Sharing your message with confidence with Annelise McCarthy

Did you know that public speaking is the world’s number one fear? Yep, even more than death itself. In today’s episode, I chat with Anneliese McCarthy, founder of Her Speaking Coach, about how to step into your confidence and power when it comes speaking out and stepping up.

In this Episode:

  • Overcoming the fear of public speaking
  • How our perception can build negative stories
  • Why confidence comes from the micro-goals we set for ourselves
  • How to stop criticism and negative loops

Links:

WORK WITH ME >
BOOK ME AS A SPEAKER >
CLARE WOOD INSTAGRAM >

Guest Bio

Annelise McCarthy is a Women’s Speaking Coach who empowers women to master the skills of confidence, communication and public speaking.

Having grown up with a lisp and genuine fear of public speaking, she understands why over 75% of the world’s population avoids speaking in front of others. 

Annelise is the owner and founder of ‘Her Speaking Coach’, a company that is on the mission to make speaking fun, empowering and sexy for women globally. With over 15 years Public Speaking training, Annelise has presented on state, national and international stages and believes that speaking is a skill for life that anybody can master.

Her Speaking Coach Website >
Her Speaking Coachinsta Instagram >
 

Transcript

 

* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio

CLARE: Well, a big warm welcome to the podcast, Annalise. It is so wonderful to have you here. How are you going today?

ANNELISE: I feel really good today. I’m in a really great headspace. I had an amazing yoga class this morning. I feel very present. I feel like I’m in a very, uh, expansive month at the moment, which feels really good.

So yeah, I’m feeling great. Clare, how are you going?

CLARE: I’m going good. And probably last month was a good month for you as well because you were in Bali. So the year is off to a good start for Annalise.

ANNELISE: The year is off to a great start for Annalise. We can’t complain.

CLARE: Well, before we dive into the episode and having a bit more of a chat about all kinds of things, I’d love for you to introduce yourself to the listeners.

ANNELISE: Absolutely. So hello to everybody listening. My name is Annalise McCarthy. I’m the owner and founder of Her Speaking Coach. And I like to say that I coach the world’s number one fear, which is public speaking. And I’m a women’s speaking coach because for much of my life, I was working in corporate. And I felt very small. I struggled to feel seen and to be heard. And it was quite disempowering for me where I knew I was a very confident woman and I was very knowledgeable in my area of expertise, yet I just didn’t have the skillset to be able to speak up and be heard. And coming from somebody who grew up with a clinical fear of speaking, and I had a lisp and I had social anxiety and I hated being in front of people. It’s incredibly beautiful and rewarding now to dedicate my time and my life and my, my gifts to helping women take ownership of their voice, step in front of audiences that need to hear their beautiful message and to feel truly confident in what they say. And to hopefully the goal is to actually fall in love with public speaking and find it as something that can feel really fun and really expansive.

CLARE: I love that. And I would say I was one of those. I absolutely hated speaking in any form, even in a meeting, if someone were to ask me a question, sometimes I would go into such a state of panic that I would just run out of the meeting room because I just didn’t want eyeballs looking at me. And you know, I’ve now stepped into a space where I really enjoy speaking, I can hand on heart say that I like being able to share my message, but it is a journey and I’m glad that you help people. And I have to say you are one of the most fearless and inspiring people I follow online. I love the way that you, you’re breaking rules and you know, you don’t just talk on this, you actually walk the walk and you are willing to put yourself out there and have difficult conversations and be seen in a way that a lot of people are scared to. And I love, love, love that.

ANNELISE: Oh, I so deeply receive that, Clare. That’s so beautiful. Thank you so much. Coming from somebody I deeply admire, that really does mean the world. So thank you so much. It’s, it’s funny, actually, I remember about three years ago, so I started her speaking coach in 2020, and I actually had many different plans and agendas for 2020. I was meant to be getting on a plane to go to China and to live there for a year and to study Mandarin and to study law in Hangzhou. And obviously the world went into lockdown and plans changed. But my point being, I remember when I had, just started my business and I was getting everything organized, the first year of my business, I was very much still within my corporate shell, where I felt like I had to present a certain way. I had to speak a certain way. I had so much insecurity about my age. I was 21 years old when I first started this business, now 25. And even just now to declare my age publicly on a podcast, I think shows how far I’ve come because I used to be so crippled by my age. And I used to think that it was a huge insecurity because people wouldn’t take me seriously and they would think, well, she’s only 21. What does she know? Despite the fact that I had been trained in public speaking for 14 years before that right. And so I remember I was in this kind of corporate shell and about 12 to 14 months after starting this business, I slowly started to break out of it. And I started to really build my confidence in myself as a woman, not just in myself as a career person or as a service provider, but in Annalise. And what I’m eliminating to is three years ago, I remember my dad had a conversation with me, and it was out of love and it was, it was fatherly concern. And he was sharing, you got to remember Annalise that you know, these, these corporate people, like they, they only respond to a certain type of delivery that people can give, um, so just be cautious in how you present yourself. And I think it’s because he’d seen a video that I showed him of me swearing or something like that. And he was like, you know, be cautious in what you say and how you present yourself and, you know, make sure that you’re being, being respectable. And it was all good intent. And, you know, I love my dad. He’s literally my best, biggest fan, anytime I have a question about business or anything, he’s always a person that I go to and he’s my biggest cheerleader. And now he’s so beautifully accepting of the woman that I’ve become. And he is my biggest advocate and always just such a champion for who I’m becoming, which I love.

