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Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds

Throughout our journey with Voyage, the one thing we have learned over and over is that hidden within every challenge is a blessing or opportunity. It’s up to us to determine whether a challenge we face will be a step back or the catalyst for a step forward.

We had the honor of connecting with some of the city’s brightest female leaders and role models 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.

Below, you’ll find their advice and links and other info so you can learn more about them, their work and how to connect with them. We’ll be interviewing many of these amazing women in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

Alexis Marie, Yoga Instructor & Engineer

First, find a mantra that motivates you! Hang it on your mirror, say it every morning, or make it your phone background! Some of my favorites:

“One day or day one” – take a baby step today that gets you closer to your goal!

“Just keep showing up even when other people quit” – you can fall down over and over again, but as long as you get back up, you will get stronger and you will succeed!

“You don’t know if you don’t try” – don’t let your brain say you can’t do it if you haven’t tried!

From @nicolesciacca, “You going to cry about it or boss up? First of all, I’m going to do both.” – It’s okay to laugh, cry, sweat, and then laugh again. You can be a #bossbabe and still have a hard day!

Second, find an accountability friend who can motivate you! Whether you have the same goal, same challenge, or both just have goals in general, check in with each other. That way, you don’t have to face the challenge alone. I’ve learned talking it out is one of the best ways to figure out a solution to a problem!

Lastly, we live in a society where exhaustion is often praised for success. I know I run myself pretty thin, so it’s important to remind you to take some time for self-care! Just like your phone, you have to recharge your own batteries. Go get a massage or facial! Buy the silk pillowcase to sleep on! Cozy up in a blanket with fuzzy socks and a hot tea to read a book! Whatever TLC looks like to you, do it, whenever everything seems like too much, and you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated to tackle your goals again! Namaste J


Kendria Braden-Vickers Accountant – Owner of PerfectShot Photobooth & Leonia Legacy Real Estate Investment

There are two sayings that come to mind: there is nothing to hard for God & God wouldn’t put more on you than you can bear. While it sounds cliche it true. As a mom of 3 having my first child at 16. I wasn’t supposed to make it educationally past high school. Now I hold both a bachelors and masters degree in accounting. Surpassing all lack of expectations. I have been blessed with a great job with the government that has afforded me the opportunity to start my own businesses. I am the proud owner of Perfect Shot Photobooth we have been in business since 2015. I work with women in my family and close friends. The opportunity I have been afforded has allowed me to share my success with others. That’s why it’s so important to never give up on your dreams! You never know who will succeed when you do. If it’s a little hard it’s only because you are getting close to the finish line! There will be days that it seems like you getting absolutely no where and those are the days that you have reflect on when you make it to a point of satisfaction. God is too big to be kept in a box, think outside of it. -Never Stop Learning, Dream Big, and Work Hard!

Tahira Noor Nagori: Architectural Designer, Interior Stylist, Influencer and Creator of TASH (The Aesthetic Side of Homes)

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? You were born with wings, why do you prefer to crawl through life?””
I believe if a dream is not scary enough its only a wish. Fear of failure is real, there is always pain and difficulty in growth and any bigger change is always overwhelming, but nothing is as difficult and painful as being stuck. Take baby steps and always keep moving forward. A journey can be difficult but if you have the desition clear in your mind nothing can stop you. Also, remember to enjoy the journey itself no matter how difficult or overwhelming it is because if you will focus too much on the end result you will not get satisfaction after achieving it. Always be grateful, invest in your relationships and surround yourself with positive people.

Jillian Goltzman, Founder of Cup of Charisma

Banavenue Photography

When you’re facing an obstacle, I recommend breaking the actions to overcome that challenge into smaller steps. Sometimes our perspective can trick us into thinking a problem is undefeatable but when you add smaller milestones to the mountain you are trying to climb, the journey can be easier than you first imagined. Getting started is the hardest part, but it’s also the most important!

Scarlett Horton – Barre Instructor and Health & Fitness Entrepreneur

You can be your biggest enemy when it comes to facing a challenge. The most successful people in life are the ones that never give up regardless of their circumstances or road blocks in life. You have to fight for what you want and most importantly pray about it. As a Christian, prayer is the one secret I’ve always attributed to success. If you are facing a challenge, pray about it. Not once, not twice, but pray about it everyday if it’s truly important to you. And know that you will be able to overcome it.


