some problems and some issues. And I remember week one, there were a few kids in particular, who, when it came to trying to get him to talk just in front of the other people in a room, the other kids in a room, they would always be laughing and joking. And because that was their way of getting out of it. They didn't want to actually say anything. And over the course of the I think it was 12 weeks or however long it was and we were doing different exercises with them every week. And then at the end of it, there was a graduation ceremony. And a number of these kids delivered speeches, impromptu in some cases. And there's one particular kid I remember who was one of the most nervous at the beginning. And then he delivered this speech. And he now had this power, he was able to convey his thoughts that he'd never been able to before. Oh, how he delivered this speech. And it was in front of parents teachers. there was loads of people came to this graduation ceremony. And I don't think there was many people in the room who weren't wiping tears in their eyes.

Frances Cahill 14:57

Yes. It just warms my heart warms my heart. And I'm hoping that you have a sense of great pride, that you were engaged in that type of programme, because you and your colleagues and the programme changed those kids lives, change their lives. The skills that they have learned, you know, at age 13, wow, that is really, really fragile. Isn't it really, really. And that fragile in terms of the amount of power that peers will have in that, you know, in that environment? That is, that warms my heart, Tony absolutely warms my heart, everyone, but let's change the world, Tony, let's change the world. You habits.

Tony Winyard 15:56

And I'm guessing there is no solution and works for everyone. Because obviously everyone comes to this with different fears. And everyone will have a different reason for why they have that fear in the first place. So how do you go about establishing how you going to help this person that sits in front of you right now? How do you work that out?

Frances Cahill 16:17

It starts with talking, as I said, starts with talking about when was the last time you can remember being able to speak? And if you can't remember ever being able to speak in front of people. Okay, take the what are my I have a really gentle way of getting started, Tony, in terms of we talk about? What is your body feeling? Are you aware of what your breathing is like, you know, when we talk about breathing, etc. And then, for me, it's finding out how far back, we're going to try to work through that trigger event. We talk about there's a self development component as well saying, when you want to say things after the toy, aren't you? Is it because you don't feel you're worthy enough? Is there? Do you have a feeling that you aren't qualified enough? Or that you're not? You know, so we talk about? Maybe what caused it first, but the next step is what is it you're trying to achieve with the piece of speaking? And then based on that, that can branch off to a whole bunch of things that if it's, I'm not worthy enough, or I don't know enough? Well, you know, you, you are unique, there is no one else in the world who will have your take on this on this particular topic. There's no one else who has your education, who has, so your your take is going to be unique, and whatever is going to come out of your mouth is going to be unique. And the people on the other side of this don't know what you're saying until you say it. So how can you mark it up, you know that it's really, really practical stuff. But for me, it's the and that to me has to be done very gently, and very respectfully. And I probably want to say from the beginning, Tony and I say this to all of my clients, that are potential clients that if there is some, if the event is causing them to move into a trauma type of situation, I'm not the person, there is a psychologist or you know, mental health professionals, professionals that I would expect, that I could refer them to. And then when you got all that sort of stuff, let's talk about performance and talk about projection and all of those sort of things. The majority, well, all of the people that I work with are people who have a fear, but it's something that we can talk about where I'm not really traumatising, or, you know, adding to the anxiety or any of those things.

Tony Winyard 18:57

Can you think of an example of someone who has come to you? And they're they just don't believe they can speak in front of whether it be delivering a presentation or maybe in front of their family or whatever the case may be. And then you've worked with them. And they were really surprised with how they were able to do this thing, which they really feared.

