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.
Heather Castillo – Wedding and Portrait Photographer
Accept success and failure equally as part of life’s journey. As humans, we are always learning – no one gets it right every time. A more compassionate attitude toward yourself in these fragile moments will help you overcome what may feel like defeat.
Renee Summerour | news anchor
Know what you want and strive for it… In this industry you have to learn every piece that brings it all together and I will set you above the rest if you do.
Youtube: renee summerour
Facebook: renee summerour
Irina Dudina – your local Lifestyle & Wedding Photographer
From my own experience I learned that everything happens on its own time. All we can do is really believe in ourselves and in whatever it is that we are doing. We must really want it. Act towards accomplishing it. And if we feel like we’ve done everything and still there aren’t results, maybe the time, ‘our’ time hasn’t come yet. But it will.
TolaniAV Beauty/Lifestyle Influencer & Petroleum Engineer
My advice would be to first think about the steps you need to take to overcome this challenge and then try your best to take it piece by piece, day by day. I find that when you break down a big project or idea or any challenge ahead to smaller tangible steps, you sometimes find that the challenge isn’t as impossible as you might have thought.
Tina Morland – Lash Artist
As cliche’ as it sounds my is to simply stay positive and have faith that everything will work out. When you focus tour mind on negative thoughts and energy that is what you will get back. Any time Ive ever just had faith that things will work out they ALWAYS do.
Monica Alberty | Wedding and Family Film Photographer
Take it one step, even one half step at a time. Pray about it and don’t forget to trust in yourself during the process. When we believe in ourselves, something beautiful happens and all of a sudden nothing will ever be insurmountable.
Carley Farrington – Calligrapher & Aspiring Educator
I know that exact feeling because I have been there about 100 times. It feels like there’s no way out, but the best thing to tell yourself in these moments are “you are doing the absolute best that you can”. This world is full of people telling you that your work isn’t worthy of the spotlight, or you’ll never TRULY make it as an entrepreneur. Once you believe in yourself 100%, there is not one single obstacle that can get in your way. Believe in the work that you’re doing and you will succeed in the end.
Carli Ladner – Owner and Designer
Put your blinders on to doubt and see only success. Every time you have a set back, spin it in your mind into a new challenge that you have just overcome… if only with unexpected results. Eventually, you will get the results you desire if you keep maintaining course and make adjustments when needed.
M. Ed Brooke Carnline, M. Ed. – 4th grade reading teacher in Texas with 6 years teaching experience and Army Veteran
The best advice I can give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to look at that challenge as an opportunity to grow. For me, I make a list of how a particular challenge can help me be a better person. I tackle that challenge in steps starting with the easiest part and working up to the most difficult. After all, we don’t go from walking on flat ground to climbing Mount Everest in a day. If you start with the easiest part of the challenge you can get stronger as you progress through it. Once you get to the end, the hardest part won’t seem so hard because you’ve gained confidence throughout your journey.
Chári Herndon – Certified Interior Decorator & Party Stylist
Always follow your heart and believe in yourself. Through life you will face challenges that you succeed at, and some that you will learn your most valuable lessons from. The key is how you overcome those challenges and grow from them.
Grace Cardenas – Mom of four, Business Analyst and Fashion Enthusiast
The best advice I can give to someone facing a challenge that may seem insurmountable? Keep your eye on the big picture but break things down into a list of things to tackle. Checking things off can help you feel accomplishment and motivates you to keep moving forward. My current journal at work has a Van Gogh quote on the cover “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Take a deep breath Amor. You’ve got this!
Amalya Shandelman – Professional Event and Portrait Photographer
Even when faced with difficulties that seem insurmountable, never postpone doing the needful or waver in your resolve. Stretching out on the couch and just staring at the ceiling, however tempting this might be at the given moment, cannot bring you closer to your goal. You must persevere. But you must also take breaks at regular intervals. It is crucial that you not endanger you health or well-being, even for the sake of overcoming your challenges. Because it is quite possible that you truly have taken on an enormous task, you must approach it with balance and reason.