But I mentioned that conversation because that was a real transition period for me where I had decided, how do I want to show up? Who is Annalise? What are her values? What’s important to me? And literally on my website, her speaking coach on the very front page, I display my core values of my company. And one of them very plainly states, f**k tradition, in all of its glory, it just, it just, it just states it head on. And now every time I’m onboarded with a company or I work with a new client, or I’m asked to be on a panel for an event, whatever it might be, I share these values with that organization or with that person. And I see if there’s an alignment. To be honest, I’ve had people who would get a little bit uncomfortable when they would hear that, or they, you know, would obviously probe and ask questioning, but I think Clare that there’s a, there’s a new, new wave almost. There’s a new era that is coming for women in business where we can unapologetically take up space. And I have never felt more confident and more sure of myself as a business woman and as a career woman, and as a woman, then I do now being able to show up in the way that makes me happy and confident, do my work in a way that I feel proud of. And I know is authentic to me, but also knowing that actually in showing up that way, I’m doing the best work that I can. Because by being myself and by showing up in a way that makes me happy, I’m actually giving people the most value because it’s coming from an incredibly full cup.

CLARE: Oh my goodness. So much goodness in there. There’s a couple of things that I want to pull out. Firstly, it’s so, it just goes to show how much of our perception is happening from, our own perspective. Hearing you were feeling insecure about your age, I felt the opposite, so I only started my business at the age of 35 and I felt exactly the opposite to you. I said, everyone on Instagram is so young. They’re so beautiful. They’ve got so much energy. They’re so cool. And I’m this old daggy mum coming in, trying to fit in, in this world where I just don’t belong. And so. I had a perception, no one’s going to want to hire me because I’m this old, washed up mum when really they’ve got all these young, beautiful people they can choose on Instagram. So isn’t it funny how we can be looking at exactly the same situation with two different sets of eyes and forming our both untrue stories about what’s going on. And yeah, obviously a lot of the work that I’ve had to do is in that space around I’m okay to be who I am and still have value, still have worth.

So that was the first thing. And the second thing you spoke about was how you use swearing and, and that’s part of your brand and you’re like, take it or leave it. When I first started this podcast, I never swore on it and I would never swear on my Instagram because I was, you know, I spent a lot longer in corporate life than you did. So I was extremely indoctrinated about how a woman should behave, a woman should speak, even though a lot of my male peers used to swear, it was frowned upon for women. And so I never used to swear in my podcast. And then one time, and I’m not a huge swearer anyway, you know, you’ve been in my world for a while. Every now and again, I might drop an F bomb or swear. And I remember when I was with a client and I swore, I said the F word and her eyes went like dinner plates and I saw something shifted. And I thought, Oh my gosh, she thinks I don’t swear because her online experience of me is that I’m this person who doesn’t. And not that I do a lot, but I was like, I need to start being more me because otherwise people aren’t getting the authentic experience and I’m not authentically being myself. And when they do have an authentic experience of me, they might feel a little bit jarred or shaken by me because it’s not what their perception has been.

So I love that you shared that.

ANNELISE: Yeah, I think it, I so resonate with that Clare. And by the way, I just want to be super, super transparent for people listening. This does not mean that you have to swear to be a confident speaker. This does not mean that you, you have to swear to be confident in general. It’s my choice of language. It should be yours if you choose to. It’s never an obligation, these are always invitations. But it’s so interesting what you say, because I feel like. I had such a disconnect, like when you mentioned the indoctrination in the corporate world, right? Naturally, I wasn’t in the corporate world as long as you were, but there was such an obvious theme around how women should present themselves and I noticed such a disconnect in the woman that was showing up to the office and then the woman that was living alone in her own apartment and hanging out with her friends. They were literally, Clare, they were two different people. And this is why I feel like, I don’t want to say I had a quarter life crisis because I don’t think it was a quarter life crisis, but I felt like I had an identity crisis because I was like, who the hell is Annalise? Is she, is she a quiet people pleaser who is pushed around and doesn’t say boo and gets all her work done and is the first in and the last out and is burnt out and overwhelmed and says, yes, of course I will. And yes, I’ll always make time. Or is she the woman who is really loud and vivacious and zesty and feminine. And, you know, takes ownership of her space and shouts her friend dinners, cause it makes her happy and likes to wear lingerie with business suits, cause it makes her feel like a boss or is she somewhere in between? I had no fricking clue. And that was so confusing to me. And I think one of the really hard things about entrepreneurship and starting a business, is your journey is public. Your transformation is public. Your learnings are public. And so I always invite when I work with a new client, so many women I work with are terrified of showing up online. Like you did a live this morning, which I love. And you’re so articulate, Clare, and the way that you express yourself and the way that you share your ideas. I just love the way that you speak. It resonates so deeply. But so many women are terrified of doing that. And so a lot of the clients I work with, they’re like, Oh my God, like I could never show up on social media. I’m so awkward. I’m so embarrassing. And I say to them, babes. Right now, get out your phone. Let’s have a little scroll. Let’s go down memory lane on my page. Would you like to just have a little scroll for me and look at my, seriously, Clare, I will say, look at my origins. Look at where I began. Look at how awkward I was. Like we all go through, those stages. And I think , of the really unfortunate things about social media now is you’re following people who have these really amazing videos and amazing confidence and they’re speaking loudly and proudly, but you forget that they have done so much editing, takes, behind the scenes work, f**cking therapy. Like, like they’ve, they’ve had years of practicing that. You’re seeing I guess, and it’s not a final product, we never are, but you’re seeing a very polished version from when they started. And I don’t want that to discourage people who are trying to build their confidence in speaking or build their confidence in showing up online or starting a business. We are all at different stages in our journey. And I think it is so unfair to compare yourself where you’re at with somebody else’s stage, because they’re two different journeys and two different timelines.

