Gina Gardiner is a No1 International Bestselling Author, Motivational Speaker, Empowerment and Relationship Coach and Transformational Leadership Trainer with well over 30 years of experience helping people experience happiness, success and fulfilment. She’s the founder of the Thrive Together Tribe membership and personal and spiritual development programme.
Gina has learned to walk twice as an adult. For over 20 years, she ran her award-winning school, for the most part from a wheelchair. The gift of this experience was the development of a unique approach to life and the development of leadership.
In 2004 Gina left Headship (Principle) and has since worked with countless individuals, couples, teams and organisations helping them to step into their potential, to learn the lessons from the past and to recognise that it is their choice to step into their power and live a fearless life. Gina is passionate about supporting people to live a truly happy, successful and fulfilling life.
We live at a time when unhappiness and a sense of “Is this it” appear to be at an all-time high and many of the clients I meet are feeling lost. Lack of self-esteem appears to have reached epidemic proportions which in turn is having a negative effect not only on the individual’s quality of life but in their relationships both personal and professional.
I believe our physical and mental health are greatly influenced by our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I’m passionate about helping people develop self-confidence and a great relationship with themselves and others. Helping people recognise that they ‘are enough’ and that they have the power to make choices is at the heart of my book and central themes in “Thriving Not Surviving”. I share the principles and tried and tested strategies including: mindful thinking, letting go of past hurts and baggage, being your own best friend all of which help people feel able to step out of their comfort zone. I walk my talk and have well over 30 year’s experience, of helping people feel happier, more successful and fulfilled. This has in turn has had a very positive effect on their general health and wellbeing and often on those they are closest to.
To give you a little background on how I came to this place:
As a teenager, I was very unhappy. I never felt as if I fitted in. It was the same story at college. It wasn’t until I started teaching aged 21 that things changed. I loved it, found I had a real passion for helping children and at times their parents to believe in themselves and realising they could succeed. I was promoted very quickly and loved helping colleagues develop and grow. I made good friends and finally felt as if I belonged.
I became the youngest Deputy Head Teacher (Deputy Principal) of the largest school in the district aged 29 in 1982. I had a serious ski accident in February 1983 when I fell between 150 and 200 feet down a black run when the mogul I was sitting on gave way.
I was still experiencing some health issues when I was given permission by the medics to go skiing again as the Deputy Leader of the district School Party. By the end of the week, I was really struggling. I finally gave in and went to lie down. I suddenly found one side of my body had become paralyzed. After a hospital stay in Switzerland and again in England plus a few weeks recovery at home, I returned to school. I had regained movement but was struggling with fatigue and pain. I was very pleased to get to the long Summer holiday and looked forward to being able to rest. It was not to be.
A couple of weeks into the holiday I got the news that the Principal had suddenly died. After a school term, as Acting Head I was appointed as the permanent Headship (principal) in January 1884. I was absolutely determined to do a good job for my pupils and my colleagues. I wanted the children to be happy and confident learners and for the staff to strive for excellence and to enjoy enthusing their pupils and colleagues to give of their best.
Over the next few years my mobility deteriorated which forced me to use a wheelchair around the school, I went kicking a screaming! Worried about what others would think – what a waste of energy! They didn’t bat an eyelid. Following a ruptured disc caused by sneezing and a failed back surgery in 1996 was unable to put my left foot to the floor without fainting because of the pain. I became a very good stork. I had several nerve blocks and other medical interventions which It took me 18 months to walk to the end of my very small garden. Three months later I ruptured another disk, it was two years on almost to the day. The last day of the Summer Term I was sick and ruptured a second disc. Yet again the surgery failed and I was completely wheelchair bound completely unable to stand. A week after coming out of hospital I was back at school. At home I was incredibly dis-abled, I couldn’t make a cup of coffee if my carer had forgotten to leave a cup out or fill the kettle. At school, I could use my brain, my hands and my mouth. I could operate effectively as the Head, be doing something worthwhile and something I loved. It was a no-brainer.
