Be the Change You Want to See In The World

A few days ago, I attended a very interesting speech that took place in Athens Greece. It is no secret anymore that Greece is in a deep crisis, while new major problems emerge again and again. Peter Economides was the speaker and the subject was “Rebranding Greece”. I follow Peter’s activities, and I was sure that it would be an inspirational speech. I was surprised by the attendance. The hall was packed, and over 50 people were standing. People of all ages. Well, yes, it is common sense that there are a lot of people who want the current situation to change. And this is a promising message. A really promising message for this country and the people who live in it.


The Rock in Your Life

Before a couple of months I passed through a state of shock. I had a health problem that was acting up. I left behind a relationship that I believed had a future. My Greece (which I had made a conscious decision to live in, 5 years previously) was going bankrupt. Daily. I felt like all the stable factors in my life had become… unstable.

At the same time, our company, was rapidly developing. As a life coach, its part of my job to support and inspire people, especially during this ‘special’ period, many individuals and companies come to me with this aim in mind.

You see the irony? Miss Positive energy… run out of positive energy!

You probably have gone through the same thing: whether you are one of the thousands first class CEOs who were laid off, with compensation or without, or if your salary was reduced and you are struggling to make rent, or if you broke up with your partner, or if you suffer from a health problem.

When ever I confront a problem, one of the strategies I use to solve it, is to find somebody who has gone through the same (or worse) and find out how they dealt with it. I do this either by reading books, performing mini interviewing acquaintances or strangers, or participating in a relevant seminar.

Read the following and I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.


Forgive in order to Succeed!

Have you ever wondered how much baggage you bring into the New Year from situations which have hurt you in the past? During our coaching sessions, daily, I see that every one of us has been hurt by other people in the past. From the celebrity who was abused by her father, to the general manager who was fired because he uncovered an economic sandal in his company, or even the husband who caught his best friend with his wife. Throughout our lives other people’s behavior crushes us at times.

These “crushes” take a place up in our hearts…


What’s the Plan?

Begin with the end in mind.
Stephen R. Covey, Leadership Authority

What is the first thing we make sure we do, once we get on a taxi? Naturally, we tell the driver where we want to go (after we greet him of course)!

Would you ever take a taxi without having a specific destination in mind, in order to get off randomly somewhere you would consider…interesting? Or would you take along with you random passers and go…wherever they wanted to go?

How is it then, that in the journey of our lives only 5% of the people of the earth have identified their destination, meaning their goals, their targets, their future life plan?…


How Reliable Are You?

“Endangered species: people who mean what they say and then do what they say”, was what a friend of mine posted as his Facebook status a few days ago. In fact, if you think about it, how many times do we do 100% what we say?

How many times have you agreed upon doing something, while at that very moment you know that you won’t do it? Why does this happen? Usually, we say yes when we don’t want to face the conflict that might occur by saying no. Other times it is because we want to be liked or we don’t want to stand out in a team. The final outcome is the same. Every time we don’t keep our word our subconscious records a minus in that side of the brain that says “unreliable”.

And in the end how much does this result cost us?…


Can you?

An immigrant from Ethiopia is a source of inspiration to all of us.

Mawi Asgedom was born in Ethiopia, which was a war zone at the time. He spent the first couple of years of his life without his father, who went to Sudan to a refugee collection center. After a while, Mawi joined his father along with his mother and brothers. In order to reach Sudan they crossed the country on foot. They remained at the refugee camp for 3 years. When he was 7 years’ old, he reached America. His familyhad no money. They could not speak English.

As soon as they arrived, his parents said to him…


The Beauty of Change

Within the last 13 years that I am engaged in the field of self-development, I had the opportunity to observe the same, repeating behaviors at myself and my clients.

Let’s explore the effort for change, one of the most important ways for someone to be developed.

You take actions with the aim to make a change, to follow a different path and as soon as you make such actions, you wait for… the results. There is a waiting stage. Just at this stage, it is essential to insist, to wait with patient and faith and to be there and not give up. Even more, if you think about it, during the waiting stage, we learn, develop and become better.

Before we take actions, we consider about the problem and we may discuss it with people we trust. In other words, we knew that there was something that needed to be changed, even if we were only hearing a “gentle” inner voice to confirm it.

