Jessica Walther is a leader, a visionary, a business owner and all around inspiring human. Almost a decade into a flourishing career in global sourcing she started experiencing burnout and realized it was time for a change. She went through a difficult burnout recovery process to reconnect with her authentic self. She rediscovered her passion for sustainability, art, and the creative process where she now coaches leaders and organizations using her burnout recovery/mitigation best practices. She founded Itivate Consulting where the mission is to help leaders and organizations maximize results by unleashing their purpose, their process, and their people.
You can visit her at itivate.com or follow her on instagram @thealignedceo.
What is your purpose in life?
Creating belief. There’s so much naysaying in the world, and that has kept people stuck in bad situations and in businesses that aren’t going anywhere. I’m not here for the naysaying. I’m here for the good and to be visionary to help people see it, create it, and execute it.
Where does this come from, and how did you discover it?
I burned out in corporate in a big way and realized my belief system had become a replication of everyone else’s, not my own. I was so focused on “doing” that I wasn’t even conscious of it. I learned some hard truths about the people I used to put on a pedestal; I even thought I had to be like them. What I realized is that I actually want to be nothing like them. Breaking up with those old paradigms has been a beautiful journey of discovering who I am and what I’m made of. I’ve embraced my bigness because of one simple truth that I've learned - if we are all trying to be the same puzzle piece, we will always feel stuck and feel like we don’t fit. But if we faithfully question everything and unlearn who we thought we were supposed to be, we can boldly embrace who we are and play the role we are meant to serve in this world.
How does this purpose uniquely play out in your everyday life and work?
I founded ITIVATE, a business that helps organizations identify and resolve the root causes of organizational underperformance: broken processes and poorly utilized talent. Building a purpose-derived business has served as a foundation for creating joy and success in my professional and personal life.
With my team at ITIVATE, my husband, and my friends, we hold each other accountable for facing our fears and putting a stop to the ways we‘ve been taught to shame ourselves. We have hard conversations and practice saying the things we are afraid of saying, even if we aren’t polished in our delivery or fear rejection. We support each other professionally and personally because we know that both are connected. If one side of life is suffering, we know it’s only a matter of time before the other will suffer too. We have created an environment that acknowledges this fact so both can thrive.
How do you remain vibrant, encouraged, and energized?
I use body signals to tell me when I have energy to give, when I need to rest, and when I need to play. I’ve had to fully embrace this because I know how I spiral and lose connection to my purpose if I don’t honor my needs, especially post-burnout. I’ve faced fears about acknowledging and saying what I need in the moment, even when putting it off is easy. I’m getting better at doing this every day.
What is success?
Experiencing joy, fun, and connection to the life you’ve created.
What is one thing that you do every day that is a necessity for your success?
My morning routine, which includes journaling, yoga, and meditating. When I don’t do those things, I find I don’t perform at my best in whatever I’m doing. I can be more purposeful in my thoughts and actions when I start my days by taking care of myself first.
Any other thoughts or words of encouragement for those on the path of discovering their purpose?
Don’t go seeking your purpose when you’re drained, angry, or exhausted. It will just feel like another thing on your to do this. Purpose is always there, just forgotten, and it re-emerges when you’ve regained the energy you need to fulfill the purpose that’s calling your name. Doing activities you used to enjoy as a child is a great way to remember what you feel like when you’re happy, and the energy created from those activities will help you remember where joy is, or can be made, in your life. Don’t ever grow up and shut off play; it’s just no fun.
Thanks for reading!
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