Using my wheelchair around school meant I could get around the site easily, it was very spread out. However, I was unable to access the inside most of the classrooms. Even if I could have got my chair through the door there was no room to manoeuvre it around the classrooms. I had to find a different way to ensure excellence for my pupils and staff.
Necessity is the mother of invention. One of the gifts of my disability was the creation of a very different approach to helping people step into their genuine power. This facilitated a unique and highly effective leadership programme, based on mutual respect and people taking ownership of their actions and words.
That the strategies were successful, and the success was sustained was demonstrated as the school won several accolades including being on Her Majesties’ Inspectorate’s (HMI) ‘Best 100 Schools In England,’ list, twice during my leadership.
Work was great pain control I became very good at switching my body off whilst I was working but it was taking its toll. I left Headship in 2004 because my health was deteriorating but I was not ready to sit at home and be limited by my health. I had an internal spinal stimulator fitted in September 2004. I still need the wheelchair to travel or go into town but my mobility is the best it has been since 1996.
When I left Headship, I didn’t know who I was when I wasn’t being a Head. The feelings and sense of isolation I had experienced as a teenager flooded back. I realised that I had to do something differently – to learn to love who I was just as I am.
I reinvented my professional life, published my first two books to give me credibility in the business world and expanded my coaching skills. I became an NLP Master Practitioner and coach. In 2006 I had an experience which was to shift my thinking and expand my horizons exponentially.
I was attending a Tony Robbins course at the EXCEL centre in London. There were 10,000 people on the course. An integral part of the course was the Fire Walk. I was thrilled to achieve the walk with help. as I sat back in the chair the guy behind me who was a double amputee tipped out onto his hands and did the Fire Walk on his hands. It was a pivotal moment for me, I booked a flight to California to attend a course I had dismissed earlier in the day because I thought it would be too difficult to manage by myself. Since then I have travelled widely to study and for pleasure. I am forever in that man’s debt!
The principles and the strategies developed during my Headship and through study are at the heart of the work I do with individuals, couples, teams and whole organisations. They are tried and tested and easy to incorporate into daily life.
For years, I rarely spoke about my disability, but during a conversation with a coach it became clear that it had been the elephant in the room. Realising that the story of my journey may be of value to others was the motivation for writing ‘Chariots On Fire.’ Many people see my wheelchair as a thing of lack, indeed so did I in the early days, but in reality, it has been an incredible enabler. It has allowed me to be independent, and to travel widely for study and pleasure. It is all about perception!
I believe that disability is a metaphor for life. Limiting beliefs: I’m not worthy, not clever enough, too old, too poor, not beautiful enough, etc. keep people stuck. I may have challenges with my mobility but I have the capacity to wheel away (usually at high speed) in my wheelchair. I have learned that it is not the challenges which define us but what we do with them. Focussing on what I can do rather than what I can’t and challenging those beliefs which have the capacity to limit have made a tremendous difference to the quality of my life.
Over the years it has become very clear when working with individuals, couples, teams or whole organisations that the vast majority of challenges or issues fall into one of five categories: beliefs, particularly self-belief, love and relationships, achieving and sustaining success, managing change and transition and finding a sense of purpose and fulfilment. These are represented by the five secret pathways in my latest book, ‘Thriving Not Surviving – The Five Secret Pathways To Happiness, Success and Fulfilment.’ I’m thrilled that it has become the second of my books to achieve No1 International Best Seller status. In the book, I share the principles and lots of practical strategies which have helped me and my clients achieve greater happiness, success and fulfilment. These act is a SAT NAV to help people navigate the challenges of life.
I have become more and more concerned about the numbers of people I meet who feel isolated or alone, unseen and unheard in their personal life. Some of these are feeling this way because they are single or are recently separated, divorced or bereaved but there are others who despite being in a significant relationship feel they have no one to share their vulnerabilities and dreams with.
Others feel isolated professionally. They are fearful of letting their guard down at work in case it is seen as a sign of weakness or they feel under-valued and unheard. Some fear failure whilst others hide their light as they fear success.
