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.
Mena Adubea | Beauty and Lifestyle Influencer
Girl! Listen – it’s you and me both, sis. I often feel this way about a variety of things, but then I remember who my God is and what He’s done for me. My faith has gotten me through the toughest of times and although it may not be tangible enough for some, it is for me! When I’m in doubt or overwhelmed by fear or insecurity, I listen to Worship songs that lift my spirit and it truly works. Talking to a close, trusted friend is always helpful, but I know that the only one that can change my situation is Jesus.
Lakiesha Elaine | Beauty Enthusiast and Entrepreneur
Life happens. It doesn’t mean you quit, it only means it’s time to become more creative. There’s always something that can go wrong, but there’s also always a way around it. The beauty In difficulty is that it does not last. You hold all the power within you to turn your circumstances around in your favor. It is all in how much you’re willing to sacrifice and work for it.
Mellie Valencia | Photographer and Student
I always think and advise people to think of challenges in small little goals. I’m in color guard, and with that comes many challenges that even I, after being in it for a year still struggle with. I look at the challenge and the basics of it. What’s the easiest step I can take to make this challenge easier for me? I take that step and further on into the process until I can achieve and conquer my goals! In color guard I can input this into my choreography of dance, flag, or equipment work I receive. So if I’m told to do a dance piece that I’m not so comfortable with, I take time with myself and my instructors to figure out WHAT I’m struggling with and tackle that problem first. Once I take down that problem, I can move onto the next and become confident in what I preform with!
Kayla Moultrie | Social Worker and Health & Wellness Coach
The best advice I have for someone facing a challenge is God gives the toughest battles to his strongest soldiers and to understand what they are going through now won’t last forever, it’s preparing them for a better tomorrow!
Allison Henderson | Writer & Truth Speaker with a passion to ignite hope
Speak to your mountain! Command it to “MOVE!”, and you will find yourself moving and climbing into victory. Perception is the only obstacle that’s hindering. Because anything we face in life, no matter how insurmountable it may seem, is just an opportunity to climb HIGHER, and unleash the inner FIGHTER—who has been waiting inside us all.
Nichole Bowden | Platting & Professional Land Development Services Coordinator
Everything you experience, all the trials and tribulations you go through prepare you for your purpose and you already have ALL the tools and talents to step into the next phase of your life. Diamonds are just a piece of coal/carbon that did well under pressure, and gold is refined by the fire. How much more precious are you than all the diamonds and gold in the world? When you follow your passion, and do unto to others as you would have done unto yourself, you will always fall into the right place at the right time. No matter how bad a situation looks, every day is a blessing and an opportunity to do good works. Lift up and love your neighbor, reach out and give more than you ever expect to receive. Work twice as hard, pray twice as hard and take pride in yourself & your community in order to make the world a better place to live for us ALL. Stop worrying about the things you cannot control and always give 100% towards the things you can. Step out in faith and believe that you fully equipped to overcome all challenges, and you will be more valuable and stronger than the average person that didn’t have the adversity. Challenges are opportunities, to find an answer and learn and grow. Don’t be afraid to fail, you should be more scared NOT to try and the answer will always be “”NO”” if you don’t ask the question. Even during your darkest moments, look for ways to be a blessing to others and always bring value and positivity to the table, you never know who you are inspiring. Always be kind, if not remain quiet however ALWAYS speak out against injustice and NEVER allow someone to take advantage of another simply because they can. Always be honest, for whatever is in the dark will ALWAYS come into light because all you really have in this world is your word and at the end of the day you can rest knowing that you did your best, and if things didn’t work out it wasn’t because of the lack of trying. #makeapositiveimpactwhilemakingapaycheck
Jenna | Mom | Entrepreneur | Vegan Hairstylist
Rough patches happen! Life happens! Honestly, it becomes overwhelming, it becomes something we may feel is impossible to overcome. Nope anything is possible! Keep in mind that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Understand that obstacles are opportunities. Yes, Opportunities honey! Allow the set-back to strengthen your mind, your body, and your heart. Believe in yourself! Focus on what can instead of what is. Stay committed to moving forward no matter how large, no matter how long the obstacle. You got this!
