Welcome to the Telling of Story Podcast. I’m your host, Storyteller Jewels, and along with my guests, it’s my endeavour to explore the art and science of storytelling, to attract, engage, and retain a business audience, and to unpack why it works for some, and not for the many that try.

Listen in as Aggie talks about taking the opportunity to push yourself through the discomfort. A

Agi: few weeks after I had finished that course, I was offered to do a speech in front of 40 50 people, which was at a networking event. So, I took the challenge. My initial thought was, no way, I can’t just speak in front of 50 people, and what will I be talking about? And then, The voice was still there. That’s what I’m trying to say.

The, the limitation, but this time I knew exactly what it was and I didn’t let it rule my thinking and my decisions. So I took that opportunity and that, as you can imagine, reinforces one’s confidence and belief in themselves. But before you feel that internally, you have to take the external uncomfortable action and push beyond what is comfortable.

Jewels: In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Dr. Agi Kirimidas. Agi is originally from Greece and has been living in the UK since 2010. His personal development journey took him from being a dentist with a master’s degree to becoming a podcaster, knowledge broker, and author. He is a lifelong journey of personal growth and self mastery.

Despite his formal education, he is a big believer in the immense power of self education. He’s a critical thinker and yet at the same time, deeply spiritual. He is the host of the Personal Developed Mastery podcast and his mission is to inspire his audience to stand out and take action towards the next level of their lives.

His podcast ranks in the global top 1. 5 percent and he has interviewed close to 200 people among them, Brian Tracy. Mark Victor Hansen and Dr. John Demartini. Age, welcome to the show. 

Agi: Thank you very much for the invitation. Uh, it’s so wonderful to speak with you today. 

Jewels: Aggie, take me back to 2010 when I believe you decided to leave what was seemingly a comfortable life in Greece, yet in your words, unfulfilling in your home country.

And you moved to the UK on your own. Tell me a little bit about that process and what made you pack your bags? 

Agi: Sure. So I was working as a dentist in my hometown in Greece, just to give some relevance. My mom was also a dentist, so I carried on in her footsteps in the same practice. So I was working for a few years there.

I had friends, a fiance. On the outside, the life seemed to be going well, or admirable, or, you know. However, inside of me, I was feeling really empty. There was actually, I was feeling down, like there was something wrong. There was, I couldn’t find any enjoyment in all those things. So I was realizing more and more that this kind of life, which was similar to the kind of life that my parents lived, was not for me.

I used to find out everything that was wrong in that way of living. And then that has started. Taking me down a dark path because I didn’t know what it was about. So I used to drink to make me not think about it. Anyway, it was not what I would like to do. And at the same time, I had these kinds of inspired.

Thoughts about moving to England or living in England, which I’m not sure where they were coming from, or I wasn’t sure at that time where they were coming from, but it felt like every time I would think about England, I had a big smile on my face, like there was something there, uh, for me. 

Jewels: Had you been there before at that point in time or?

Agi: I had been once as a teenager as a tourist with my family for 10 days, so I had a little bit of experience, but it was maybe that also influenced me because obviously I had the direct experience, but I remember being very fascinated about everything related to England. You know, the cars driving on the other side of the road or the overcast skies, all these things.

So in 2010, after, uh, it was a long period of thinking about the deliberation and until I made the decision, but I did make the decision and I left my home country, my dental practice, friends, my fiance, and I went. On my own to England with two suitcases in my hands and one way ticket in my pocket in pursuit of this calling that I was feeling of this dream that there was something there for me that this would be the life that I wanted.

That would bring me what I was looking for and happiness and fulfillment. And yeah, that is the transition from, and you know, since that time, and I often say that this was the best decision I’ve taken because I really can’t think of myself continuing my life as it was in Greece, 13, 14 years ago now, it feels like someone 

Jewels: Yeah, I can’t imagine your family would have been overly happy with a decision like that.

Did they take it well or could they see your unhappiness or was this something that was sort of inside of you but not that evident and maybe it was a shock when you decided to go? What did your family think about it? 