CLARE: Oh my gosh. This is so relevant to so many areas of life, isn’t it?

Someone said to me once, they’re like, you’re killing it as a mum. Firstly, I was like, that is a very interesting perception, because it doesn’t feel like that’s what’s going on in here. So I was like, honey, I’ve been doing this for eight and a half years. Like, you’ve got a newborn baby. Of course, it feels all crazy and scary and overwhelming. I can pick up your baby because I’ve done this. I’ve walked the path and stumbled and made all the mistakes. So, and a hundred percent with speaking. And that’s why I shared that the live this morning, because I will never forget how many times I held up my phone I’m going to get emotional and balled my eyes out and my husband come in and he’s like, what’s going on? Why are you crying? And he’s like, are you trying to record a video again? And I was like, yes. And I was pre recorded. I wasn’t even doing a live. I was just recording a video to post. And I don’t forget that. And I, I want to remind people, whatever you are at on your journey, whether it’s, parenting or your health journey… You know, we can look at people online and think, how can they run a marathon? I can’t even run to my letterbox.

ANNELISE: Oh my gosh, Clare, this just, this resonates so much with me. And firstly. I don’t think I ever had that true fear of being on camera because when I was a kid, I did drama and I was in front of a camera from quite a young age. However, I have friends and obviously clients I’ve worked with, but one friend comes to mind in particular, where I was at her house and helping her film videos and she broke down and it was, it was such a A really like deep, beautiful, but also scary moment for her, because I got to see how real the fear was and how crippling it was for her and how scary that was. Right. So I, I really validate that experience for you, cause I, I can only imagine how terrifying that must have been. And even knowing like, I’m fully capable, I’m confident. I know what I’m doing. I’m a great business woman. And then having this thing come out in front of you and feeling completely, hopeless of how to do it. So yeah, thank you so much for sharing that. Cause I think the more people that hear that experience from people, the more it normalizes, like, Hey, so okay for you to be having that experience. Let’s have some compassion. Let’s have some patience. You’ve got this.

But I want to mention the running.

Okay. Just very quickly, because this is so relevant to any journey. And I think it’s relevant to, you know, that I’ve started my running journey. Humbling, to say the least, oh my good Lord, it is so humbling to start running and anybody who is listening who has tried or is currently on their journey, you know, but I also want to relate this to the work that I’ve been lucky enough to do with you, Clare, which is building my confidence in money and in building my confidence in my financial literacy, because that journey has been humbling and any time you’re learning a new skill, whether it be parenting or motherhood, or whether it be learning to run, or whether it be building your financial literacy and independence, whatever it might be, we all start from a really awkward, scary, humbling place, right? Which can feel really vulnerable when we’re people who like to have our shit together and like to know what we’re doing. It can be really outside of our comfort zone. But. I think that as you would know with the work that you do, the more that you commit to that, you said today in your live, Oh, I loved it. You said, uh, sorry, if I, if I paraphrase this, but you said something like, do not allow your fear to override your purpose. It was something, it was something like, and I just, my jaw dropped. I was like, yes, Clare, it was, it’s so true. Like put that on a t shirt. It is so true because so often when learning these new skills, we get disheartened so quickly. Like public speaking, we get really disheartened and we don’t see the results immediately. We forget our purpose. We forget our why. And we allow the fear to become bigger than it should be. And then we stop and we give up, or we allow the self doubt or the self talk to override it. So yeah, I just think that is so, so relevant and to me in my life, I’m always trying to learn new things and like put myself in uncomfortable situations. Why doesn’t it get easier? It’s still hard. It’s still challenging. It’s still humbling.

