Don’t You Get Nervous?
By: Allison Kugel
“There is no right way, only the right reason.” – Unknown
For those who are familiar with my work interviewing public figures, I am often asked, “Don’t you get nervous to speak to these people?” Or, “Is it ever intimidating?” No, I don’t. And no, it’s not. People are shocked to hear that no matter who I sit down with, what awards they have won or how many people know their name, I do not experience the feeling of intimidation. It’s occurred to me over time that the reason my answer confuses people is because they don’t understand my perspective on the human experience. I think it’s about time I share my philosophy, because I want you to be empowered by it in your own life.
Here is my secret… The reason I feel equal to any public figure I interview or meet is because we are all here in this earth school to learn. If you didn’t have a lot to learn, you likely wouldn’t be here. You’d be on some higher plain of existence somewhere, in some other dimension, and most likely not on earth. Don’t take it personally. I’m here too! This goes for any of us. No matter our race or ethnicity, gender or sexuality, socio-economic status, education or level of notoriety, we are all here in this earth school because our soul still has much to learn. This knowing allows me to see everyone I meet as a fellow student on a collective journey. We’ve all signed up for different experiences based on what our soul came here to learn this go around.
Since we have all learned different lessons based on our unique life experiences, every one of us has, both, things to learn and things to teach. As the late Maya Angelou said, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” That is how I view my work as a journalist who interviews notable figures. I feel they have much to teach, as do I… as do you. But just like any of us, they also have much to learn, or they wouldn’t be here.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been engaged in conversation with someone who is seen by the world as extremely successful and accomplished, and I will share a thought or observation that stops them in their tracks. They will say to me, “Wow! I never thought of it that way. Thank you for sharing that.” Some of the world’s most successful people understand that listening and learning is every bit as important as sharing and teaching. They understand the exchange of energy that flows between two human beings when both open up and allow it to happen.
No matter how you see your station in life as this moment, be open to learning from those who are where you want to be, but do not ever think for a second that you do not have valuable insights to share, and something of great importance to teach.
Be open. Be willing to learn as well as to teach. Be willing to receive as well as to give. And be selective with whom you share your gifts. Most importantly, be yourself, because what you bring to the table is truly unique and cannot be duplicated by another.