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  • Nathalie Weister

value proposition

In January 2009, I faced a defining moment in my early career, shattering my world of perceived security. With a mix of nerves and confidence, I stepped into what I believed was my first performance review meeting at the consulting firm where I had spent the last 18 months proving my merit. I sat across the table from the three senior leaders, all former consultants who had left one of the world's most notable firms to start their own boutique business. Rehearsing my speech to myself, I was prepared to list all my contributions and accomplishments. But one of them spoke first, and frankly, I don’t remember much after hearing, “Nathalie, unfortunately, this is not a performance review…” Instead of an evaluation, I was met with the stark reality of being downsized, a casualty of the global financial crisis. All the hours, stress, and sacrifices led me to one of the most humbling events of my life: two days later, I sat in the Georgia Department of Labor, applying for unemployment.

While that experience was undoubtedly traumatic, it planted the seeds for my ensuing personal and professional evolution over the next 14 years. Cast adrift as a young professional amid the most significant global economic instability since The Great Depression, I confronted the cost of working against my intrinsic beliefs. I was socialized to pursue what I thought I should do to keep up with my peers, where the badge of honor entailed bragging about inhumane hours; more work equated to more value - a relentless demonstration of worth. In exchange, I encountered profound burnout and my walking papers. But in every challenge lies a clandestine compass pointing toward our true north. Mine was a stepping stone on a longer road to discovering my principal values - wellness, expansion, connection, and individuality. Ultimately, it was a lesson on how prioritization of decisions and actions in accordance with those tenets results in a life of greater ease and flow versus grind and strife, paving the way to fulfillment.

Determining one’s values is not a passive exercise; it is an active engagement that impacts every aspect of existence. My own journey of alignment led me to embrace the chakra system as a coaching framework, a seven-level model that offers a guide to understanding our values and uncovering what we truly hold important. If you’re wondering where to begin defining and refining your own value system, below I share some specific questions related to each chakra to contemplate:

Root Chakra (Survival and Stability): Consider what fills your space and how you allocate your finances. These aspects reflect your values related to foundational security and material needs.

Sacral Chakra (Relationships and Pleasure): Reflect on what activities energize you and where you apply discipline. Here, you’ll find values linked to creativity, connection, and emotional fulfillment.

Solar Plexus Chakra (Personal Power and Self-Esteem): Examine where you devote your energy and where you are most reliable in your life, revealing values around confidence, autonomy, and discipline.

Heart Chakra (Love and Compassion): Observe your passions and where/when you feel most alive, which may hint at values of service, relationships, and communal ties.

Throat Chakra (Communication): Notice where your external and internal dialogue focus and/or conflict, highlighting values related to expression and authenticity.

Third Eye Chakra (Intuition and Insight): Pay attention to your dreams and long-term goals, suggesting values associated with growth and development..

Crown Chakra (Spirituality and Understanding): Explore your interests in learning and contemplation, which can reveal values of universal connection.

Values are our guiding forces, shaping our perceptions and experiences. They are not just the compass but the architects of our reality, molding the energy around us to magnetize our deepest desires. Personally, my values led me to make one of the most momentous changes in my life to date: leaving my corporate identity – one in which, a bit ironically, I was perpetually on the other side of the table laying off employees on behalf of employers whose mission and vision I did not share. The role I performed (and indeed, it was a performance) across various companies and industries left me unwell, contracted, disconnected, and adrift. Thus, I became a coach not only to heal myself but to meld these potent realms of energy and business, steering leaders and organizations towards cultures that resonate with their intrinsic values.

Looking back, the loss of my first job was a catalyst for my own growth and professional purpose as I learned the innate wisdom of our energetic makeup. I invite you to delve into the values that propel you and your organization forward. Contact me if you are curious about how coaching and leadership development can support you in co-creating a culture of success steeped in the true essence of your values. Together, let's turn the intangible into the actionable, from value to valor, from profit to purpose, and from mere existence to exuberant living.

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