Frances Cahill 19:18

Yes, absolutely. My favourite, I guess is a wonderful photographer, female photographer, and she had been going to networking events, you know, your stand up and they give your spiel and all of that sort of stuff. And she'd been going to them for years. And she said, You know, I stand up and I mumbled something, and I feel stupid, and I feel like I've done my business, you know, a damage rather than any sort of any sort of benefit. And so we worked, we worked together and she was never even talking about it. You could see her body was shaking and all that sort of stuff. So it was it was some some lengthy time that we spent together. Now, but in the end, we worked out, I said, Karen, what's the theme? What's the very thing that makes photography come alive for you. And we talked about it, we talked about it. And then she said, Fran, I will stay stay there, I will sit there all day, until I can find all until I can see the shining. It's got nothing to do with Jack Nicholson or anything like that. And I said, You got to please explain that to me. And she said, Well, can I show you one of my, my, my pieces of work as it's short, she held it up. And it was a piece that had a woman in a flowing, flowing outfit, standing on a rock. And it had nothing to do with the light. It had nothing to do with the actual picture itself. It was when you looked at the woman's face, you could see that there was an expression. And she said, that is what I'll wait every day or wait all day until I get that. And I said, Okay, Karen, that is what we're going to convey to the people you want to talk to. And in the end it came up with and I said, May and she said, I don't know that I can stand up. And we worked all this. And so I said, Well, maybe you need some props. So she had her camera bag. And I said just strap that across your body. If you're feeling nervous, put your hand on that. And so that you are grounding, and you're you know, monitoring your breath. Okay, good. And we, I came along, I also carried a companion and didn't say anything. I was just there at the networking with her. I don't do this with all of my clients, but Karen needed it. And she said, my name is Karen, and I'm a photographer of women. And there's nothing sleazy about that. She said, But you know, with my photography, I will wait there all day until I can see the shiny. And then she picked up the piece that she'd showed me. And she showed it to her audience. And there was intake of breath like this. And she got three Commission's on that day. And I was so so proud of her because she was still really, really nervous. But we'd worked on what she wanted to say, and how she wanted to say it and her uniqueness of what it was that she wanted to stand out. And the light in her eyes after she delivered that. I knew I knew that she'd got it that she was she was unique. And she had the power to be able to talk about the thing that that led her up. And that was just magic.

Tony Winyard 22:40

Absolutely. And it sounds like what you just described is like the difference between fear and excitement. We talked about this before. But there has been fear and excitement is so trivial. Yeah. And it's just in sometimes it's just about the difference in breath. Because when you hold your breath, it becomes fear. when you can release the breath, it can become excitement.

Frances Cahill 23:00

That's exactly right. It's absolutely right, tick, tick, tick.

Tony Winyard 23:07

So while I'm thinking where to one of the things that is occurring to me as you were speaking, and one of the things that I realised, from my experience with Toastmasters was, I think I went to toastmasters because I wanted to become a better speaker. But what I actually realised after a few years I've been there was I wasn't it wasn't just about speaking, it was about communicating, which is much more than just speaking,

Frances Cahill 23:33

yes, it is absolutely the communicating, then particularly in a corporate, corporate environment, Tony got that and that some of my other corporate programmes, ones are called sweaty palms, where you know, people standing up to speak in meetings, and all of that sort of stuff. But in terms of communication, in a meeting, you are still communicating, you are still in the communication event, even if you're just sitting there at the table listening. If you are listening, you're going to be able to communicate better, rather than listening until it's your turn to speak is listening to understand so that you can deliver, you know, an appropriate level of communication, whether it is to disagree, that's that's not the case. It's listening to understand and then being able to respond appropriately. That is absolutely more about communication than just speaking.

Tony Winyard 24:33

And is even so many other facets like body language and and yeah, I mean, there's so many other facets to communication

Frances Cahill 24:41

that exactly right. And while I, I adore being on podcasts, I really love it in terms of podcasting and in zoom, and a lot of those things, the cues that people automatically well mostly automatically respond to a lot of those cues. They robbed of those, those cues. And in terms of being being able to communicate well, you have to overcompensate, if you're being robbed of those sort of cues, you have to be 100% focused on what the person saying or what you can hear them, say, and being active in your communication. Did I get that? Right? I would say there would be 0.1% of people who would respond badly if you've said, I'm not quite sure I understand. Is this what you meant? Have I got it right? That, to me is what good communication is. And that, to me is only part of what speaking in public is, because it's a two way street.

Jingle 25:51

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Tony Winyard 26:20

You know, I've just had a realisation of something. I think you'll like this actually. This platform that we're using now, which for the listeners, I don't think I've ever spoken about this before. It's a platform called Zencaster. And Zencaster changed their operation about a year or so ago. So I've been doing this podcast for three years. For the first couple of years, I wasn't able to see the person I was speaking with. So I can see you as we speak. And although the listeners can only hear this, I can actually see Francis as I'm speaking. And that only came in about a year ago. And what has just occurred to me is previously I had to do a lot more editing of my episodes. And I was just thinking for quite a while now I need to do very little editing for my podcast. And I've realised it's because now I can see the other person and they can see me there's often not much need to do any editing because I know when you're about to speak because I can visually I can, I've got much, much better idea of when you want to speak and I can stop and vice versa. That's right. And that had never occurred to me before the internet because have simply been able to see the other person and then be able to see me, I now spend far less time editing

Frances Cahill 27:39

because the flow because of the flow, and there's we're less likely to hesitate or we're less likely or we're probably more likely to win when we don't have the visual visual cues, we're more likely to overcompensate and, and that only really good communicators can overcompensate in the right way. And so you know, as you say the the level of editing would have been higher and there you go with you've another revelation. Well it's an excellent thing.

