“COMFORT ZONES ARE LIKE CATS:
THEY NEED TO STRETCH.”
“COMFORT ZONES ARE LIKE CATS:
My name is Valerie Teller and I wanted to be an actress when I was younger. My parents thought that wasn’t very sensible, so I ended up studying law instead. That didn’t really work out! I realise now with hindsight that when I started my journey back then, what guided me was about exploring - and eventually finding - the work I need to do to thrive as a human being. I feel really strongly about the importance of thriving in the work we do and this stems from three simple observations: 1. Being alive is a pretty amazing, mind-boggling thing. Apparently, the odds of that happening are basically zero! How incredible is that? 2. Life is short and therefore precious. 3. Most of us have to spend most of our time at work. To me, not thriving at work is the equivalent of wasting this precious gift that is life. Life is a miracle. And we owe it to ourselves to do whatever is within our power to thrive. So what did I do?
I studied law in France and the UK and went on to qualify as a barrister. I hated being a barrister. It was the opposite of thriving. I left the Bar, explored community mediation and a few other options, trying to find the balance between doing something I enjoyed and earning a living. Eventually, I fell into the corporate world and into a profession that felt like the compromise I was looking for. But after a few years, I ended up being miserable. I was living a life that just didn’t feel right. Because it wasn’t the fullest expression of who I was. I was lucky enough to meet a mentor who really changed my life. He got me to see that I was the author of my own life; that I didn’t have to just wait for things to get better; that I could do something about it. And from that point on, my life and what I have ended up doing for work have been a journey of exploration into how to build and live a life that is as full an expression of my true self as possible. Coaching is one of those expressions and so I took the leap.
Today, I run my coaching practice and I've never felt more like my (full) self. I also deliver workshops for corporates and teach coaching at CTI, one of the largest and oldest in-person coach training organisations. These are all developments that happened because I chose to explore what made me thrive as a human being.
What makes you thrive? Let me help you find out.
Grew up in Belgium, South Africa and France.
Got my Masters in Law from Cambridge University and moved to London.
Decided that being a barrister wasn’t for me. First time I considered changing careers.
Fell into first corporate job. Thought I had finally figured it out.
Was miserable in my corporate job and desperate to get out. Met my mentor.
Quit corporate job with no clue as to what I was going to do next. Went solo travelling across 3 continents.
Started a new corporate job as a result of meeting people on my travels.
Quit corporate job. Again.
Trained as a coach and set up my coaching practice.
Became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach®.
Joined CTI's Faculty. Still exploring and growing into new things!