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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

UAE Portrait of a Nation: the Queen of peace, love and positive energy

Emirati life coach is helping others realise their true potential

Life coach Shaima Al Jabry has made her dreams come true and wants to help others do the same. Khushnum Bhandari/ The National
Life coach Shaima Al Jabry has made her dreams come true and wants to help others do the same. Khushnum Bhandari/ The National

Smile and the whole world smiles with you – this phrase is known across the globe but for one woman in the UAE, it’s a way of life.

Self-styled queen of happiness, love and peace, Shaima Al Jabry, helps others to attain contentment through her role as a

life coach, and followers of her inspirational videos are transfixed by a beaming smile.

“Every time, they ask me to smile because they say it makes them feel better,” she said.

Ms Al Jabry, who lives in Abu Dhabi, has had plenty to smile about since achieving her goal of guiding others on the path to happiness by becoming a certified life coach in 2014.

There have been many turning points in her life but she said it was when she was asked to write down her life’s statement and goals one day on her course, that everything changed.

“I wrote several things down. I wrote that I was going to complete my master’s degree and that my life’s mission was to be a master of peace, love and positive energy.”

Ms Al Jabry, 39, accomplished both. She completed her master’s degree in communications in 2014 at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and became a certified master life coach.

Success is not always easy, however, and she faced hurdles in realising her dreams.

“It was a struggle,” she said.

Universities initially refused her master’s degree applications because her grade point average was 2.1. She was accepted at Sorbonne University only after the dean of communications was won over by her determination and self-belief.

“She asked me a question that I believe sealed the deal. She asked me why I thought I deserved to be accepted at the Sorbonne,” said Ms Al Jabry.

Ever-positive, she responded with a smile, saying, “because I know I am the best”.

“I’ve always believed that human beings are like an organisation,” she said. “They have to have a purpose, values and aims. You will never have a successful organisation without them and the same applies to human beings. Every individual should have a purpose in life, values and aims.”

The most important aspect of Ms Al Jabry’s life is her family, who she says helped her to become the person she is today.

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“My parents are very educated and have always encouraged me to read. Particularly my father,” she said. “When we used to travel, my father and I would head to the library while my mother and sister shopped.”

Ms Al Jabry is the youngest of three girls. Her father was so supportive of her education that when he fell ill a few years ago and had to travel abroad for treatment, he encouraged her to join him and volunteer at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

She said one of her proudest moments was when her father fully appreciated what being a life coach meant to her.

“I was so proud when I got my master’s, particularly when my supervisor came up to my father and told him how proud he should be to have a daughter like me. My father had tears in his eyes.”

Until then, she believes her father had not fully grasped what being a life coach represented.

“He had heard about it, of course, and it was becoming a trend but I don’t think he fully understood how important it is,” said Ms Al Jabry.

She feels that everyone needs a life coach. However, she said people should choose wisely.

“There are too many life coaches coming up now. You need to find a reputable, certified life coach and it will change your life.”

Ms Al Jabry maintains that her role is not to change people.

“It is the first thing I tell my clients. If you have a problem and are coming to me to fix that, then that will not happen and you need to see a healthcare professional, not a life coach.”

Over the course of a few hour-long sessions she helps people to define their values and discover themselves.

“Most conflicts are the result of an unfulfilled value. If you are not happy at work then maybe it is because you are not being appreciated and that is an important value for you; or if you are having marital problems, maybe because your partner is cheating on you, then fidelity is one your main values.

“You need to know what your values are so you can make a decision and move on with your life instead of being stuck in the same conflict for many years. I will help you be the better you. I don’t have solutions but I will help you to create solutions.

“When you are young you are negatively programmed. You are always told what you can and cannot do, and when I dig back into the root cause of most problems, it is always caused by fear.

“Fear of pain, of losing something or someone, or a fear of success because you were told as a child that you will never succeed. The main umbrella is always fear. If only people can let go of this fear they will feel a lot better.”