CLARE: I had an amazing guest on my podcast last night, Suzy Ashworth. And we were talking about one of the, the core pillars of true happiness in life is growth. And as humans, we are inherently designed to keep on growing. And a lot of people are scared of that process of growth and the discomfort that comes with it. But that’s what we’re programmed to do. We’re programmed to change. And a lot of people don’t want to do that because it feels more comfortable to stay where you are.

So, they stay safe in the cave, caveman style , but ultimately our happiness does come as we are evolving and experiencing new things. And I think that it’s so easy to look at you online or me online or, , other confidence coaches and think they don’t still feel it. And one of the people I love to follow is Erica Kramer, the queen of confidence. And she’s been doing a Ted talk and watching her, talk about how she’s been sobbing and feeling helpless about this Ted talk. And this is someone who boss bitches over stages everywhere. You would think the woman does not have a gram of self doubt in her body and hearing how, you know, how she’s just been falling apart going through the process of a Ted talk has been so beautiful to witness, to, to share that the queen of confidence herself, isn’t always confident, but what she is doing is she’s still fricking doing it anyway. But what happens a lot as we’re on a growth journey going from here to here, if we have a little, a little bump, we think that we’ve slid right back down to zero. And I’m sure you would, this would happen with your clients all the time. Cause I know that it happened to me on my speaking journey. I’d have one bad experience where, you know, time after time, I was like, Hey, I’m getting really good at this. And then I might pull open my phone to do an Insta live or go to do a talk. And then my heart starts pounding. My hand starts sweating. I’m like, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I can’t do this. And back at zero again. And it’s like, well, you’re not back at zero because you wouldn’t have even pulled a phone out to record a live two years ago.

But when we’re in the moment, it feels like we’re starting from scratch. Have you, is this something you witnessed in your clients or you’ve experienced yourself?

ANNELISE: Oh, absolutely. I think, I think it’s human. It’s human to experience it. I just want to quickly comment before I answer your question on Erica, because I always want to validate authenticity online, just as you shared before your experience recording and sobbing in your room. It is so important that we have leaders like yourself and like Erica, who are showing up truthfully, demonstrating their experience. That is so unbelievably validating for anybody who was going through that experience themselves to see somebody who might be a role model for them. That, holy shit, like they go through it too. Oh my God, I’m not alone. So I just, I just want to acknowledge that. Cause I think that’s like, makes you guys rock stars. It’s amazing.

So to answer your question, firstly, have I gone through it myself? Absolutely. I’m almost waiting for the day when it becomes easier and I no longer feel the, the dips, but I’m, I think I’m really learning to just challenge my definition of confidence because I think historically, I always saw confidence as a straight line from bottom to top. You start, you only go up. And it gets better and better and better. And you get more confident, you get more energy, you feel more zesty. Love that word. You just feel great, right? It just goes up. I think now I’m learning. It doesn’t work that way. It actually goes up and down and up and down and up and down. It’s a constant wave. And the biggest learning in my journey has not been how to ride the highs, but is actually how to support myself in the lows and how to show myself compassion, and patience, and empathy and kindness and what to give myself, just like I would give a best friend or what I would give a client. And for somebody who historically was a massive perfectionist, massive high achiever, always set myself extremely high standards. That was really hard to learn. And that took a really, really long time, but I can now really proudly say I’m just as happy with myself on the days where I don’t feel great as I am with the days that I do, because I know that it’s like, even this morning in my yoga class, this is so timely, we were practicing this arm balance, which, holy shit, it was Clare. Oh my God. The whole class. We’re like, this, this is just hard. This sucks. What is an arm balance? So. Okay. So for yoga, uh, you have a lot of like flow and vinyasa poses. So like downward dog and you kind of, we move through a flow. So arm balance is a type of pose. Many different types of them, but essentially where you’re resting all your body weight on your arms and you’re levitating in the air. Right. So you’re trying to get your body weight off the ground onto your hands. So like Eagle, um, for those listening who do yoga is an example of that. You’re like resting all your body weight onto your hands. I forget the name of it, but we were practicing one of them this morning and the whole class was just growing really visibly frustrated. Like, Oh, Just not getting, I kept falling down. I kept hitting my ass. And I was like, for fuck’s sake, all right, get back up, keep going. And it really challenged that compassion in me. Cause the compassion was not there. She was not in the room with us. What was in the room with me was frustration and my ego. And she was ready to get competitive and to nail this movement. And my instructor at the front of the class, he could see that the class was growing frustrated. Right. And I remember he said.