Further, when we get to “no further”, when we are fed up with things, only then we move towards change. We make this essential step, leaving from the past situation and the “effort zone” and we pass into the actions area. Within this area our boundaries are pushed and we don’t feel at ease. That is, we are “out of our comfort zone”.

Imagine that you are making a bounce. You prepare yourself, you bend your legs and then, you are in the air, you are floating. During the floating there is a mixed feeling. On the one hand, there is the pleasure of being on the edge and on the other hand, there is the fear of falling down.

Still, the flash that you are floating is the moment that you are developing, learning, evolving. That is the actions area and yes it is both uncomfortable and full of benefits at the same time. For example, consider the moment once off the ground, once your bounce is already finished. All these thoughts (if it is right to do) or the doubts (if there is a better alternative), where are all these when you touch the ground? Nowhere! They moved away!

Indeed, how often do you rejoice about the learning you acquired during a process? How often do you reward yourself because of a step you made and brought you closer to change?

The answer is: Rarely. It is in human nature to think: “and then, what? Which is the subsequent?” right there it is the energy and the beauty of human nature: at the fact that we keep moving forward and being alert. Actually, the change fascinates us

What are you really planning to change? Bear in mind: the actions area may be uncomfortable, but full of rewards at the same time! Accept the case and enjoy the rewards!

Enjoy the experience of changing!

Be Unique!



Lately many of my clients say to me: Jill, I find it difficult to find the courage to face the challenges in my life, do you have any suggestions?
Hmm, I see some heads nodding so most of you know what I am talking about.

The other day another client was furious; you could see “smokes” coming out of her head. She had been on a date, liked the guy. She liked him but… he kept talking about his ex…. During the whole date….

Whether we are separated, whether we get fired, or we get involved in a car crash, bad things, situations happen. It is quite common as well to separate, get fired and get involved in a car crash at the same time. During that time we are very sad. It is as if we are stuck on the bottom. Those days you feel worthless with no energy to react. There is no courage not event to look up, our head faces the ground. Has someone been there?

Well, there is good news. First of all, these things happen to everybody. Life brings ups and downs to everybody. Second of all, you have a choice. Choice one is to stay on the floor. Weep, and whine for the bad things that happen to you. Discuss it with your friends, your mother, your hairdresser and your pet. Communicate the disaster that has happened to everybody. Spend energy and time towards this. And stay on the floor…

The other option is to see the situation from above. Really understand what went wrong. What lessons do you learn from this experience? What will it teach you for the future? Where do you need to pay attention from now on? You may also ask for feedback, from your environment. Ask questions like, “how did you see me creating this situation?” What did I do wrong?

When you do yourself critique and realize the learning you are getting from your challenge, get up from the floor. Just gather all your strength and get up. Do whatever you can to rebound. This is what differentiates successful people from the others. Think about it, bad things happen to everybody. The big difference is that successful people rebound much quicker than the rest. They take the lessons, take the dust off and run. They don’t stay on the floor. They live today, and let go of the past.

You will get up easier if you find alternatives. It is important to change the way you react, it is important to learn the lessons. If not you will get through the same challenges in the future with different people. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Check for alternatives. What do successful people do in relevant situations? Observe, ask and do research so that nothing similar happens again.

The only person you can influence in the world is…. Yourself. The duration you will stay on the floor is your decision. It could be 1, 2, 3, months or years. So what is your choice this … or the other…

Be Unique!


The Power of Hug

Have you ever noticed, in city centers or other popular central places, people hugging each other?  This is called the «Free Hugs» phenomenon.  According to Virginia Satir, guru in family consulting, a person needs 4 hugs to survive, 8 hugs to sustain oneself and 12 hugs to be developed…per day! This is hard to believe, isn’t it?  In our times, the times of isolation, how much do we hug each other?

Feeling another’s person skin is vital for our mental and physical health.  The results of a research conducted by the University of Arkansas show that hugs increase the levels of a protein that circulates in our blood called haemoglobin, which results in our feeling, euphoria, whereas it also helps us deal with our fears.  A few more beneficial effects that hugs have on us are the following: they help us relax, relieve us from tension and help us sleep better.