Agi: My family was very supportive and I was blessed with that. There was no friction there.

They could see my desire to go there and because I would also carry on the profession that I had started of a dentist because there was already a job waiting for me here. So I want to start, you know, from, and in very good terms as well as relocation. So they were supportive. So It was very smooth. On the other hand, my fiance was adamant that she did not want to move with me.

She wanted to live in Greece, close to her family. So yeah, that was the last time we saw each other really when, when I left. 

Jewels: But you came to the UK, or you went to the UK and, but continued your profession. You did a master’s degree then. So it wasn’t necessarily the dentistry that was driving the decision at that point in time, it was more just the lifestyle or the location, what?

Agi: Indeed it was not at that time. It was not the dentistry. It was the lifestyle in my hometown, a small town that most people knew each other and they would talk about it. Style. So the dentistry carried on and it was my profession. And as you said, in 2015, I completed a master’s degree, which I did here, which was also a great achievement doing it in not my mother.

So it was after the master’s degree that the big shift happened in my direction or career or way of living this time, not changing countries, but changing direction. 

Jewels: Right. So the second big change was this massive career change. Tell me a little bit about that. I understand you went to a Tony Robbins seminar and that was a pivotal moment for you.

Tell me a little bit about. What drew you to that seminar in the first place? What were you seeking at the time and what did you find? What did you find when you came out of that? Cause it seems to be a pivotal moment. 

Agi: It certainly was. And I will just say the word seminar doesn’t really do justice to that.

Event because it is over four days and it was at that time when I did it in London was 10, 000 people. So it’s really, I think 

Jewels: he calls it the, is it the total immersion one where there’s, as you say, 

Agi: unleash the power within. That’s it. Yeah. 

Jewels: Yeah. It was one of his major. 

Agi: So yes, it’s for four days. And that, uh, was really a catalyst in my change because there was something that I realized at that time on a particular day of the event.

So it was quite profound, if you want, or, uh, Light bulb moment lit up, you know, all my life until that time, I was a very closed shy person, very reserved in social situations, you know, close to myself. I won’t speak to people unless I knew him. I knew them. I was uncomfortable around new people. And I had always believed.

Until that day that this is who I am, this is my, uh, personality, my character. If, if you want, I’m an intervened, shy person. That’s who I am On that day, I realized that it was not like, that. It was not a trait that was part of me. Rather than that it was a, a limiting belief or a voice if you want playing at the back of my head and saying, I, people are not interested in what you have to say.

And I realized that I had that internal voice inside of me, which would really block me from being open with social encounters and things like that. And once I realized that, wow, this is actually, it’s a voice like a tape playing inside my head. And it’s not, who I am intrinsically, it’s just something on top of it.

So the moment I realized that I, I knew I didn’t want to live the rest of my life being like that. So I immediately started taking action to change. And one of the first things that I did was Was to enroll in a public speaking course, which was the complete opposite of what was, you know, you can’t get more out of your comfort zone.

It was a five day intense. It was not like a couple of hours. 

Jewels: You’ve completely the deep end. 

Agi: Yeah. Well, it was not the first thing that I did, but you know, very soon after I, but. Yeah, I took the action and to remove that limiting belief and the podcast was a continuation at some point of this renewed ability to express myself and share what I want to say without worrying.

Will they like it? Will they think that I’m stupid? What will they show? Because all these things were going on inside my head. So, yeah, that’s probably a long winded answer. 

Jewels: Yeah, no, that’s okay. Tell me a little bit about that, I guess, limiting belief and that little bit of a process that you had to go to.

For you, was it almost an instant realization, this is the old me, now I choose to be a new me, and therefore doing things like the speaking, Course wasn’t as fearful as it may have been pre Tony Robbins, because one of the things that I often talk about is, and the, this podcast is really about the telling of story and helping people understand that getting their message out means that they will have to, at some point be a voice, you know, have a voice publicly.

And it doesn’t have to necessarily be via a visual medium. It doesn’t have to be via an audio medium. It could be via written medium. There’s lots of different ways. But in order to get your message across, in order to tell a story or your story, you have to start having this public persona, which for a lot of people is incredibly difficult.