Tony Winyard 28:20

Also, when you think that that's made me think about social media, and how easy it is for many people to misinterpret what other people have said or what other they think other people have said on social media and why there's so much miscommunication and so much anger Yes. Because we there is no visual component is purely words. And then it for start you've got one element of society who maybe have dyslexia or whatever it may be, that's right, which all compounds with the issues of communication on social media. i Yeah,

Frances Cahill 28:57

absolutely. And the the miscues that that happen, you know, because it is right to say that 80% of our communication is nonverbal. So that you a string of words put together on a screen you're asking a lot of those string of words to be written as you've said, you know, written clearly but also interpret interpreted quickly, correctly every single time. That's a lot. You're asking the same single set of words. I mean, I love language and I love words and and as one of the person recently noticed, I've got my Macquarie this was my birthday present to myself is the new two volumes, eighth edition of the Australian Macquarie Australian dictionary and some it started out at the Macquarie University in New South Wales and that's my go to for Australian language. And I love language and I love words as I said, but in terms of the amount of significance that is applied to whether there's a full stop or not, is one aspect, but the amount of significance that's being applied to I want to or I would like to, you know, when we hear I want is far less, far less polite, then I would like to, but if you're looking at a reduced number of characters, I want implies a level of demand that maybe you didn't mean. So, you know, there's so many aspects, we have miscommunication firing all over the place. And by as as we've mentioned, you know, the particularly with young people, and I suppose older people as well, I'm not a very good texter, I can't use both thumbs. It to me, it's, we're robbing ourselves of the opportunity for good communication, we are just robbing ourselves how we fix that on and I yet don't have all the answers to that, Tony, maybe you have. But I'll pick up the phone and talk to anybody, for any reason. And I do I don't mind FaceTime is just usually people hold it so that you get to look up the nose. And that's not very encouraging, or, in a very nice noses, mind you, but you know that there's a whole bunch of things that that need to be inserted, when you are using FaceTime, or when you are using zoom or any of those sort of things. That in a professional sense, there's a whole lot more riding on being able to make sure that you haven't got the camera show showing you knows or the microphone, microphone is working well, or you earphones, those are all technical aspects that we need to be aware of, given that you and I in this environment, we have rectangles, that's it. But you know, that is a much greater level of, of being able to read each other, then having none at all. And then if we're using this medium in a commercial sense, or, you know, corporate sense, there are a lot of cues that people are misusing. And you know, if I don't know whether you do zoom with your meetings anywhere, anyway, you've got the Zoom zombies. That's a term that I've coined for the people who sort of disengage totally, and they're sitting there like this, and it's one of the most put off one of the most, shall we say dismissive excellent, you can take a sitting back from a Zoom meeting, and with the arms crossed, and just picking your teeth or you know, looking around, you're not engaged at all, and there you are, in full view of everybody how much you're disengaged, you get a you can't get away with that as much I suppose in the face to face meeting. But in terms of good communication, pay people a Zoom meeting and still make a meeting and you're being really really rude, I think, very impolite by not engaging in end, even if it is boring and better than that. Don't be a muppet be engaged. You know. That's a ramble. I know. But yeah, it's a ramble. But I think I think you'll be able to pick out the bits.

Tony Winyard 33:08

So, so generally, the people that are coming to you for help, is there a repeated theme or repeated issue that they have, and an age group wise as well, is there a particular age group?