Through hugs we are supported to perceive and comprehend our feelings while also we have the sense of belonging.  They are much safer than drugs, nicotine and alcohol and they require no special equipment!

In some cases a hug can save a life. On September, the news about a couple who brought back into life its newborn child was spread around the world. The infant was diagnosed clinically dead, after the doctors had tried to keep it alive for more than 20 minutes. The parents took him on their hands, hugged him and for two hours they were talking to him about how much they loved him and how many exciting things they would do together in the future.  The parents’ bodies worked as an incubator for the infant and he was soon brought back to life.  This event overthrew any previous medical facts.  It is regarded as a miracle that the now six-month old Jamie from Australia is alive.

Another popular hug is the one given by Brielle to her twin sister Kyrie at Massachusetts, USA, in 1995. They were both born weighting less than a kilo but especially Kyrie was very frail.  She was crying all the time and could not calm down.  A nurse, ignoring the hospital’s protocol placed both twin sisters in the same incubator and after that Kyrie’s heart pulse was normal and she stopped crying.  During the next few days her overall health also improved. Their photo known as the «rescuing hug» is among the top touching photos in the world.

Yes. A hug is good for our health and our soul. How can you make it part of your everyday life?  The first step is to inform your family, friends and colleagues about the beneficial effects of a hug. You can even give them this article to read. Then you just ask for it: «Can I hug you?»  It is better when you hug the other person to place your left cheek on the left cheek of the person you hug. This way your heart also «touches» the other person’s heart!  There is no reason to clinch the other; Just take two deep breaths while hugging and take advantage of your between silence for exchanging positive energy.  Then, relax, smile and look into the other person’s eyes.

In the end, just enjoy the feeling!  Have many pleasant embraces!

Be Unique!


Taking 100% Responsibility For Your Life

You are stuck in the road, on your way to a very important meeting.  In front of you, there is an elderly man trying to start the engine of his limousine-like car.

You are wondering:

a) What have I done to deserve this?

b) Until what age are old people allowed to drive?

c) Where is the police when we need it?

d) What can I do to resolve this and get to the meeting on time?

e) Let’s press the horn to wake him up.

It is likely that you have already faced or will face such a situation.  It is also probable that your boss does not like you, that you are fired, or that the weather is bad when in vacation, or that your partner is not in the mood to talk with you about your relationship when you are.

As a matter of fact, all successful people have experienced all of the above, or other more challenging situations, at least once.  What differentiates them from the others is the fact that they approach challenges as an opportunity.  They act upon them and they make them beneficial for themselves and for the others, in many instances.  In other words, they take 100% responsibility for their lives.

Let’s see what it means to take 100% responsibility for one’s life.

Suppose that there is a given situation that I do not like.  Basically, I have two options:

•Option 1: Accept the situation;

•Option 2: Change the situation.

The truth is however that in real life there are more than two options.  We have invented a third one too.

•Option 3: Nag about the situation, blame others for it and victimize ourselves;

In other words, blame all others apart from ourselves!  Why do we do this?

Because unexpected events call for changes that we are not willing to make because these changes will move us out of our comfort zone. Also, we may become unpleasant to others or maybe we are afraid to take risks.

There are numerous excuses we can use.  However, the most common ones are the following: the government, the weather, men, women, unemployment, my parents, rich people, my body, etc.

Winners’ Formula

How about using the winners’ formula?  According to this formula: Event + Response = Outcome

As it has been mentioned before, we do not have control on events.  There will always be something unexpected, something we had not calculated well, and something we do not like.  If we led a life according to the expectations of our calculations, then such a life would be far from exciting.  Therefore, let’s consider events as facts.  In such a case if we want to control the outcome there is only one way: to change our reaction to the event. If we keep on reacting the same way to the events, then the outcome will remain the same.  On the other hand, if we keep on changing our reaction to the events, again and again until we get to the desired outcome, then we will most definitely become winners.

Bad sailors blame the weather, bad teachers blame the student, and bad managers blame the employee.  Who do successful people blame? They blame nobody, not even themselves.  They know that life is a series of different ways of dealing with situations.  Therefore, they change their reaction until they reach the outcome they have strived for. They insist.