Many people are using food, alcohol and drugs to numb their pain and this is having a disastrous impact on their physical wellbeing. Anti-depressants now account for 50% of the prescriptions written in the UK.
I am passionate about helping people recognise that they have the choice to be happy, to be successful and to live a life full of joy and fulfilment. To help them recognise that they are not broken, that they are enough and to help them access their inner resources to live life fearlessly. I believe my life’s purpose to be of service.
To support as many people as I can has required that I look to do things differently and so I have written ‘Thriving Not Surviving – The 5 Secret Pathways To Happiness, Success and Fulfilment’ and created the Thriving Not Surviving programme. I have launched a membership group called ‘The Thrive Together Tribe.’ It is designed to offer people a safe place to belong, to be seen and heard and to feel supported in their journey to happiness, success and fulfilment.
Members have access to a structured programme full of tried and tested principles and strategies which are easy to incorporate into daily life. A major purpose of the tribe is support members of the group create and sustain lasting success.
We live in incredibly troubled times. Difference and a sense of separation are constantly reported in the media. Many people live in a state of constant fear which leads to a great deal of stress, unhappiness and depression. This in turn leads to an ever-greater sense of isolation. I believe it is incredibly important to recognise that we are all connected, to look at how we can support and help one another from a place of love, for people to step into their genuine, authentic power.
The Thrive Together Tribe Membership and Thriving Not Surviving Personal and Spiritual Development Programme. (See below for details)
1:1 coaching packages for those who want more personal attention in order to achieve their goals more quickly
The Thrive Together Tribe
The Thrive Together Tribe is an on-line membership group offering a place where members will:
- be nurtured, challenged and supported
- find lots of great ideas, strategies and inspiration
- have regular on-line sessions with great content and interactive group coaching
- be heard and supported by like-minded people
Life can be tough. It is all too easy for people to focus on all the negative as there is so much division and separation all around us. We have decided now is the time to create new movement designed to nurture and support people who want to get the very best out of life.
The Thrive Together Tribe brings people together, to focus on the positive and what we can do rather than what we can’t. It is for those keen to feel confident and take charge of the quality of their life and would be prepared to help others do the same. It is a place to explore emotions and to deepen each person’s spiritual awareness.
The Genuinely-You Thrive Together Tribe isn’t a course, it’s a journey, a place where people can access great, information and proven strategies designed to help them feel confident, empowered and well-resourced to better manage the challenges their life inevitably brings.
The Thrive Together Tribe is a support group. Help and support will come from The Thrive Tribe Team but as it grows from tribe members too.
The Membership Group is designed to be a safe place where members can feel seen and heard. Somewhere to feel truly valued in a completely non-judgemental environment.
It is designed to support members achieve:
- A consistently great sense of self-worth
- Lasting loving relationships with themselves and others
- Ongoing personal and professional success
- They’re living their true purpose
- A happy successful and fulfilling life
- A fulfilling and abundant life
One of the reasons for setting up the Thrive Together Tribe has been the realisation that so many people are struggling. Over years of working with thousands of people, I have identified that pretty well all the ongoing issues which people find challenging are made even more difficult if they feel they are tackling them in isolation.
There are those who are concerned that if they show their vulnerability with colleagues it will be perceived as weakness. I have found from clients that the more senior the role the more common this has been the case.
I have come across so many people who are in a relationship still find themselves feeling isolated and alone because they don’t want to worry their partner or family, or because their partner and family are not interested or simply don’t understand.
We live at a time when the numbers of people who live alone and have no-one to share things with is increasing at a significant rate. Loneliness and isolation are a common problem for many people. They may be highly successful at work but find their personal lives are far less rewarding.
One of the most powerful antidotes to loneliness and isolation is to feel part of a group where you know you matter. That is the role of The Genuinely-You Thrive Together Tribe. It’s a place to belong.
To find out more https://thrivetogethertribe.com
Einstein’s definition of madness: To keep doing the same thing and expect a different result