A lot of people are more introverted than not. And they find the idea of putting stuff out there quite challenging. And I’m similar too, right? I’m a little bit like you. I grew up with a very conservative background and I was quite a shy type. And I would speak when I was spoken to kind of person and. It was rare that I would be the center of attention.

And so for me, getting out of my comfort zone has been a lifelong journey of, of me just stretching myself, trying new things, doing things like this podcast, as an example, as a way to, to get my, both get my message across, but also to help me develop some of those skills of being able to speak to people that are complete strangers.

You and I met 10 minutes ago. And this is something that would not be normal for me, you know, five or 10 years ago. So tell me a little bit about your personal sort of evolution that was an instant for you, or did you still have to push through? Like, was there a, still a bit of a struggle to start, to do some of those first things to get it out there?


Agi: was not instant. So that’s a. The realization was in that moment, it was instant, the light bulb that, aha, I know that was instant. Then the actual process of eliminated or facing and dealing with this limiting beliefs, then it takes action. And when I say action, I mean, action outside of the comfort zone that you were saying, the action that actually makes your, your stomach feel a little bit.

your chest, that it’s not comfortable. That’s when you push beyond that by a boundary of the familiar of what you are comfortable doing, and you go out on that and you stretch outside of that zone, that’s when you start growing and getting, you know, the confidence and these things you have to stretch beyond that.

And you were saying earlier about to be a voice and share their story or their message. And I think the reason that most people are so hesitant of doing it, it’s the fear of judgment. It’s really not what I will put there. It is what will others think of it. I think that is maybe not the only reason, but one of the primary reasons in terms of the actions that I took, it was a gradual process little by little.

So initially I did do one evening of public speaking, and then I enrolled in the five day, but you know what, even more There are two things that come to my mind. One was during the five days of the public speaking course. I still felt every time that because it was all about us speaking, there was not much theory being taught.

There was a little bit, but then most of the times it was us speaking to the rest of the group. So every single time that I knew that the speech would be coming up, I started feeling again, this uncomfortable feeling or this pressure, but I pushed through that and kept on and kept on. And then, you know what?

A few weeks after I had finished that course, I was offered To do a speech in front of a 40, 50 people, which was at a networking event in the town I was living in. So guess what I did? I took the challenge. I mean, it was my initial thoughts when I received the invitation was no way. I can’t just speak in front of 50 people.

And what will I be talking about? And the voice was still there. That’s what I’m trying to say, the limitation, but this time I knew exactly what it was and I didn’t let it rule my thinking and my decisions. So I took that, uh, opportunity and people told me, you know what you say? It was your first time. It really didn’t show like you felt like you were speaking for.

You have been swinging for ages. So that, as you can imagine, reinforces the one’s confidence and belief in their selves. But before you feel that internally, you have to take the external uncomfortable action. And who’s beyond what is comfortable. So, yeah, it was not instant. My realization was instant, but then it was, and still is because I can’t say that now I am the master and I don’t need to train anymore or push.

It is ongoing. There is always the next step and the next step. 

Jewels: Right. It was going to be my next question. Do you still feel those butterflies sometimes when you get up on stage or, you know, have a chat? Oh, 

Agi: yes. Yeah. Absolutely. Every, every single time. 

Jewels: Totally 

Agi: natural, right? Yes. Yes. 

Jewels: I think, I can’t remember who it was, but they, it was an actor.

It was a very well known actor. I wish I could remember who it was, but I remember an interview saying where they would say before almost every first event or before every sort of acting gig, they would literally be vomiting. Prior to starting because of the nerves, like they were so nervous. And yet these, you know, it was a fairly famous one.

I wish I could remember who it was. I 

Agi: think it was Fred Astaire, but one of the musical people. 

Jewels: I used to vomit prior to any performance, which is just amazing. You think, wow, you know, somebody in that position still has the butterfly, still gets nervous, still struggles with that sort of first jitters, but.

