How I Died and Slowly Came Back to Life in 2021

When a glass of wine or a pint of beer at 4pm became my daily norm in 2021, I knew I had entered a slow mental and emotional decline. Add to that my Dad’s cancer diagnosis, a Pandemic that never quit, and a corporate career that was deadening me inside, I knew a massive reckoning was in front of me.

I did what most do. I ignored it. I drank it away. I bitched it away. I complained it away. I raged it away.

I carried on. I woke up, logged into my computer, answered emails, groaned inwardly, put on a pot of coffee, rushed my kids off to school. I fought the inner angst and irritability that followed me around constantly, like the annoying bzzz of a bee determined to ruin my daily “cocktail on the porch” habit.

What do I need to feel angst over? I was a Chief Human Resources Officer.

Did you hear that? I was C-Level! I made a high six figure salary. I had Benefits, Car Allowance, a Pension, even. I drove a luxury car. I lived in a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood, and had nice friends. I had two cute kids and an adoring husband. A Picture-Perfect Life. Privileged.

Privileged and miserable. Anxious, highly annoyed, depressed even.

I hated my job. I can list all the reasons why the company I worked for “screwed me” and “changed the operating model”, but the truth is, “they” didn’t do anything to me. Corporate just kept playing by corporate rules. They are a wildly successful organization for reasons that I just didn’t care about anymore. End of story. Nothing to see here.

No, the real reason for my inner turmoil was due to one plain and simple truth. A boring truth, actually. One that often gets ignored by the masses at large.

Are you ready for it?

I was called for more.

I know, BO-RING. Who hasn’t? I talked to friends and colleagues about my search for meaning and almost everyone I knew lamented that they too would rather be doing something completely different with their life, career, or both, but didn’t.

Oh well, they’d say. Hey, what was the score of the hockey game last night?

Pass me a beer.

To avoid the discomfort that comes with allowing ourselves to linger on what “more” actually means, we would quickly move to safer subjects like our shared frustration with Covid, screen time, and raising kids. We would drink more wine to obliterate the sad feeling that accompanies the contemplation of something “more”.

Most often, I would think about what I really felt called to do while commuting an hour to and from my corporate gig. The familiar commentary would begin in my head:

I would be stupid to leave all that “job security”.

I have mouths to feed and bills to pay.

I have a mortgage to pay off …

It’s too late. I am 47.

I should be grateful.

The last one is a killer. I should be grateful. There is nothing worse than hearing this trite phrase when someone is in the middle of a crisis, of whatever kind.

Yet, I told myself this all the time. Maybe you do too.

“I should be grateful” is what kept me in a corporate job that sucked my soul, bored me to tears, and complained about on a daily basis. I “should be grateful” increased my anxiety ten-fold, diminished my self esteem, and reduced my confidence to an all-time low.

Then, on a whim, I plunked down 10k and hired a Coach. That would prove to be the best 10k I ever spent. For ten months, I entered a period of healing and introspection that would forever change the course of my life.

Soon after, I had women asking me to coach them exclusively. A side hustle quickly grew into a thriving business. My 4pm cocktail was replaced with herbal tea. I started to meditate, read, and write. I created vision boards and designed a new life. I walked right up to the razor’s edge of everything I desired most in my life and

I let go.

I let go of all the fear, trepidation, negativity, blame, and shame. I let go of “what if” and “I’m too old” and “I should be grateful”.

That crucible moment changed everything. A series of crucible moments, actually. By definition, a crucible is a severe test or trial that leaves one forever altered. 2021 was the year of trial for me. It’s the year that changed my vocabulary about everything. “I’m fine” became “I’m great”. Even amidst the “Pandemic That Never Quits”.

I quit my corporate job and all the trappings of success that went along with it. I went ALL-IN on my executive coaching business and became the one thing I convinced myself I wasn’t cut out for — an Entrepreneur. Turns out I am dead wrong. I am made for this.

I only have one precious life. What am I going to do with it?

I started my group coaching program for successful corporate women — The Crucible with Teresa Vozza — and I used the personal reckoning I faced as the launchpad for a new beginning, a new career, a new identity. I help women make the leap from high pressure to transcendence.

And yes, this is my calling. And I’m damn good at it.

I’m a different woman. I’m lit up. I feel electric, on fire, on purpose, and completely and hopelessly in love with what I do.

I died and came back to life in the most exquisite way.

What about you? What will you do with your one precious life?

It’s time to wake up and start living.

Teresa Vozza is an Executive coach & Speaker based in Toronto, Canada. A former C-Level Executive for one of the largest financial institutions in the world, Allianz Partners, she coaches high achieving woman how to live and lead ‘transcendence”.




Former C-Suite Executive; Current Peak Performance & Executive Coach; NLP Trainer; Speaker; HeartMath Trainer; Featured on Thought Catalog.

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Teresa Vozza

Teresa Vozza

Former C-Suite Executive; Current Peak Performance & Executive Coach; NLP Trainer; Speaker; HeartMath Trainer; Featured on Thought Catalog.

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