“I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”” -Philippians 4:13″
Anita Moraes | Engineer | Marathoner | Mom and Life Coach
I always believed that there is no challenge that I cannot overcome. Starting with my own birth, how many sperm struggled to reach the ultimate goal and I beat them all. I could have been any other else, another sex, another body, another appearance, another person, but I wasn’t. I won this race and today all the other challenges of my life become small.
As an amateur street runner I learned to develop focus and discipline. There is no way to achieve a big dream sitting on the couch at home, you have to move, have strategy, look at the thousands of barriers that will come up and face the courage, even if I fail the first time. Failure makes us strong, allows us to expand on ideas and opportunities. Who has never had a failure and the next moment another opportunity arose? So, if I can tell you one advice: don’t be afraid to fail and you will only know if you failed if you try.
Running a 26.2 mi marathon, for example, is like the cake icing. Because the biggest challenge is getting out of my comfortable bed, wearing my outfit, getting my car and going to the gym every day at 4 am, to get to work at 6:30, and at 4 pm be with my daughter and enjoy her with joy , disposition and love. And repeat all this every day of the week.
But I have a goal, I have strategies, I have acquired focus and discipline, so there is no big enough challenge that I cannot overcome.
Jami Amerine | Author | Speaker | Artist
I think attitude is everything. If you believe you can’t, you won’t. If you believe you can, you will. It may seem silly but I talk out loud to myself. I look in the mirror and tell myself how it is going to be. There is nothing more discouraging than battling yourself. At minimum, you need to be on your own side.
Arhinna Luciano | Tarot Life Coach
When facing a big challenge that feels insurmountable… One element of creating a space for change is to imagine if that challenge no longer existed. Envision yourself doing what you want to do and then list what you see yourself doing. Once you can see what you want to do more of, you can create a space to manifest your desires. When faced with a challenge you can achieve more by viewing it as an opportunity! Perspective is key!
Rose Siard | makeup influencer | singer | songwriter | fashion designer
The dictionary’s definition of insurmountable is (a challenge to great to overcome) but us being humans we have decided we can solve anything. This is true if we want to worry, fight the air and generally stay miserable until the conflict is over. So have we really overcome it or did it just fizzle out? I have found the longer you beat your chest the longer it (the challenge) lingers.
Here is a tried and true remedy for everything in life. DON’T PANIC. Stay calm. The calmer you are the quicker the challenge leaves.
When I was 14 I had an insurmountable challenge, I had to find a way to support my family financially. My mama taught me not to worry about anything so I did what I was taught; I prayed and asked the Lord to keep me in peace. I wouldn’t let myself think about the problem and a few days later I went to work singing and making enough income to take care of my Mom, Dad and me.
The insurmountable challenges have kept coming and will keep coming because that is life, but if we deal with them in inner peace they don’t last as long and everyone around you will take notice and your peace will spread.
Karla Deleon | Houston Lifestyle Blogger
For anyone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable just know that there always a light at the end of tunnel. We are going to go through seasons and crazy roads in life but there’s always something good that can come out of every situation. Life would never put a problem in your path that you can’t handle. Ride the wave and know the storm will soon be over.
Janae Strickland-Nunn | Educator | Blogger | Podcaster
The best advice I can give to someone who is facing a challenge is to take a step back, view the situation for what it is, and make a plan to get through it. Even though it may look insurmountable there’s always ways to tackle the situation.
Leticia Motta Rodrigues | Piano Instructor and Piano Studio Owner
My advice to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable would be to ask for help. Quiet often success comes from a team. We rarely accomplish big goals alone.
Working with a team can lead to better business outcomes. Teamwork can bring more resources than individual contributions to overcome a challenge.
Even if people don’t actively help you, they can still give you good advice, talk you through it, or give you different ideas.
Therefore, if you are struggling alone with a situation, why not to ask for help and/or build a team to work on it to succeed?
Ana Silva | esthetician Student
The greater the challenge, the greater the result. You will always have challenges Big or small. The more you overcome the insurmountable challenges The better you become and the more your grow.
Alicia Mali Souvannasane | Journalist | Army Soldier | Mom & Photographer
The best advice I have when facing a challenge is never allow your fears or someone else’s fear take over what you know is instinctively a better path for you. Over the years, from the time I was a child, until now, I have experienced some pretty dark things in my life, to where maybe some would’ve succumbed to the pain by seeking solace in drugs, alcohol, or a life that would not lend to a “”successful”” one. I can’t tell you exactly what to believe as far as faith goes, but I never gave up hope. I would pray for a better way, a better life. I just prayed to whoever was listening. I would imagine about all the things I wanted to accomplish and constantly dream of doing everything I was told I could not do.