The other thing that I often hear is that everybody does get those jitters and some of those nerves, but it’s usually just before or very just before they step on stage or whatever it is. But as soon as they make their presence known, as soon as they get on stage and they start, within a couple of minutes, all that nervousness is kind of gone.

And they just become this persona on stage and they just shine and you know, and it’s fun and they enjoy it. So just pushing through. That first part where it’s uncomfortable gets you to a really cool place, which is actually a lot of fun and enjoyable and you get a bit of a kick out of it. So it’s one of those things.

So what do you do now? So I don’t, I understand you don’t do dentistry anymore. You gave that up. Where did this path take you? 

Agi: I have not yet entirely, but I’m working very part time now. So it is the path, the path is very interesting and I’m still walking it and discovering it as I walk through, it was back in 2019 when I started realizing that my passion for personal development, which had started a few years before that was not just a passion of mine.

About me becoming a better person. It was also about sharing and empowering others as well to see that similar to me or to millions of other people that have gone through similar experiences where they realize that what was limiting me. It was, it’s something that I overcame and therefore others can overcome it.

I mean, it’s so I think inevitable and especially with people who are like us on speaking to others, it’s inevitable to have that desire to help others, to pass that message and hopefully inspire someone and to, to improve their life in one way or the other. So to answer your question, it was in. 2020 when I started my second podcast, personal development, uh, mastery, and during the first month of the podcast, it was when the lockdowns happened.

So I had more time in my hands. So 

Jewels: perfect timing to start a podcast, right? 

Agi: I had just started it and I was doing one episode a week and with that time staying at home, I started doing two episodes a week because I had time, which was. A lot of work, but you know, I had, I had the, the time. And then 

Jewels: as a practice, uh, dentistry would have shut down completely, would it?

It had 

Agi: closed for, for a few months. So we were not allowed to see a patient. It took over two months before things started reopening here in the UK. Yeah. So very quickly, I realized that this passion I had for podcasting was really absorbing me. And at some point it really became a mission to inspire others to take some action.

And that’s really what my, the tagline of my podcast is to, to take action. Towards living a more fulfilling, more purposeful life, because it is all about these little actions. There is not, as far as I know anyway, not one single magic formula that can be universally applied to everyone, no matter who you are, what your circumstances are, do this and you will be happy, successful.

It’s different. And each of us have their own path. To walk and others can guide us or show us the way or illuminate maybe the way, but they can’t walk it for us. It is our decision and choice to go there. And I think I have taken a completely different direction about to what you asked me before. 

Jewels: It’s okay.

I’m just curious as to where, how your journey is evolving. So yeah, keep going. Tell me. 

Agi: The journey is is evolving. And I think we were talking about this just before we started recording that your podcast also has now slightly changed direction after, uh, you’ve been doing it for a little while. And I think it’s inevitable.

So for me, at some point I realized that this knowledge or this wisdom that I want to share through my podcast needs to influence and inspire as many people as I could even though it’s not about the number as such but at least I will rephrase that to do my best or as far as I can to fulfill that role of the podcast and one of the things that I did in that direction was to Condense and take 88 of the messages that I, or the wisdom, actually, it’s a message doesn’t do it justice.

The wisdom that I received via some of my guests in the podcast about personal development. And I took out 88 of them. I call them actionable insights because they are actually things that one can implement and do in their life. So I compiled that in a very easy to read book and which I have completed it.

I haven’t done as of when we’re speaking now, still the official book launch. However, the book is ready and, uh, and actually if, if you allow me, I will offer it now, since I’m talking about it to your listeners. for free as a gift, the electronic version of it, it is 88 actionable insights for life. And it is practical things.

Not all of them will be relevant to all people. But as I say, even if you find one in there and take action on it, implement it, make a habit of it. That’s great. I mean, that’s for me. My, my, my job is done. 

Jewels: Yeah. Can you give me an example or two of what an actionable insight might sound like? 

Agi: Sure. Okay. One of them is, uh, the first that comes to mind is to practice meditation.