Steffa Mantilla – Blogger

Reach out. You aren’t alone in your challenges. Finding a tribe of people to circle around and support you is key. If that’s difficult for you to do in-person, social media is a great way to find support. Social media can be a help rather than a hinderance if you use it in a positive way.

Lillian Walcott – Photographer


When faced with insurmountable challenges, it’s important to treat the challenges like you are eating an elephant. One bite at a time. This can be done by creating milestones that are required to overcome the challenges. Once you develop milestones, it’s important to break the milestones into tasks. Then break the tasks into a step-by-step to do list.

Ellen Cooley – Owner + Professional Organizer’

Ask for help! It sounds so simple, but as a recovering perfectionist it’s taken me a long time to realize the importance of this simple truth. No one can do it all alone, and we all have different gifts and talents. Lean on your community, and the seemingly impossible slowly becomes much less weighty.

Paty Lennon- Photographer/Artist and Educator

I would say, continue fighting, you can do it, anything that you set your mind to and want you should manifest it and you will accomplish it. Life will hit you with things to try to stop you from your tracks, but this is the moment where you can show the universe if you deserve it and show if you really want it. Things will not come easy, dreams, ideas, and goals have to be met by doing and working for it, just because you are challenged with a situation it does not mean you need to give up, keep striving and good things will come.


Aleena Gillani: Travel/Lifestyle Enthusiast & Anesthetist

Perseverance. Believing that you are good enough and deserving of your success, often coincides with your mindset. Your mind is the most powerful tool in your box. If your mind can conceive your success, then your heart will believe in your success, and you will finally be able to achieve your goals with the perfect execution. Mindset dictates the perseverance, tenacity, and determination that you need, in order to jump through the hoops and hurdles life brings along the way.

Life is full of challenges, but adversity can only be overcome when you allow yourself to free your mind of it’s doubts and limitations. When you master your mindset, you empower yourself to turn your weaknesses into your strengths! This warrior mindset will equip you to develop a mental toughness, that will give you strength in times of difficulty and the endurance to persevere when faced with adversity. When you change your mindset, you have the ability to change your whole world.


Ashley Marmaro – Stay at Home Mom & Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger

Life is challenging, there’s not doubt about that. Keep pushing forward! The sky is the limit. Set realistic goals for yourself and ACHIEVE THEM! Find a tribe that loves and supports who you are and in everything that you do.

Adri Garza- Motherhood and Lifestyle blogger

My advice to someone facing a challenge or a very challenging time in their life is to take a step back. I think that often times we are so focused on what is directly in front of us, that we forget to appreciate what is around us. There will always be difficult things in our lives, but there is always something to be proud or grateful for too! Taking a step back or away from the challenge could not only give you the chance to remember all the positives, but could also clear your head and give you a new perspective on how to meet your challenges head on.

Erica Joi | Brand : Fit Goddess | Transformation Trainer

The best advice I would give someone facing a insurmountable challenge is, there’s never a problem without a solution, just keep faith, stay strong, stay positive, and figure out how to overcome it. And if that doesn’t work give it to God and let it go. Whatever is meant is meant, and even when it might be bad to you, it was meant for something better to come in it’s place.
Fb Erica Joi Love

Allison Jeffers– Award-winning Wedding Photographer

Nothing is impossible. If it feels insurmountable right now, take a step back and try to look at the whole picture. What steps can you take right now to get you closer to that impossible goal?

Mary Kaufman, Creative Director

If it’s not going to matter in 24 hours let it go. If it is, face it head on.


Bethany Buchanan – Life & Style Blogger

Monarisasmile Photography

Take it one step at a time & utilize the people around you (loved ones, mentors, etc) to talk through it and help you conquer the challenge. If you feel overwhelmed and like you can’t overcome the situation alone, lean on your family, friends, and network. It’s ok to ask for help, but you are also strong enough to make it!

Kunbi Idowu – private chef & caterer

Every challenge in life is like a storm; however strong the challenge may be, it will blow over. Hang on, be strong and courageous, this storm will soon blow over. Above all, turn to God for succour, he will straighten and see you through.


Meg Cook – Artist

What’s the best advice you have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable?
Almost any challenge can be broken down into smaller tasks that don’t feel insurmountable. Doing this will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and will also help you figure out the best plan of attack to accomplish your goal!


Susie Su | fashion blogger

My best advice is to stay clam and remember to surround yourself with loved one & things, then be brave enough to face the challenge. Because challenge are what made life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. We need challenges in our life to make us stronger . Anything is possible!

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