An essential condition for success is motivation. You cannot accomplish anything in which you see no sense or purpose, even if you believe you are giving it your full dedication. You must enjoy your work. If you are totally energized by your work, even the most challenging task will seem completely manageable, at very least, if not an actual pleasure.
Of course, work cannot be downright pleasant one-hundred percent of the time. But you can find joy even in mundane and monotonous tasks, provided that overcoming your challenges is for a cause you believe in, which you see as a matter of life and livelihood, and you feel beyond all doubt that your chosen profession is truly your life’s calling.
Emily Travis, MPH, RD, LD- Dietitian
My advice for that questions is this: When facing an insurmountable challenge it’s important to not negate yourself. Check in with your values and your higher power. I find comfort when knowing I made a decision that is aligned in this way. Everyone is always going to have an option about what you should or should not do, but in the end it’s your opinion that truly matters.
Jaimee Cashaw, PharmD – Pharmacist & Owner of Healthy Strides Rx Pharmacy
As a woman of faith, I believe that if God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it. Stay prayerful and never be afraid to ask for help.
Carrie Wainwright Miller – Serial Entrepreneur, Ceramic Artist, and Certified Holistic Nutritionist
First seek advice from a mentor, trained professional, or friend who you know would have your best interest at heart. Sometimes we feel that the challenge is unattainable, because the big picture is too overwhelming. Connecting with another person can not only encourage you to move forward, but teach you to take the necessary small steps to overcome your challenge. There will be discomfort, but without change there’s no growth. Never, Ever Give Up!
The best advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable: Old ways won’t open new doors. Change up your routine, and always trust immensely in yourself.
Susana Vega – Jewelry Designer and Maker
Believe in your instinct, do not make desperate decisions and do not stop, please continue on the road, you will see how everything looks less challeging than in seemed.
Liliana Hernandez, Licensed Counselor
The first thing I would tell someone who is facing a deep challenge is to give themselves some grace. As human beings, we are very hard on ourselves. We forget that our most powerful cheerleader in in our heads. By realizing that what we are feeling is acceptable and normal, we then have more of a sound mind to think through the obstacle and create a beautiful alliance with our SELF. It would go something like this: 1) Breathe (hold your breath for 5 seconds and let it all out). 2) Be mindful of how you are feeling and say it out load or in your head. 3) Tell yourself it is OK to feel this way. 4) Work through the problem. Ask yourself, what is IN your control and work on that. 5) Focus on each step at a time. Avoid getting too ahead of yourselves. Remember: YOU are your BEST ally, but you can also be your worst enemy.
Melissa Marshall – Owner of Simply Stated & Budget Advisor
Having faith is the baby step to get your head right to make anything possible. Even if it is a daydream it can be totally possible with a little faith and grind.
Sarah Borchgrevink | Houston Newborn & Baby Photographer
When facing a challenge that feels insurmountable, my best advice is to break the task into smaller pieces. Ask yourself the “who, what, where, when, and why,” and how your talents can be applied. Make of list of what tasks need to happen in order to finalize the challenge and how you’re going to accomplish those tasks. Small goals with attainable timelines are very helpful to me and help me also not feel anxious, overwhelmed, and keeps those feelings of doubt far away. By breaking down the task and having a detailed list of each part of the challenge you will have better control and understand the challenges better. This is how I do everything in life from having four young kiddos, marriage, running a full-time business average 325+ sessions/year, or any goals I set for myself. Instead of saying, “what if?” try saying, “So what?” That self doubt will become smaller and your talents, gifts, and own beliefs will truly take you beyond.
Matilde Caceres- a.k.a. “Matilda”-Emerging Fashion Designer
Keep your vision alive no matter the obstacles. Always believe in yourself and surround yourself with supporters. Grind every single day towards your vision with the tools you have and no matter how many times you fall, get back up and keep pushing forward.