So some people do. Some people don’t, but I don’t just share it as a sentence like that. Obviously there is a little bit of the story and the insight behind, or maybe the technique you can use to do that. Or another example would be having a morning routine of some kind, not necessarily a long thing that takes.

Two hours, but something intentional, something empowering, even if it is 20 minutes that you do consistently because that in a way sets the tone for the day ahead. And there are elements of what it is that you could do. Or another example from the book is how to set effective goals, because many don’t really have a good method of setting goals.

Many people don’t even set goals or the, but that’s another thing on its own. But yeah, these are just some of the, the examples that in the book, jewels, 

Jewels: you’re a podcaster, a speaker, and now an author. Why these particular mediums? Have they just, have you just stumbled across these ones or was it very intentional?

Do you use any other mediums to get your message across? I’m quite interested in obviously your storytelling and your storytelling techniques, but and also where they go. Like how do you spread those messages? How do you grow up? Where are your audience? Getting in contact with you, like where are they finding you?

Agi: My main method for the message is the podcast and I really enjoy it and I do a mixture of episodes. Around half of them are conversations similar to this one that we’re having. The other half are my own either solo episodes or condensing previous episodes in like five minutes. So I find that the storytelling element of me comes out more when I do the solo episodes when I actually have to discuss about something whatever it is that is relevant to that time when I was I am recording it.

For example, just today, as we’re speaking, the episode that I had recorded, which is a solo is my reflection on what I have very recently done with my podcast. I mean, literally three weeks ago, I steered the direction of the topics towards a spiritual theme. So all, all my episodes, uh, since early this month.

are of a spiritual nature, which is something that I had never done in 330 episodes before. Maybe not never, that’s a strong word, but never in such a way. There was the occasional episode with a spiritual teacher, but it was now it is the direction of the podcast to this topic. So I recorded my reflections talking about why I did it and how I see things and so on.

And some of my thoughts I say, and that’s for me, the storytelling comes more. For me, and I know I’m speaking about something different than what you asked me, but. 

Jewels: No, no, it’s okay. Yeah. So what does the podcasting and what does these solo episodes in particular where you get to sort of express your thoughts?

What does it do for you personally? 

Agi: Self expression is very gratifying when you are able to share something, when you are able to share it in a way that people can understand it, that’s even better because, and of course you get that more from feedback or rather indirectly you get it as a response. 

Jewels: I asked the question because I blog as well.

So I do a little bit of writing day every sort of two or three a week. I’ve been doing it for many, many years. I’m up to 425 or something blog posts. So I’ve been pretty prolific over quite a number of years. And the reason I asked you is because there was a point in time where. A little bit like you, you come to this re, come to a point where you, things change for you, either personally or professionally, or you get some sort of insight or a light bulb moment that, that shifts your thinking.

Cause when I first started doing the blogging in particular, different from the podcast, but when I first started doing the blogging, I was writing it for the audience. I was writing it to impart my knowledge, you know, and my learnings, and I was writing it on behalf of the audience in order to, like you, to share your experiences and hopefully a little bit of wisdom.

But I got caught up in writing for other people. And my big aha moment, my big realization was, if I write for me, which sounds a little bit narcissistic to some degree, but if I write for me, the actual quality and the output is far greater. Because it comes from within. So as soon as I started eliminating the idea that I’m trying to do something on behalf of somebody, I’m actually doing it for myself.

But what it did was it actually opened up the floodgates. Like all this information started coming out. It was much easier to write. I had no fear of what of judgment. So whatever I put out there, I don’t care. Like all of those things that were seemingly. either slowing me down or blockers in the early stages of sharing that sort of stuff.

I realized that if I start writing for myself, and what I did was I, that reflect a little bit like you do with your solo podcast is I self reflect and I think about something that’s going on in my life at a particular point in time. And it might’ve been something that happened With my family, it could have been something I had with a client.

It could have been just an experience with my dog the day before or almost doesn’t matter, but the stories that I would tell through the, through that particular meeting was just me getting it off my chest, getting it out of my head and, and into some sort of format that became obviously becomes shareable.