If you don’t allow yourself to wobble and fall, you’ll never progress. And he said, yeah. And he said in yoga, in yoga, if you don’t allow, and I guess in life, I know it’s a beautiful metaphor, but if you don’t allow yourself the wobbles, if you don’t allow yourself to fall, you actually can’t come back stronger and you can’t correct the mistake that you made before and make an even stronger pose. And that just resonated with me so deeply. And I think with my personal journey, I’m really trying to adopt that mentality of it is the mistakes that really make me. And I am who I am when I do make those mistakes. And in terms of working with my clients, I think for any woman learning public speaking, it’s not exactly the most exciting investment to make. And this is, it’s one of the necessary evils of the work that I do. I, I like to think I’m a pretty fun gal to work with, but I also accept the reality that for a lot of women, they don’t really want to work with me. They, they, they, they kind of want to work on the public speaking, but if they had a real choice, like a gut response, it would be, Oh, this is kind of scary. Don’t really know if I want to work on this right now. Right. So for me, it’s that initial recognition and congratulations of like, dude, let’s just take a second. Like how cool, that this is something that you are willing to commit to and work on. So when the mistakes happen, because they do happen, and that’s like, when I have clients that are going to do presentations or speak on stage, and we talk, we go through that self talk of the, what if I make a mistake and I stop them and I say, no, no, no, not what if, when, cause you will. It’s a given I’m, I’m a professional public speaker and I make mistakes all the time. I did a workshop yesterday and I nearly knocked my glass off the table and shattered it all over the floor. Like I’m human. Hello. How are you going? I’m human. Right. We, we all make mistakes, but now I know next time don’t put the glass so close to the corner of the edge of the table. So I think with anybody, who’s either on that learning journey or, or, or supporting or facilitating somebody else’s journey, it’s that mutual recognition of it is so much nicer to do this journey with kindness. It is so much more enjoyable to do this journey with compassion. And so if you have the choice between criticizing yourself and bullying yourself and beating yourself up, which we’ve all had our fair share of doing myself included, or meeting it with empathy and passion and kindness, why wouldn’t you choose the latter? And that’s, it’s a habit. It’s a muscle. It takes time to build. But I think to answer your question about the growth and the learning journey, that’s probably the biggest thing for me and for my clients that allows them to get back up again and, and keep going.

CLARE: Oh, I love that. I love, yeah, Mel Robbins said something about that on a podcast I was listening to. She said, talk to yourself like you’re talking to a child. Like if, if it was your child, you would never say you’re an idiot. Why did you make a mistake? Why would you talk to yourself like that? You’d be like, it’s okay. And, and so she was talking about talking to your, you know, the, a little you. Who is the person who was wounded or is the person experiencing that shame around whatever hiccup has taken place?

ANNELISE: Absolutely. And what’s interesting with my line of work is so many women have really difficult experiences from public speaking from an early age, right? So they may have been called out in class and, and gave a response and the kids laughed, or perhaps they grew up with brothers and they never got to speak at the dinner table. Or there’s all these little experiences that, that women can have from a young age that actually show up in adulthood. And so one of the like beautiful terms of phrase I love to use when that does show up is this Hey, little me, I know you’re trying to protect me right now, and I know this feels really scary for you, but I’ve got the reins and it’s okay. I’ve got this. But thank you so much for being there to protect me. Because when that does come up, whether it’s anxiety or overwhelm or stress, whatever the feeling is, that, you know, fight or flight response, it’s essentially little you Being like, Hey, that, that thing is something we find scary. So if you wouldn’t mind, would you mind leaving the room and running away ever so discreetly and not doing that again? Right. And so when it does come up, I think it’s the recognition of, Hey, that is. Normal. That is how your body works. Right. I once got asked a question in a workshop, how do you get rid of nerves? And I was like, babe, when you find out, can you let me know? Cause I still get nervous before workshops and I’m a public speaking coach. So if I still get nervous, I don’t know what to tell you. Right. But I, my response to that is always, it is hardwired in your body, to have nerves and to get anxious. But where we can start to conflate that is when we think, Oh, I’m feeling anxious, it means I’m not prepared, I’m not ready, I can’t do this. It’s when we attach an emotional value to a physiological response, a very normal physiological response. So what we need to do instead is when it comes up, it’s that recognition of. Hey, okay. We knew this was going to happen. This is the body doing what the body does, getting a little bit nervous, getting a little bit excited. Okay. This is all right. I’ve got this. I know what to do. I’m going to do my breathing. I’m going to have my little sexy self talk moment, and I’m just going to go ahead and do the best that I can, cause that’s all I can do right now, and any mistakes that I make, it’ll be a learning opportunity for the next time that I do it. But what we don’t want to do, which is what so often happens. Is we avoid the opportunity altogether and we avoid speaking up and we avoid speaking in a meeting or asking a question, whatever it might be, because the more, and I’ve learned from my own experience with running, the more that we avoid something that scares us, it validates the fear that it’s scary.

And so for me, my sister, very fit woman, triple threat from a young age, always like just. So of course, of course, Georgia, of course she had to do a marathon. Of course, of course she did. Of course she had to be an amazing runner as well. Right. And so when she did that, I was like, oh, well, that’s her thing. I can’t do that. And so I would avoid it like the plague. And the more that I avoided it. It became this massive thing in my head of like, you can’t run. And I know I’m not comparing running to public speaking, but just from my personal experience, it became this massive thing in my head of this is scary. You can’t do it. You’re bad at it. Keep avoiding it. And ironically, the longer I avoided it, the harder it became to actually start doing it. I think I remember you sharing with me, Clare, you had a similar experience because didn’t you tell me that you got hypnosis to overcome your fear of public speaking?