A very good way to start this change and come closer to our dreams and self-realization is by posing questions to ourselves like the ones that follow: «How could I…?» instead of «Why?» and «When?» or «What could I do..?» instead of «Who?».  Every time you blame someone or something, think of what you would do to change the situation or how you could change your behaviour in order to get to what you want!  If you try this for 20 days it is certain that you will benefit from it and you will make it a way of living!

The only person that can ruin or take off my life is …………… fill in the blank and take 100% responsibility of your life!

Be Unique!


Have fun in the doing zone!

For the past 13 years, since I have been actively involved in the Self Development sector, I observe the same patterns in myself and in my clients.

Let’s take change for example: You act and you let go…..and then see the results.

But there is a time difference between the time you act and let go and the time you see the results. And during that exact time is when we need to hold on, be there, insist, trust, not abandon. Really hold on. And if you think about it, it is during this time when we learn, we grow as people, and we develop. Because before we were thinking about the problem, probably talking around about it, we knew something had to change even if there was only a little voice inside us reminding the need for change.

And when we have enough, reach the threshold, only then we move towards change. That is when we take the step and change, let go or move on and in that moment we are transferred from the trying zone to the doing zone. The doing zone is out of the comfort zone. It is the zone where we do not feel at ease.

Let’s take a jump: there is the preparation and then you are in the air suspending, wondering what will happen next. There is this mixed feeling of “how great is this suspension thing” and “if I fall down now, I will get badly hurt”. And it is in those moments, once you are in the air that you grow, develop and learn. The doing zone is uncomfortable and rewarding at the same time.

Because think about it, once you land you have done it! It’s over! All this frustration to do it or not, to move or not, to let go or not, where is it after you finish? Gone! And do you sit around celebrating your leanings and being happy of what you accomplished? No! Rarely! It’s in our nature to say what is NEXT?

And here is where Human Potential lies: to the fact that we will always keep walking and jumping to action. Now it is up to you. Think about it: what do you plan your next jump to be? What will hold you back from achieving your dreams? What does not living your dreams cost you? What about holding back? Is it worth it?

And of course, remember to have fun in the doing zone!

Be Unique!


I can’t get no… Sleep!

Life coach, Jill Douka, explains how what we “feed” our brain, can help you get better quality sleep.

“I am a wreck…I sleep 4-5 hours a day!” Elena said to me, during our coaching session.

“OK, do you want to tell me, what is it that you do before going to sleep?”

“Before going to sleep? I watch TV. In fact sometimes I fall asleep in front of the television. It helps me sleep.”

Have you ever wondered why is it that we read fairy tales to our children, before going to sleep?

Our brain processes anything we see, hear or occupy ourselves with 1 hour before sleeping, during the night. It is as if we “feed” it. This food for thought are the images we see and go straight to our subconscious. We don’t need to do anything. As a matter of fact, if we sleep with the television open, our brain keeps being stimulated by whatever is on TV. Whether it is murder, comedy or journalists disputing on the news, if you are watching TV in order to fall asleep, your subconscious is processing this content during the night. This way, we have our brains work intensely for the whole night, therefore facing sleeping disorders. Terrifying, right?

What would you like your subconscious to process during the night? Which “food” do you want it to have? How does it seem to read stories that inspire you, like biographies of people you admire? Another alternative would be to listen to relaxing music. What about having sex or discussing with your partner? Or maybe think about what you did/ learned during the day that went by and plan the next day? Would you write down your thoughts or take a relaxing bath?

In order for you to sleep better and therefore have a better day the next day; I would suggest that you start “feeding” your brain the “food” you want 3 times per week, instead of… whatever the television program is “serving”.

As soon as you see the beneficial results after 3 weeks, I am sure that you will include targeted “feeding” for your brain before sleeping, in your everyday life.

Be Unique!


I love… Me!

Life coach, Jill Douka explains why in order to have a great life, it is essential to love ourselves and how to achieve it.

Who is the most important person in the world for you? This is one of the first questions I ask in coaching sessions or in our workshops.

Usually I come across answers such as, my child, my husband, my parents. However, if you are not healthy, well balanced and in good terms with your own self, is it possible that you are in good terms with anyone else? While in an emergency case, on an airplane, it is crucial that you put on your own oxygen mask, before doing it for your child. The same applies for our lives. It is important that we provide ourselves with time and space in order to be able to give back to the people around us.