And as soon as I did that, it freed me up. I wrote better. I wrote more consistently, I shared my knowledge freely, no judgement, no barriers, it really did shift my thinking. And I feel like we’re on a little bit on the same path there, a little bit, where it’s, you get the best stuff when it comes, when you actually sit back and reflect on the world around you and your experiences and how you’re being affected by it.

Is that your experience too? 

Agi: Yes, it is. And of course it is our story and it’s good to make it relatable to the reader or the listener, but not to write it for their behalf. It is exactly. I agree completely with you that writing or recording a podcast in this case is, it comes from within. It comes from me and I share the things that I want to externalize and not necessarily to share what.

The listener wants to listen or is expecting to listen, which I wouldn’t be able to know that anyway. So I think that by doing that, a deeper part of getting the reader or the listener involved, a deeper part of that gets activated and it comes across in an authentic way. I think, and that’s why some people will resonate with you and your message and they will read your blog or they will listen to your podcast and others won’t.

So it’s not because you’re trying to write about or for some certain people. I think people will naturally get attracted because the way that you write. Involves them, even though you might not be intending it. So that’s how I, I say, and it’s a great point of reflection. Thank you. I hadn’t thought of it in the way that you told me diagnosed, so it was, yeah, something I hadn’t spoken like that before about, 

Jewels: I like to ask slightly different questions if I can find.

I get the sense that if you could drop dentistry, you probably would. Is that true? 

Agi: This is the intention. This is, it’s, I’m working my way. 

Jewels: Right. So in a perfect world, what would that look like? What would you go on to do? Where is this heading for you? 

Agi: It’s a big, very, very big topic, but I will, big question.

One thing that I will, let me start with the podcast. I intend right now, I’m 340 episodes. I tend to go to thousand for sure. So I plan to do it for, for a little bit longer, a few more years for sure. So that is for me, a foundational part of, of what I do. And it will always be connected with other things like mentoring or coaching or writing a book or whatever else might.

I get, uh, hint by in the future. One thing that comes to mind to answer your question that I would really love, uh, to do is that because dentistry or most of the usual professions have, they depend on you being physically in a specific location. 

Jewels: Mm mm 

Agi: So what one of the things that. I really will take advantage of is the ability to be independent of location and when you need your computer, your microphone or whatever it is, some things that you can carry with you that gives you a certain level of freedom from, from location.

I mean, and therefore I will Aim to take advantage of that freedom and go to different places and different countries and, you know, spend some time there that, that idea of the digital nomad is very appealing to me, especially now in this time of my life, it’s really appealing to me. And that’s what I would like to do since you asked me.

So thank you for the question. 

Jewels: Yeah. That is very appealing. And ironically, I could be a digital nomad if I wanted to, because there’s nothing tying me to location except family. I’ve got, you know, youngish kids that are still growing up in school. And yes, I’m stuck for those reasons rather than my profession.

So, but I’m only a few years away from. Kids leaving school and maybe there’s still time for me to become that digital nomad, but I definitely is very appealing. And I understand completely. Okay. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. Where can the listener find out a little bit more about you? 

Agi: Thank you. I really enjoyed the conversation as well.

Two things. One is my podcast, Personal Development Mastery, which you can find wherever you’re listening to your podcasts. The other I mentioned about a free copy of my book. So if you want to get a digital copy of my book, go to agikeramidas.com /88 and you will be able to hopefully find the support you need to for your personal development journey.

Jewels: Excellent, I’ll put those links in the show notes so people can find them there. Agi, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time. We made the time zones work. So I appreciate your time from hopefully sunny England today. It was cold and not at all. I think we had very English weather here today too.

It was very cold, windy and humid. Very wet. Raining. Yes. I think we shared that today. So, Agi, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time. 

Agi: Thank you very much. Pleasure to be here.

Jewels: Age is a great example of someone who’s been able to push through his limiting beliefs to take action, to share his story publicly, to empower others. How about you? Are you pushing through? Much love. Chat soon.

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