Too many of us grew up only seeing one kind of boss or leader in the media. The lack of representation for other groups reinforced harmful stereotypes and acted as a self-fulfilling prophesy, but would our opinion of what a leader looks like be different if the media did a better job at representing the true diversity of leadership in America?
Women and other under-represented groups are already leading many great companies, organizations, & academic institutions; others are authoring best-sellers, building engaged audiences, leading movements and more.
We had the honor of connecting with many of the best and brightest female leaders from in and around the city and we asked them our question of the month: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds.
We encourage you to check out the female leaders we’ve highlighted below, follow them on social media if you find their work or story interesting and most importantly do your part to #fightstereotypes.
Kelsey Abadie – Cookier & Marketing Professional; Hannah Johnston – Cookier & Development Professional
Life is full of ups and downs but you are capable of handling all challenges! Believe that! Surround yourself with amazing people who keep a positive attitude and are there to listen! You got this!
Amanda Seamans | teacher turned SAHM who blogs about affordable living, DIY projects, “happy saves”, and adventures in motherhood
My advice before you do anything would be to stop and pray. The Lord tells us that He will not give us anything that we cannot overcome. I would seek Him out and ask for help, peace, and comfort while you’re in this difficult situation. Second, seek help or advice from mentors or like-minded people. Sometimes just having someone listen to your struggles can give you comfort.
Melissa Roberts | Designer | Home Decor Influencer
First, take a step back. When I find something to be overwhelming I notice that if I continue to focus on the issue I never get the problem solved. The moment I step away and and focus on a different project I realize I begin to problem solve subconsciously. I am able break the project down into smaller pieces so that it doesn’t feel insurmountable. This allows me to tackle smaller problems one at a time which gives me the confidence to complete the task at hand.
Cammeo Murray – Digital Content Creator/Marketer & Wardrobe Stylist
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been faced with many challenges that at the time felt like I was never going to get passed them – losing my father after I graduated college was a huge one, and I learned a very valuable lesson that no matter how much pride you have, that asking for help is never a weakness. I could have never gotten through it without the love from family and friends, especially my husband who has supported me through all of life’s challenges. When I had to make the choice on how I was going to manage my career once I had children – he was the first to push me towards my dream of turning my blog into a full-time career. I was so afraid of failing, and kept guilting myself for leaving a steady salary & stable digital marketing career. But when I finally stopped with all the negative/fearful talk, a funny thing happened – I started not only overcoming all the things I saw as challenges, but I have never felt more happy or successful both personally and professionally. So my advice is to never let fear or pride hold you back from moving forward with the hopes and dreams that you have for your future, because at the end of the day – you’re the only one who’s in charge of your happiness.
Diana Medina, MD owner of Luminous Health & Wellness, a physician-supervised obesity and aesthetic clinic
Step back and look at the entire picture. It’s easy to be consumed by your own emotions or other people’s opinions. I usually take a pragmatic approach to find a solution while keeping an optimistic and open mind. I make it a point to incorporate self-care, whether that means meditation, a quick work out, massage, or time with my family. Keep in mind, that everyone will always face challenges throughout their life (both at a personal and professional level). How a person handles each situation determines the outcome. One of my favorite quotes is “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” I’ve learned to roll with the punches (I’ve been bruised a few times), keep my goals in sight, dreams in perspective, and faith inside me. Once it’s all said and done, I look back and tell myself “you’re bad ass!” because it’s important to congratulate yourself when you’ve worked hard and see results.
Courtney Mize-Newlywed, Dog mom, & TX Lifestyle Blogger
We all go through seasons where we feel like things won’t change, there is a mountain we can’t overcome, and sometimes, life is just difficult. Lean into these challenges and know that you are placed right where you are on purpose, and for a purpose. The Lord always brings rainbows after rain.
Dominique Hamilton – Partner Trainer with Camp Gladiator
When someone is facing a challenge that seems insurmountable it is often because they are looking at the total body of work ahead. In practical terms; break the challenge into smaller and smaller bits and tackle one single bit at a time. Sometimes the “”bits”” are as basic as “”stand up, breathe, pull, and push.”” The more insurmountable it feels, I find, the smaller the bits should be at the beginning. Conquering even the small bits builds momentum to conquer the larger necessary bits afterwards.