CLARE: I did. And I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to be hypnotized. And I did my first talk afterwards and it went well. And I was like, excellent. I’m cured. I’m so glad that I never have to worry about my fear of public speaking again. And then the next time that I got up to speak, I had, a panic attack or couldn’t breathe or had symptoms of, of nerves. And then instantly I was like, it didn’t work. It did, the thing didn’t work and then I’m like, Oh my gosh, it didn’t work. Nothing works. I’m stuck with this. And it became a whole big thing in my mind, like validating that fear. I think for so long I was looking for a magical bullet that would fix everything. I, I did take Valium for a period of time, which, you know, Sounds like a magical bullet, but actually it’s really not, it makes you quite dopey, it’s highly addictive, and it’s also not really practical because if in a meeting someone asks you a question, you have to take it 10 minutes in advance . I’ve just got to run to the bathroom quickly, you know, and, and you start to build a resistance to it. So what used to like calm the nerves, so you need to take more and more of it. And I remember that I was at a conference and I, I’d taken it and I was like nodding off constantly because I was scared someone’s going to ask me a question at the conference. And I’m just like, I cannot do this. This is not, I’m not my, I’m this doped out and I’m energetic, zesty kind of person as well. And I was sitting there at this doped out person and I’m like, I’m going to have to figure this out. But you, you know, I said this in my, my live this morning. Doing it again and again, the thing that scares you, running, um, I saw recently your ice bath journey. Yeah. Again, doing the thing again and again and again, and you get better and you get a little bit better and then you might take some steps backwards, but then you take another step forward. And that’s how the, the real transformation happens over time.

ANNELISE: Absolutely. And that’s, I think where patience is a really important part with building this confidence is because I, I often say if the habit didn’t develop overnight, you can’t expect it to leave overnight. And for some people we’re talking about 10, 15, 20 years of speaking a certain way and thinking a certain way. So unfortunately, like you said, there’s no magic bullet, there’s no magic pill. If there were, damn, they’d be a wealthy person and they’d be raking it in. But unfortunately it’s not the case. But I think you’d agree with me, Clare, that the, the journey of the unlearning is actually the most rewarding. So even if there were a magic pill, I don’t know if I’d take it. But coming back to the patience, I think that one of the, in, in such a fast consumption, short attention span world where we want everything now, the journey of growth is arguably one of the things that takes the most time. And so for a lot of people, when they set out in learning this new skill, that’s where the expectations start to skew our perception a little bit, because we start out with this really big goal of, yes, I’m going to do X. Like for example, when I started my running journey and I was like, I’m going to run a marathon and then I couldn’t even run a kilometer and Okay, maybe I need to change the goal. And so I’m now learning through my life and through, you know, facilitation and through watching beautiful friends of mine go through their growth journeys. You actually do yourself a disservice when you set these really big, massive goals and put so much pressure on yourself to get something done perfectly at a certain amount of time. Like, I think that having Patience with yourself to take your time on the journey and to learn at your own pace is one of the best gifts that you could give yourself because, you know, you’re with you for your whole life. So you’ve got a whole life of learning ahead of you. So what’s, what’s the rush? The skill will develop. It will come if you’re working on it. You know, James Clear, Atomic Habits, he talks about the 1%. If you’re doing the 1 percent sooner or later, it’s going to accumulate and it’s going to be bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. So I think that is sometimes the piece that a lot of people forget, particularly public speaking. I first start working with some people, they say, I want to do a TED talk, right? Or I want to do a keynote. I want to do this big presentation in front of 500 board members. And then we have a little, a little chat and I learned that they’re not even speaking up in a, in a meeting to ask a question and I’m like, okay, let’s, that’s our big, beautiful goal, amazing. Let’s earmark her. Let’s put her here, but right now let’s focus on some really tiny baby step goals. That are more manageable that are going to feel a lot more achievable for you. Cause that’s how you’re going to build the confidence by ticking off those little goals. When we worked together, Clare, and I came to you with really big goals, I remember it was actually one of the first things you did with me is you actually cracked open that goal like an egg and you broke down the yoke. What a disgusting metaphor, but you know what I mean? I don’t know why that was one that came to mind, but we’ll roll with it. We’ll roll with it. And you broke down into micro goals and you shared with me, this is what you’re going to be able to do in six weeks. And let’s look at the quarter, three months. And now let’s 12. Having something broken down in that way. For me personally, and maybe for others as well, it feels so empowering because it feels achievable and that’s where the confidence comes from.

CLARE: Yeah. And also if we don’t hit our micro goals along the way, we are not failing, we’re still progressing.

And I think that that’s something really important to, you know, if somebody sets a goal that they want to speak up in a meeting and they don’t get there by the timeframe, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s, it just means that you’re getting, you know, getting a little bit closer. And, um, it’s something that I have to remind myself a lot.