Frances Cahill 33:23

I've had times between 20 and up to 60. But the repeating theme, I think, is that is maybe 25 to 40 ambitious people who want to be able to speak and, and need to be able to speak to to move up the ladder, or, you know, whatever it is, and don't know how to do that don't know how to get to the point of being out, being able to articulate, you know, they're busy, they're, that they know, their job, and the capacity to be able to deliver a coherent speech, even if it is just a Sales Report for the month being and there's a number of outcomes, you know, depending on what outcome they want, whether they just want to get the sales reported across whether they really would like to have people like them, whether they would really people need to know this to be able to do the job. Well, you know, that all of those sort of things. The recurring theme is I want to be able to do this I need to achieve something with this and I don't know how, and it's the the how that entails finding out what caused the fear breaking the habits of the fear responses. Inserting other habits that you know, we've spoke about before, whether it's just little cues that you can give yourself by county, one of my favourite ones is count backwards from 100 in sevens. That's the best fear spiral breaker because people go What are 193 And for that one or two seconds, they don't have fear. And, you know, reinforcing that, so that that the habit then becomes I'm starting to breathe shallowly. Okay, I'll stop deepening my breath. And I'll count one hundreds. And all we're doing is just interrupting. So it's taking a long way around, I guess, sorry, Tony. But in terms of the the major thing is wanting to get to an outcome, which is delivering a coherent piece of speech, when for whatever that surface is then just deciding, I don't know how to do that. I don't have the skills, why do I keep freezing up? Why. So we then take the next step of delivering those skip embedding those those habits, enhancing skills down to the point of then I can stand up and speak out loud whenever I need to, or whenever I want to, is that sort of the this is even a broad brush of, of where we where we go.

Tony Winyard 36:06

When it comes to swapping habits or changing habits, is there a particular way that you find what is useful? Or how does that work?

Frances Cahill 36:16

well, I've got 33, as I said, and we we try them out, in terms of the first one is when people start to feel their breath, shallow, the part of me their breath, coming more shallow, that's the first thing, no, you can feel it, take a deep breath. And then, you know, in most cases, I have to be honest, we start with a breath, where it's in for three, hold for three out for three, then there's others, you know, warm occupied, warm up your voice before you're going to count in, in seven. So we try out each one of those. And one or the other, or, you know, a group of three will resonate with the person where they can feel the breath, deepening, where they can feel that their eyes aren't darting anymore, that and it's it's just a trial and error. The first one is breath, always breath, always breath. But anything else from that and you know, some people prefer to be able to just start talking about the actual physiology of it, where you know, your vagus nerve is you're in the health aspects, and I'm not in there. But my awareness of how important the vagus nerve is and how you are innovating, you're agitating the vagus nerve by having that high level of stress by shallow breathing, all of those sort of things. So, and I'm not qualified whatsoever to talk about what we're doing to the vagus nerve, but being able to say this is something that your body is responding to. And your mind is saying there's something to be frightened of that there is some danger, what's the danger? What is the danger. So by then saying, well, there's no reason to be frightened. So let's break the mind body connection, let's insert another habit, and whichever one is going to work, and it takes time, obviously, but most people say I like that idea and the smell of roses or, you know, if Tony, if I smell old, dried up orange peel, I'm immediately transported back to by grade five, you know, the suitcase racks outside our classrooms. So whatever the most powerful response that we can generate in the person and whether it's, as I said, smell, or a smiling, or having a having a brooch, or touch your watch with your hand so that you are, you're inserting a physical habit. And that doesn't mean to say you fiddle with your watch or anything like that. But it's for that one second, two second, three seconds, holding on to the watch, so that you're breaking the mind body connection. And of course, there's other fun things that that we do is that the Wonder Woman or Superman stance, and this one's actually been proven cycle, scientifically is that if you stand with your feet, shoulder width apart your hands on your hips, and elbows out, and stand up straight. Say your name out loud, you're changing the combination of hormones in your body. So you know that's a fun one. And that's when I run apply in classes and I have my own form of that Tony in school, the ninja part. And what we're actually doing is once again, feet at shoulder width apart, knees bent, elbows into your, your waist, hands, palms up with clench your fists, and then using diaphragmatic breathing and I've already taught people how to do that using diaphragmatic breathing. You drop your knees and give a nice deep path so that you're bringing up the breath right up through into your mouth and placement and all those sort of things. And people laugh. But I can guarantee you can't be doing that. And of course, you're not going to do that when you're standing up in front of people, that's when you're getting ready to do that. I can guarantee you can't be doing that and being fearful at the same time. So you Breaking the Habit Breaking the Habit, Breaking the Habit, if whatever works, but we go through it, there's quite a range that we can choose from,

Tony Winyard 40:22

Have any of your clients ever said to you that they realise that what they've learned from you, and by improving, improving their confidence to be able to deliver in whatever spirit it may be, they've realised it's actually helped them in other areas of their life as well.