A practice I have with my 6 year old son is to speak affirmations out loud at his weakest points. I ask him to recall things that he is great at, then he shares examples of challenges that he has overcome in the past. This build up in confidence is important for anyone facing a challenge. It’s a simple reminder that “I can do hard things.”
Tresa Johnson | Photographer + CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
The best things come when we push past our comfort zones and embrace our challenges as opportunities to excel.
Angie Villarreal | Houston Realtor + Violin Enthusiast
That feeling is fear, ignore it! Fear is our faulty programming. Focus on one task at a time while visualizing the goal. If you think about everything it will take to reach that goal all at once you become overwhelmed, don’t do that! Put your head down and work, don’t look up until it’s done!
Kelsey Pribilski – Actor, Host & Producer
I’m someone that lives with anxiety and depression, so this is actually a feeling I get quite often. The one thing that has helped me most is not looking at the challenge as a whole, because that’s when I can really psych myself out. Instead, take it little by little. I like to map out tiny goals that I can achieve fairly easily and that slowly builds my confidence while helping me overcome the bigger challenge. Example: I recently decided to write my first feature film script but was terrified at the notion of writing AN ENTIRE MOVIE. After my initial freakout, I decided to just take it day by day. The first day I only came up with character names, the next day one character’s background, and soon enough I found myself wanting the challenge of writing ten pages a day. It’s like a domino effect. Lastly, try not to focus on what could go wrong and trust yourself. You got this!
Kelsey Young | Professional Baker & Arbonne Consultant
My best advice would be to simply just keep trying. I mean, what’s life without challenges? The obstacles and failures we face in going after what we want makes the victory that much sweeter.
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Ashley Pralour- Upscale Brows & Beauty, LLC
“Divide and conquer”. Whatever issue you are dealing with can be broken down in to small components. Divide the issue up, conquer it piece by piece. Often times we try to tackle an entire issue which makes us feel like we can’t overcome it. Decide what component you can conquer today. The next day, do it all over again.
Alina Sukhova – Creator and Scrapbooker
Just stop, take a deep breath and look at the situation from a different perspective. There is always room for a new fresh idea!
Catherine Le – fashion & food blogger
As long as you keep working towards overcoming your challenge, you have not failed. And if you do not fail, you will eventually overcome. So keep at it!
Andrea Fierro – Boss Babe Creator of Mantra Boutique
Remember your WHY. Why do you want to challenge yourself? If it’s to support a passion, to support your future, to support your family. First you must figure out what is your WHY. That way once you figure it out, you’ll never be able to forget WHY you started.
Kelsey Clifton – Sci-fi/Fantasy Author
It’s okay to take a step back sometimes, because there are some challenges that aren’t worth the price that you have to pay for them. You have to ask yourself, “Is this worth my health? What about my happiness?” and then go from there. The trick is to know when a challenge is taking more from you than it can ever give back.
Lauren Halliday – Finance Professional & Music Writer
There’s a saying I always like to remind myself of – “All things must pass.” No matter how overwhelming a situation might feel, that feeling won’t last forever. Try to take a step back, relax, make your best plan of attack, and trust your instincts.
Becki Smith – Owner, Creative Director & Lead Photographer
Just take one step. Any goal you set will feel too big, too unrealistic, too hard, too *INSERT NEGATIVE WORD HERE* at some point or another. But when it starts to feel that way, stop looking at the big goal and look just at the next step instead. It will always be a task you CAN tackle.
Sherry Vu – Food & Travel Blogger
When being faced with a challenge, it’s best to maintain a positive attitude. There’s always someone out there who may have faced the same situation, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk to someone about it. We all learn and grow through these types of experiences, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Being around positive people and steering clear from negativity will also help you have a better outlook on life, which will help you get through anything and everything!
Beatriz Gras- Food Media Blogger and Boston College Student
Take a step back and breathe. Realize that you have overcome challenges in the best and that you have the capability to overcome this one too but it may just take a little more time, creativity, and strength.