I don’t want to mislead anyone by saying that fighting continuously for a better life is easy. Life is filled with challenges, and we all go through phases where it hits pretty hard. No one is immune to pain, to challenges, to adversities. But, by plugging away little by little, eventually things get better. One has to truly and sincerely believe by doing the right things, that the right kind of energy will come back. You have to believe in doing the right things even when no one is looking. Integrity is so important. And loyalty is rare. You have to be loyal to your vision, and loyal to those who genuinely support you. Surround yourself with those who you look up to or those who inspire you. THIS is crucial to your growth. Never give up on yourself no matter how hard life gets.
Casey Barbles | Founder, @the_informal_grub
To the individual who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, the best advice I can give is that this situation does not define you, this is not your whole story. It most definitely is a piece of the story and that should be respected and embraced. I choose to be a glass half-full type of person and that saved me when I was struggling with chronic illness. To me, it is important to see the good, feel the bad and to be kind to yourself throughout this period of your life. You will come out on top.
Amanda Walls Warren | Pharmacist | Cat Mom | Lover of Cake | Virtual Health and Fitness Coach
When you’re faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge it’s important to first pause and take a deep breath. In the moment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the situation and you may start to feel anxious or even be flooded by a sense of panic. Take that second to breathe and get your emotions in check before they get too far out of control. Next, reflect on all of life’s struggles that you’ve made it through thus far and BELIEVE that you’ll get through this too. Our brains are very powerful and what you tell yourself becomes your reality. Therefore your belief that you can get through this challenge is crucial. Take it one step/decision at a time, do the very best you can, and turn the rest over to God.
Alexa Dolmo | Lifestyle and Beauty Blogger + Content Creator
Being a situation where you feel like everything is not working out for you can be very tough, I have been there in the past and I know it’s not easy. However, I believe that everything is just temporary and things always happen for a reason. If you are currently facing a challenge, my best advice is to surrender by the word of God and change your mindset; start thinking positive, manifest the things you want, and claim things into existence because it’s real.
The more negative thoughts we create in our minds, the worst it will get and we don’t want that to happen. Staying focused and committed to the goal is the way to go! I believe in you. Continue moving forward.
Holly Noelle | photographer for the awkward & hopeless romantics
My advice for anyone thinking something is too big to overcome, is to face it with a grain of salt and some humor to get you through it. I’ve always been the kind of person to be stopped by things I think are insurmountable, but taking a step back to pause and find the humor in it helps get past most of the stress and worry of trying to overcome obstacles. Just take a moment to realize that your goals and dreams are always possible, just sometimes not as easy or the way you thought they’d be. As cliche as it is, laughter is the best cure, best served with some puns.
Jenny Rose | Yoga Instructor | Mom | Spa Consultant & Student
On the days you want to give up, remind yourself of the reason(s) you started.
Find the optimistic viewpoint in every situation.
Understand what lessons this is trying to teach you.
Repeat positive affirmations.
Look at a vision board.
Listen to binaural beats.
Stay positive! Stay optimistic! Stay moving forward!
My advice to someone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable would be to lean into that pain. We often run from pain not realizing that pain is our only true option for growth. Think about the seed that must die when it is planted. It loses air and is buried beneath the soil. It is watered there, but still buried. No one sees it, feels it, or even knows that it’s there. It sprouts little by little, still unseen, pushing its way through the dirt, rocks, and sometimes tarp. When it finally reaches the surface, it’s able to become what it was initially buried to be. A rose then appears revealing it’s beauty despite its thorns. Maybe a tree that produces fruit for the world. Either way, the process of being buried had to happen in order for the world to see the beauty in this thing. You are the seed, your pain is your burial, and in time the fruit you produce from your pain will eventually change the world. Stay planted.
Katy Stapp | Lifestyle Blogger and Writer
Realize that challenges are a gift. Without challenge, there is no growth. Billie Jean King says, “Pressure is a privilege.” Think of a time in your life where you were most proud of yourself. I bet you a million bucks it wasn’t during a time of smooth sailing. I bet you were going through something rough, and you came out stronger and better, and for that you admired yourself and learned a lot. Hold on to that — at the end of this challenge that seems impossible to get through, you will make it out, and you’ll be grateful for it later. Embrace the challenge; let it teach you.