Frances Cahill 40:42

Oh, yes, absolutely. And that, that thrills might, just gives me a thrill. In terms of trying to think of the best examples, it was a well, the young woman, for sure was big was being able to go and order her order her drinks in, in pub, but there was a young mother, who, who came in, she was going back into the workforce and needed some, you know, some assistance in in developing confidence and being able to and you know, because of my corporate background, as well, we could talk talk about what questions might likely to be asked in the job interview, and we did some, some role plays, and rehearsing of that, but I remember it now. She was saying, she got the job, yay, fantastic. But she said, you know, Francis, when I went to daycare, later on, some things had been disturbing me in daycare about what was happening, and I didn't understand. And she said, I then had the confidence to be able to go and talk to the director of the daycare centre, and say, I want to know about this. And she said, we didn't have a fight or anything like that. But there was something that I was really concerned about. And prior, I was too frightened to say, and she said, I had the confidence to be able to set out what it is that I wanted to do in this interaction. And that was to get information. And, and she wanted reassurance that this you know that her baby was safe, obviously. But she said, I was able to go there, and state what I needed. Without feeling like an idiot. I got what I wanted. And we had an I had a better relationship with that person who was the care of my child? Yes, yes. Yes. So important, so important.

Tony Winyard 42:38

There is a question I ask most of, my guests, Francis, is there a book? Or are there any books that have particularly moved you for any reason?

Frances Cahill 42:49

I read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was quite young. And I always still, and I've probably seen Gregory Peck in the movie afterwards has embedded the strength of the strength of what he did, and what that that circumstance where it was in, in the south, the southern US. So that's, that's one thing and the power of speech and the power of well, the power of speech in a positive sense, and also the power of speech in a negative sense. That was one thing, I suppose the other one that comes to mind. For me is, and I got this series, I never encountered this series until my 21st birthday, and that was the Narnia Chronicles. And while there, there would be a lot of people who would take issue with some of the, the philosophies of, you know, the particularly the religious sort of aspect of it. And that's not what I'm here to talk about, but in terms of the empowering of children and the Empower and the the idea of of going through that I mean, going through the line, which in the wardrobe, what is it that you were doing, what the beliefs that you have as a child, and how that shapes you? I just found that absolutely. Riveting, and I was 21. And they're supposed to be, you know, children's stories. And it was given to me by actually a priest friend. So there was a, you know, a religious aspect, but that certainly wasn't the basis of the delivery of the gift. And it was talking about, you know, confidence and exploring what is real in your life and what matters and all of those sort of things. So, yes, those those two sort of jumped to mind straightaway. And since then, don't know really, I love reading. I just turn it turn them up. You know, I didn't mention that. I'd written a book.

Tony Winyard 44:48

Do you know I was just about to ask.

Frances Cahill 44:52

Oh, and I jumped in, we can rub that out now. And it's about sports humour. And it's about given that you have a very High sort of introduce, you know, the high proportion of the health and habits and good sort of stuff this would not. It's called your kitchen Olympics, and other remarkable athletic feats. And it started out as a blog, oh, probably five years ago, four or five years ago, where I was making observations of the absolutely stupid and awkward things that I do, or I was doing and still do. I guess, as an arthritic Boomer, you know, the baby boomers that period of time after the Second World War, where a whole bunch of us were born. And it ended up I got to get, it ended up being a staple of 13 events. And I've called them kitchen Olympics, things like, oh, you know, the blister the pills, the blister pill packs, when you're trying to get rid of them, get them out of the container, I can shoot it across the kitchen, land on top of the dishwasher under the shelf. And I consider that a kitchen Olympic event. And there's a whole bunch of the fighting with palm fronds and a whole bunch of silliness, I guess. But so many people have have resonated with it that the things are looking for the phone, with your phone, the light on your phone? Looking at how many times can you drop a phone before it's smack? You know, before it's never going to work? Again? So And how often do you get a heart surge when you're watching the phone dropped to the floor? So in terms of is it a bit of silliness? Yes. Is it a bit of trivial stuff? Yes. But there are so many things that we do in our lives that are awkward, and how we respond to certain physical, what we may consider threats, but really are just ordinary, everyday things. And the message is, you're still a winner, you just still a winner, we get up and we do stuff every day. And whether it's a trivial thing, or whether it's a significant thing, you really matter. We all really, really matter. And, and there is no reason why you can't say I want to be a bit of me. But your original me is still fabulous. It's still just fabulous. And you know that enhancing it is the thing, but you are enough, and you always will be enough.