I’ve been in business for over eight years now, and it’s easy to look online and see the person who made a million dollars in their first 12 months of starting their coaching business and to think, you know, why have I not done that? Why has it taken me so long? I, am I such a failure? It’s without even acknowledging how far I’ve actually come since I first got started in business and also how different we all are as humans. You can’t compare yourself to other people. Some people genuinely don’t have a public speaking fear and that’s just, that’s their journey. I remind myself in business, some people don’t have two kids and a partner who also works. Some people have a partner who is fully a stay at home partner and doing all the cooking and washing and cleaning. And so trying to compare yourself to other people is a thief of your own joy. And your joy is found in the progress, as you mentioned. And I also take a lot of joy in being able to show and inspire other people. And I know that you do as well, particularly as a mum, when my kids have phobias and fears, which they do, and they’re like, I’m not doing that thing. And I’m like, Hey, you remember how after my car accident, I was really scared to drive a car. And they’re like, yeah, I remember. And I’m like, what did I do? And I said, I just kept on trying and they’re like, yeah, you’d be really scared and really upset. And I’m like, and I kept going and I’m modeling that behavior to my clients, to my audience, to my children. And as we stumble and fail and get back up and keep on trying, we are being witnessed by other people in the world about what is possible. And I have to say, watching your ice bath journey, I was, wow. I was thinking that is so cool. So inspiring that you could achieve an outcome. Was it six minutes? Eight minutes.

Yeah. What? The actual, that is just amazing and yeah. And I think that that’s something to remember as well as you are going through a confidence journey or a speaking journey or anything like that. It’s funny how often we think people are laughing at us. I remember when I’d see someone get nervous and get up and do a talk and I could see the nerves in them.

I think, wow, they’re doing it. I’m sitting here on my butt and I’m like, I can see that they’re nervous and I get nerves, but they’re still doing it anyway, even though they, they look nervous, maybe I could try it. And even though they, you know, what we’re experiencing those symptoms of anxiety, the fact that they were getting up and still doing it anyway was still inspiring to other people.

ANNELISE: Oh, the world needs more people like you, Clare. I think that mentality of seeing people that are out there doing it and approaching that with support rather than criticism, because I think the criticism is one of the biggest things that derails people from their growth journey. But there’s a famous quote, and once again, I’m not going to say it correctly and forgive me for paraphrasing, but it’s something like you’ll never get criticized by people doing more than you.

Yeah. And I love that because it’s such a poignant reminder for me of if you do get criticism, people who do have an issue, like I very real experience right now, I recently posted a video, uh, from a workshop I did where it was a woman’s conference. And I just happened to be wearing a very exquisite white outfit with a lingerie piece underneath, which I’ve done before. And you know, I, I like it makes me feel good. And the backlash online was just unbelievable. And it was interesting once again, speaking with my dad, cause he’s my biggest cheerleader. And he reminded me like, yeah, but Annalise, like that, you don’t like get criticized by people who. Would be out there doing more than you, or would it out there like doing the same or like, who would respect you? And it’s so true because I received, I can’t even tell you how many messages of like love and appreciation and like, holy shit, like you’re out there doing it, you’re amazing, like so much validation and love, which is incredible. But we forget the brain has a negativity bias. And so we immediately gravitate towards all the criticism. And it’s interesting, Clare, it’s so interesting with clients that I work with, one of the very first times I do a presentation, right. And I’ll be like, how did it go? And now immediately jump to all of the negatives. I stuffed this up. I didn’t do this right. And I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Let’s take a second. Let’s hop, choo choo. Let’s pull, let’s slow down the train, my love. Hold on. And so many of them actually get really positive feedback. And they get colleagues that pat them on the back being like, Hey, you did a good job. You know, one of them got an email last week from a colleague that was so, because basically one of the things we’re working on is how to make people care when you present. So like, if we’re presenting really boring numbers and whatnot, how can you make it more exciting? And she got an email from one of her colleagues being like, that was actually a, such a fun session. Like, thank you so much. Amazing. What incredible feedback? But the first thing that she would jump to is I’d stuff this up. I spoke too quickly here. I used filler words. I’m like, Hey, like, let’s acknowledge you’re out there doing the thing. Just like you’ve said, right. You’re out there doing the thing. And I think one of the reasons I admire you so much, Clare, and I love what you do, and I love, love, love working with you is because you are a woman of integrity and you are out there doing the thing. And every time you have an experience, which doesn’t meet the standards you thought it would, or it may be surprised you, or you were disappointed, you talk about that openly and you share that on your platform with your audience. And you’re really demonstrating to people, Hey, we don’t need to have all our shit together.

In order to progress, and we don’t need to only demonstrate the polished versions of ourself in order to be respected. And I think it’s 1 of the things I really, really deeply admire and respect about you as a very successful business woman is you are paving that way for people as a leader in your industry demonstrating you can be authentic to your own growth journey, to your own learnings, and you can be a student in life whilst still being an expert in your own court. And that is okay. And I, I love that about you, Clare. So just had to sing your praises for a second.