Most of the people are wasting their lives, waiting to be loved by other people. But love comes the other way around. The first step, is to love ourselves and only then, we are able to attract other people who have the ability to truly love us.

The meaning of loving ourselves is quite misunderstood. Selfishness and loving ourselves are two terms that are often confused. Loving ourselves starts from self respect. It is important to respect our wants, needs and the moments we enjoy. It starts from us. It is unnatural to expect other people’s respect when we don’t do it ourselves.

The first step I can suggest, in order to get to know yourself and what is important to you, is the “Diary”.

Schedule 15 minutes, every day, at the end of the day for 20 days and write down those moments when you felt very well with a (+) and those moments that you didn’t feel well with a (-). At the end of these 20 days dedicate an hour of your time and see what you have recorded in total. Categorize the plus and the minus. On the top of a page, write “I Want”, on the top of another “I Need” and finally on the top of a last page write “I Enjoy”.

It is really important not to judge what you have written.

At the end, read what you have written and take 3 deep breaths. Congratulations! This way you know yourself so much better (the beginning of love) and you are able to communicate your needs more clearly.

For this exercise, you will invest 6 hours, as much time as you would invest to watch 3 movies. What do you say? Is it worth taking the first step towards loving… yourself?


The following article was published in Queen Magazine

How to be…Yourself!

How often have you thought, before talking, with the fear that your listener might misunderstand your saying?

For the most of us, this happens quite often. Nowadays, within the existing cultural context, we want our leaders, our models to be authentic. However, we do not apply this in our own lives. We learn in the school, as well as in our family, that fitting with our environment, being similar to others around us and not being different is considered as important.

A typical example thereof, is when we ask a child: “are you a good boy/girl?”. To a large extent, this question is translated as: “were you behaving? Were you calm and silent?”. The absurd fact is that those considered as  “successful people” are persons that are distinguished  and are  being themselves. Let’s explore a simple way that enables you to be… Yourself!

Be aware of your strengths

For example: I have been studying since I was 18 and I like expanding my knowledge. However, in none of the university classes that I attended did I study a course which helped me know myself better.

Most people, study logistics, marketing, etc. without being aware of their personal strengths. Most people, are able to list 5 weaknesses that they have, how many, however, are able to recall and specify 5 strengths of them?

There are many online internet tests, which can help you find your strengths. My suggestion to the clients I coach, is the strengths Finder 2.0. In a scientific way, you will make a first step by uncovering your strengths. You are full of positive power and inner beauty. It is up to you to unleash them!

Be Unique!


The following article was published on 24  June 2011  in Queen Magazine

Tips for a wonderful life

How to cheer up in 15 minutes:

Today, one of the biggest problems that women are facing, is the lack of self-confidence.

No matter how secure you feel about yourself, sometimes you may feel…down.

Play the following game so as to experience wonderful feelings

The main challenge is to become aware of the desire that you really want to cheer up. So, if you do want it, take a paper and a pencil and separate the page in three parts, according your age. For example, if your age is 30, you will split down the page like that: 0-10, 11-20, 21-30.

After that, think about your “wins”, all these things that you have achieved within these time periods, both every little thing and big issues. Think, for example, that among the years of 0-10 you made your first step, you learned speaking, you made your first friends!

Think about each time period for approximately 5 minutes. For sure, you have achieved much more things than these you had the chance to write down; however, it is a good starting point! You may also want to include your first kiss, a presentation you made, a car you bought, whatever you consider as important for you.

As soon as you have finished, read loudly the “wins list” and breathe deeply. Now it is the time to congratulate yourself for all your accomplishments! Congratulations! You have just reorganized your mind set to the right direction: the direction of success!

For extra confidence, put colors and stickers in your wins table and hang it somewhere you can watch it on a daily basis.


Bearing in mind that we dedicate practically 38% of all our time to work, then the process of selecting our profession based on our Uniqueness, natural abilites and strengths becomes a necessity, not an option.

Jill Douka, MBA Uniqueness Coach Workshop Leader Author, writes on how crucial this process is in order for us to gain valuable time, energy, as well as all those things we hold pre the cious in our life.

Read about it…..