Tony Winyard 47:21

I did some stand up comedy for a while. When I was learning it, one of the things to look for is exactly what you were just describing about those crazy little things that happen in everyday life, because that's perfect material for stand up comedy. So now I'm thinking, this should be a book that stand up comedians should probably go and buy this because he's going to get the material

Frances Cahill 47:47

observational stuff, you know, and it's based, in fact, so yes, I'd be very happy to send you a copy. If you would like us off, off off screen, you can send me your address, and I'll be very happy to send you a copy. And it takes you I'm guaranteeing a chuckle the page. And it's only very small. It's quite thin, quite slim. It is available as an e book and all of those sorts of things. But that's not the that's not the point of this podcast. But I'd be very happy to send you a copy. Tony, if you're interested. Absolutely.

Tony Winyard 48:17

If people want to find out more about you, and maybe they want to get that book, where would they go?

Frances Cahill 48:23

The it's the book itself, your kitchen Olympics and other remarkable feats. there's two formats. One is an e book, you know, that you can get through Barnes and Noble and all those sorts of that's books to There's two formats in Amazon. One is the Kindle, and one is a print on demand so you can get a physical book. Anything else that you want to talk to me about? I have a Facebook page once on the Francis cow, my public speaking sort of focuses in polish your pitch. So it's forward slash polish your pitch. And another little club that I've formed in Facebook is called the speakeasy club and the speakeasy clubs job is, you know how you type in how do I deal with fear on public speaking and you come back with 1.97 3 million responses and point two, seven seconds, and none of them fit with the question that you had with our speakeasy club. We attempt to answer tailor the questions, tailor the answers to your questions, so that it is practical, and it's something you can use straightaway. So those are the three Facebook Frances Carl, Polish pitch, speakeasy club, and your kitchen Olympics. Come on down.

Tony Winyard 49:50

And just before we finish, Francis, is there a quotation that you particularly like?

Frances Cahill 49:57

Ah, there's so many so many. The one that I, that I was looking for this morning when I was doing one of my posts, and I found it, it's by Eleanor Roosevelt. And it's no one can make you feel inferior unless you let them. So people can say whatever they want, but you only you are the ones who can let it in and make you feel, you know, you start feeling inferior. And I find that really, really inspiring.

Tony Winyard 50:38

Is there a particular reason why that resonates with you or what sticks in your mind?

Frances Cahill 50:46

Because I was at a point where I lost my confidence, completely, and I felt inferior. And it was from me feeling inferior. And it was me then I had the chance to take control. I was the one who could start saying, Well, no, you're not inferior, there's just a few things that you need to work on. And that to me is really important. And that if someone thinks, you know, turning that around the other way, if someone thinks they can have the power to make you feel bad by saying sad things, or rude things, or dismissive things, they think they have the power and it's up to you to have in your mind saying they don't have the power over me. I'm not inferior. I won't allow them to think of me inferior because I'm not

Tony Winyard 51:38

Frances it's been a real pleasure. So thank you for your time. You I've loved it. And best of luck for the future.

Frances Cahill 51:45

Yes, you too. Thanks so much, Tony.

Tony Winyard 51:49

Next week, episode 38 of habits and health and it's a fascinating episode with a guy called Robert Davis. He's known as the healthy sceptic, and he's an award winning health journalist whose work has appeared on CNN WebMD, Wall Street Journal and many other places. And he's authored a few previous books on health. And he hosts the healthy sceptic video series which dissects the science behind popular health claims. He holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a master's degree in public health and a PhD in health policy. And we we dig into some of the myths around health and how they've evolved, it's a fascinating episode. That's next week with Robert Davis. If you've enjoyed this week's episode with Francis, please do share it with anyone who would get some real value from it. And I hope you have a great week.

Jingle 52:45

Thanks for tuning in to the habits and health podcast where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on your favourite podcast app. Sign up for email updates and learn about coaching and workshop opportunities at See you next time on the habits and health podcast.

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