Zaine Kasem, J.D. | Houston Real Estate Specialist
The key word is ‘feel’. There is no challenge that is insurmountable. However, often times we ‘feel’ that we can’t overcome something challenging. After all, most of the fear is only in our minds. It’s important to not only remember but know who you are inside and what you are capable of achieving. My advice is to power through. Dig deep down inside and fight for your destiny. Do that and You will overcome your challenges.
Dana Chehab | Certified Counselor & Business Owner
This Summer my aunt was diagnosed with cancer, and I realized something incredible in the midst of her fear and pain that I will never forget when handling any sort of difficult situation: your attitude makes a world of difference.
Despite being handed one of the most difficult challenges anyone may go through, she smiled and laughed and had faith. Not only does what you feel on the inside show on the outside, but what you show on the outside and the way you act, down to the muscles that are used when you smile, do affect what you’re feeling on the inside. This is actually a scientifically researched fact, so if you’re in the midst of any sort of challenge, no matter how hard, don’t forget to smile, laugh, and be positive, even if you don’t think you have it in you. Because it could bring positivity inside, even when you least expect it.
Eliana Palomo | Founder and Designer of Agua de Rosas Jewelry
I think that sometimes we are afraid of changes because we are not sure that it will happen the way we expect. Sometimes we put resistance and don’t give a chance to something new.
I think that in order to make hard decisions, we must always think of all consequences involved in the long term. We should try to visualize if those decisions will generate positive changes to your life and to you as a person. It is normal to fear changes but I think they always come as great opportunities and we should not be closed to that unknown. On the contrary, we should see it as a challenge to develop a sense of resilience and we should see it as another step in the path to accomplish success.
Isabella Magro | Home Goods Creator and Interior Designer | Professional Organizer | House Plant Curator and Teacher
Don’t be afraid of challenges. If you approach them the right way, they will make you stronger! Treat challenges as opportunities, not obstacles. Face them and start looking for solutions. Realize that what works for other people may not work for you, so don’t be discouraged if your path to overcoming a challenge seems harder than for others. It’s healthy to learn from your past mistakes, not to dwell on them.
My grandfather always told me to FIGHT. Fight for your love, your family, and for your own happiness. That is how I try to live my life. He taught me that true change comes from your example, not your opinions.
I recently faced a challenge that completely changed my life: I came to the United States without speaking English, without knowing more than a few people, and without a job or long-term housing. I felt alone and missed my family terribly. But I knew that I had to prove to myself that I could make it. I had FAITH, I believed in myself and I didn’t look back, just forward.
The most wonderful part of this journey was when a moved to New York City! I made friends, found a job and an apartment, and did it all on my own! And after a couple of months there I met the love of my life. We got married in Central Park; a dream wedding for us. It was simple and romantic and I was surrounded by my new friends and my new family.
Shortly after our wedding we decided to move to Houston. It was a new challenge for us. A new home and new friends. But I faced this challenge as I faced others, and found such a friendly and amazing city!
It was in Houston that I found my calling: I found out that crafts, decorating and organizing homes, and raising plants are my therapy. While I’m doing these things I forget all my troubles and live in the moment. I am one of the lucky few who love what they do for work every day.
I’m still fighting and that is the best part of life, because when you win your challenges you feel stronger and ready for the next ones.
Catherine Olmos | Sr. Loan Originator
If someone felt a situation was insurmountable I’d have to remind them that we don’t always see clearly when we are in the middle of a world wind. Once the dust settles you will be able to see a bigger picture and hopefully see the lessons you were presented with. When you have a challenge you feel you can’t overcome take a deep breath and know that it won’t last forever. That is so cliche but its the truth it won’t last forever and whatever the situation is it can be overcome, there can be change and there can be ‘light’ again. One foot in front of the other and that will get you to the next day; might be the next few days, weeks or months. Having a support system is beyond a blessing but I know that not all people do, in that instance don’t dwell on the bad/negative of the situation instead focus on getting to a point where the dust has settled and you can ‘breath’ again then you can reflect, address, fix, and truly overcome.