When Gillian Fowler experienced a life-changing accident, she never could have imagined it would set her on a path to help others with challenges in their own lives.
In an exclusive interview with The Courier, Gillian tells us:
- About the accident that led her to create coaching company, Usana Mindset
- How she helps people struggling with physical and mental challenges
- The top ways to help yourself and change your mindset today
‘I always kept believing there had to be a way forward’
Gillian, 44, helps people across Scotland to work through physical and mental trauma. And she can help you understand the blocks preventing you from reaching your full potential.
She created her company, Usana Mindset, after conquering her own challenges.
“I’m a glass half full person so it’s always been important for me to look forward, not back,” she explains.
In 2008, she had a horse-riding accident which resulted in breaking her back and a lengthy recovery.
“There was short-term paralysis, several major surgeries and it was a bit of a bumpy journey over the years,” Gillian, from Stonehaven, explains.
“Going through my own traumatic personal experience really tested me to the max, because you’re faced with not knowing what’s happening.”
Having been extremely active before her accident, Gillian had to work hard physically and mentally, to ensure she could get back to the activities she loved and the life she wanted to live.
She says: “I’m a great believer in the power of the outdoors and I was very sporty before my accident.
“I’ve regained some of that, but it took around six years to get back out hill walking.
“My ‘new normal’ is nothing like it was before, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fantastic in its own way. That’s why it’s been so important to me to help others.”
Despite the challenges she’s faced, Gillian’s perseverance enabled her to get back into nature, even scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016 alongside the surgeon and physiotherapist who helped her on the road to recovery.
Navigating life’s challenges
Gillian is now dedicated to helping others with whatever problems they are experiencing in their own lives.
Gillian continues: “First we have a discovery call. They tell me why they’ve reached out, what’s on their mind, the areas they want to focus on.
“Sometimes clients come without knowing exactly what it is, it’s just they’re not happy with life, so there’s not always a direct focus.
“There are always great insights on the discovery call, so even if they decide not to continue, they’ve gained something helpful from it.”
Gillian then works with a client to decide the best course of action. Treatment options involve one-to-one coaching and mentoring.
She can also provide neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) – a technique to separate emotions from an upsetting or triggering event.
Gillian continues: “I want to build their confidence, get rid of those self-limiting beliefs and allow them to flourish.
“It allows them to go off, having gained insights and learnt techniques, and thrive. I want to make sure they’re equipped for life – and be the best version of themselves.”
Top tips to a new you
Gillian’s support can be transformational, so what is her advice for changing your mindset and improving your life?
- Become fully aware of what you can control in your life and parts you can’t have any impact on. “This is not an easy switch, it takes time,” Gillian says. “We don’t know what’s coming and you can’t look into the future and keep worrying about what will be. Learn to be present yet mindful about the future .”
- Try to focus on the now and what you can do to make a situation better or calmer. She advises: “Ask yourself, ‘what can I influence by speaking to others and getting some help?'”
- Gillian also recommends staying off social media, taking time away from your phone and considering how frequently you’re consuming media.
Gillian concludes: “We can all pave our own path forward, we can all flourish; we just need to allow ourselves to learn how to do it.
“And we can learn how to gain that clarity, build confidence and transform our lives.
“You have the opportunity to open your mind to any possibility. Whatever has happened or is happening, don’t let that dictate how your future is going to be.”