Stepping out of your comfort zone…exhilarating!!!

Tenure in your role and industry give you the confidence that you know what you are doing and that you are good at what you do. There are times, when you have to pitch to a new client, present to The Board, give a media interview or present to a large audience, that despite thorough preparation, the adrenalin kicks in but everything goes well.

What happens when, despite planning and going through the different scenarios in your head, situations don’t go the way you expect. What then?

I was asked to be an Expert Witness on an employment/ remuneration issue. I was told it would never go to court and I wouldn’t have to be crossed-examined. I wrote my expert opinion (15 pages) and moved on. I got the call that it wasn’t going to be settled and that I was going to be called to the Supreme Court to be cross-examined.

The day came, yesterday. Firstly, unfamiliar surroundings, I am used to offices not court rooms. Secondly the uniform was different, wigs and robes, not suits. Thirdly, I know business etiquette not courtroom etiquette – nodding at the judge, only speaking when spoken to etc.

Then the cross examination, or character-assassination, questioning your integrity, knowledge and experience. This is when no amount of planning can prepare you. I had truly stepped out my comfort zone. Feelings I rarely if ever have; anxiety (dry mouth, not being able to swallow, the feeling you are going to have a heart attack) and fear.

I did it and I was told it went well by the Barrister. I wanted to share this experience because I know I’m not alone when you have to test yourself. My learning’s are believe in yourself , you can do this. Stay calm! Allow yourself time to think. Breathe!!!!!

Doing something new was really exhilarating, it gives you a sense a renewed belief in yourself!