This podcast with Brian Johnson is, like Brian himself, *awesome sauce.* Let me just start with that.
Also. I don't know why I was so anxious before this call. Yes I do.
Brian and Alexandra Johnson mean a lot to me. They have been such a positive force in my life over the past year, and I am EXCITED to introduce you, my blog readers, to some of their well-practiced wisdom.
Excitement and anxiety are twinsies, almost.
I was also NERVOUS because this was such a treasured opportunity: I was afraid I'd F it up.
[This is the fun dance we play with any blessing in our lives, isn't it? Excitement for the Goodness vs Fear of Ruining/Losing Said Goodness. Ironically, both sides of that battle make the opposing side stronger. I can't decide if I think that's a good thing.]
You should know that I have a history of crying in professional situations. This history gives me the heebie-jeebies, when I think about it. For every professional position I've ever held, I can think of a time when I did not want to cry in that position but I cried anyway. Usually in front of a boss who had no idea how to handle it.
[Psst! My ego wants me to tell you that I was very good at those jobs despite the crying.]
During smalltalk before this podcast, Brian made the obtuse mistake of asking me how I was doing. I mean, honestly! The audacity on that guy.
I could have hidden my feelings this time. I could have given him the standard "great thanks--you?" answer and started the podcast without tipping my hand about my anxiety.
At least I THINK I could have done that, this time. Let's just say I could have.
But nowadays I know how poisonous it is for me to hide my truths and I surround myself with people who value and encourage those truths, so I named it. I told Brian I was nervous and my voice shook and I had some uncomfortable pauses where I'm sure he knew I was wiping away tears and holding the receiver away from my mouth while gasping for breath, but it was okay. I felt safe here.
For the first time in a professional-ish situation, instead of berating myself for my excitable anxious energy, I was proud of my willingness to be authentic because I know now that it takes a lot of courage to allow ourselves to be seen in this world.
And I'm grateful to Brian for creating that safe space.
I've been unsure how to introduce today's podcast to you. Brian's resume is super-impressive, but I didn't want to copy/paste his bio, because pasting is boring and bios are impersonal.
It's tempting to tout the popularity of Brian's work, but that would be too ironic: Brian discourages extrinsic goal-setting and sets me straight whenever I appear concerned about social media rankings, etc.
What I find most impressive about both Brian and Alexandra is not their accomplishments, but how they show up as people. They open my eyes to the type of human being I aspire to be.
My husband, Owen, had a suggestion for me.
"You've mentioned how Brian holds space for people," he said. "You've said that even when he is very busy, he still has a way of honoring the people around him. You have said this inspires YOU to want to be the same way…to be present and to help people feel connected and safe in sharing themselves. You should probably mention that in your intro."
Good idea, O. Good idea.
[Cut back to scene 1: Pre-Podcast Jitters.] Of course Brian was helpful when I said I was nervous. He related the tricks he uses to alchemize his own nervous energy back into enthusiasm, shared funny stories of past anxieties, and even Alexandra hopped on the phone to help a sistah out. This is the type of people they are, the Johnsons.
But then I looked at the clock. We were halfway through our allotted time, and we hadn't even begun recording. Knowing that Brian's time is in high demand, I asked if it would be better for him that we reschedule.
"I have as much time as you need," he told me.
That sentence, my friends, tells you much more than any bio could tell you about Brian Johnson.
In today's podcast, Brian shares some roadblocks he has faced on his road to success, as well as the tools he has used to overcome them.
I think you'll love it! Here it is!
I'd love to hear one thing you're taking from today's post / podcast!