CLARE: Oh, you were so beautiful. This is, Annalise to a T. She’s been, we’ve been working together for about nine months now, hasn’t it? And you were just one of those people that really lights up a room. I can imagine you are just such an incredible coach to work with because you are that person. You’re the person who lights everyone else up, who compliments very deeply and sincerely. And yeah, I appreciate you for that.

ANNELISE: Oh, I appreciate you. Stop it. It was going to turn into a big love fest.

CLARE: I know. We’ll have to take this off air

 We’ll both start gushing darling.

Um, but in all seriousness, there is a lot of power. I think that we think to be powerful. And again, this is probably the patriarchy is that power is authority. I’m always right. I’m never wrong. Everyone else is. And actually leadership, as we are starting to see it change is I think about all the people who I really look up to, like Mel Robbins. She talks about, how about you to trying to quit drinking and how hard it is. And she’s sharing the journey along the way. And I’m like, no one is talking about this. Like people talk about how they got sober. She’s in the guts of it, talking about the struggles and things she’s trying to do. Um, and to me that feminine, vulnerability is actually makes people really relatable. And I think when I was on my speaking journey, I really struggled to find leaders who weren’t, well, I’ve always been a great speaker and everyone should be a great speaker. And I’m like, but you don’t get it. You don’t get what it feels like to actually be terrified of this thing. You’re trying to supposedly help me with, but you can’t truly understand what it’s like. And I think a lot of my failures have made me such a better coach because when my clients are having a, you know, disastrous time with a launch or a client or whatever, I’m like, dude, I’ve been there.

And imagine if I was like, no, I’ve never, ever had the experience except anything but success.. I’ve got nothing to say to you except do better than you imagine. And I think that the more that we are here are starting to show this real and to me, that’s real leadership. And I’m loving it, we’re seeing more of it, more authenticity, uh, online and hopefully it helps more people .

ANNELISE: It’s, it’s what we need and I think, you know, when you are vulnerable, you give other people permission to be vulnerable, right? I’m also a Mel Robbins fan. Love her. And I, I grew up with anxiety and I remember I listened to one of her episodes on anxiety and the first, from memory, 30 or 40 minutes was her talking about it, her anxiety journey and how she still struggles with anxiety. And this woman, she’s raw, like, she’s, she’s in the depths of the shit being like, this is how I’m feeling. And this, well, she would actually be like, this is how I’m feeling. And like, I can’t do an American accent. Sounded like a very desperate attempt at Siri.

And she’s like, you know, this, this is how I’m feeling. This is what’s going on. And, and this is my life right now. And I’m, and I’m trying to navigate it. And I think from a, the perspective of somebody who is, you know, we all are students in life, but I think. Uh, very much, uh, loves investing in professional and personal development and learning more about myself. I know personally, I gravitate towards leaders who lead authentically through their own experience, who see me as an equal. And I actually just finished reading Power by Kemi Nekvapil, I hope I haven’t butchered her last name. I, I adore Kemi. I hadn’t followed her work as closely before, but I read her book recently, and it, it spoke to me on so many levels, what it’s like to be a woman of influence and develop that power through so many layers of our society. And she really demonstrated exactly what Mel did in that episode and exactly what you’re talking about this notion that if you lead authentically as you in a way that feels true and authentic to you, this doesn’t mean you have to do this or you should do that. It’s what feels good for you. That is where your power lies. Because nobody can take that away from you. And so when you finish, for example, a podcast interview, or you finish speaking on stage, or you finish writing an email, you finish a conversation, you finish it knowing that is exactly how I, Annalise, would have handled that situation. That is exactly how Clare, as yourself, would have handled that situation.

You finish it knowing, yep, that was, that was integral and honest and true to me. I was really in my power in that moment. And it’s beautiful to see more women stepping up. And I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to be in a time in our history where we’re witnessing that movement. Because I love to imagine by the time I have children, so hoping I have a girl for one of them. Oh my God. I really do. But then I say that, and then I also have like this deep seated belief that I’ll only have boys. We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see. But, but if I do have a daughter one day. I, I love to envision a world where she feels okay being who she wants to be. And I, I, I get very excited cause I really do think we are on the right path to that happening.

CLARE: Yeah. Oh, what a beautiful note to end this episode on. So if people are listening and they want some more of this beautiful Annalise Juju in their life, how can they do so?

ANNELISE: So many ways to access the juju. Love that. So on Instagram and TikTok at HerSpeakingCoach, you can also find me on LinkedIn at HerSpeakingCoach or Annalise McCarthy.

And you can find me online on my website, www. HerspeakingCoach. com.

CLARE: Yay. Well, I will pop all of those links in the show notes if you’re listening and you want to go give, uh, Annalise a follow. You will love, honestly, your content is just, it makes me laugh. It makes me feel inspired and I’m sure it will do the same for the listeners.

So thank you for podcast today and sharing your wisdom with the listeners.

ANNELISE: Thank you so much for having me. I loved this chat. I appreciate you too.

* Transcript created by AI – may contain errors or omissions from original podcast audio

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