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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 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 individuals in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

Adela Sanchez | Makeup Artist

The best advice I can give you if you facing a challenge in life or even in makeup, just keep on challenging yourself to do better, to become better. When I first started doing makeup I was horrible at it & was feeling like i wasn’t good enough like them Mua’s but was like to become better I have to practice/challenge myself. Don’t get me wrong at times I got frustrated or feeling like giving up but remember you can got this. “With a good makeup brush, every woman can become an artist”.


Shantres Michaels | Hairstylist | Braider of Touched By Trece

Establishing and growing my own business as a Hairstylist/Braider with a full family was by far my greatest challenge. In my experience, I would say with every mountain climb there is a solution to the problem. NEVER let anyone stop your dreams or make them sound like a mistake. Your vision is just that “Your Vision”. No one can tell you who, what, when, where, or how when you are in control of your future and success. Write down everything, anything that you feel is a step closer to your goals. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!


Amy V. Nguyen | Infusion nurse & Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner Student

Have faith, try your best because your best is enough, and know there is light somewhere at the end of the tunnel.


Latavia Marshall | EyeCandy’s Ceo and brand Influencer

For individuals facing challenges my best advice is Pray and have faith any situation feeling stuck in a situation is mental if you believe you can come out of it you will. All situations are as permanent as you make them! There’s always someone doing worst than you. Take everything one day at a time have faith and believe a better situation is being prepared for you. There’s always a rainbow after the rain!


Mary Jackson | WIfe | Mother | Realtor | Apartment Locator

The best advice I can give someone that is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is ” Do all you can do, and God will do the rest!” You must have perseverance, somethings when we are ready to quit, we don’t realize how close we are. When I decided to become a realtor, the first year was very challenging: I was broke, I had know idea what I was getting into, I felt knocked down and defeated a lot of days. I had to pray more, thank God for the blessing before I received them, cry in the bathroom without my children seeing me, and call my mom for motivation. My grandmother would always say, if you can wake up you can get up (things could be worst). It’s what makes you appreciate your goals, the struggles you went through to achieve them.


Kristal Cherelle | Singer/Songwriter | Teacher and Artist

Close your eyes. Think about the last time you felt this way. Where are you? Who’s involved? What happened? Who did you become because of it? You have overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges your entire life. Each time you overcome, you get wiser, you get stronger, you become closer to who you want to be. Rise to the occasion. Each challenge is an opportunity! 

Brittany Jannise Weldon | Artist & Pharmacist

In my daily job as well as in my business, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Goals, deadlines, pressure to deliver; sometimes it can feel like the world is demanding the impossible. The way I handle these challenges is pretty simple: I do one thing at a time, and do it to the best of my ability. Taking a huge challenge and breaking it down into smaller goals is the best way to approach something enormous. Try not to focus so hard on the big picture – it can feel really far away and impossible to overcome when you are staring at it head-on. Instead, take that big picture and focus on the steps it will take to get there. For example, I have an art show coming up. With my day job, and life in general happening, how am I supposed to get all my supplies, be ready for the show, AND paint several paintings for it? Instead of feeling overwhelmed and giving up, I just take one step at a time. On a busy day I will decide that I will finish a smaller painting because that’s all I have time to do – and that’s okay. Then when you have made one step, celebrate your victory! No matter how small the step was, you are that much closer to your goal, and that is amazing. If you wake up every morning knowing you are doing the best you can do, and heading in the right direction, it will make it much easier to sleep at night – and one day you will wake up realizing that you’ve made it.


Mandi Kreisher  | Cat lover | Prosecco drinker

The keyword here is “feel.” You feel like a challenge is insurmountable, but is it really? Anything new or different in our lives is always going to feel like such a huge undertaking. Take it step by step, day by day and don’t overthink. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a break and cool off. Believe in yourself! We know you got this and you should too!!



When facing a challenge that I feel is insurmountable I always go back to the root. What is my “why”? I then make a list of things that I need to complete, and do one task at a time, and if I have the resources I delegate the task. Breaking it down into smaller tasks will make it easier to get through the challenging time. Sometimes life throws us obstacles that feel beyond our capabilities; however, understanding that life is uncertain and learning to live in the unknown is the key to overcoming limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. The unknown is where life is happening and where all that your expansion is. Your current comfort zone is what makes you feel safe, to step out of your current comfort zone you will need to go through a phase of discomfort. This discomfort is the <unknown> zone. Once you’ve acclimated to this new zone you will become comfortable again; only your zone has grown. If you want life’s best, don’t spend too much time in your current comfort zone! In the midst of all the chaos, I recommend an RX of: Balance, Self Care and Self Love. Keep working hard and stay focused.


Blushedbyshawntenicole | Traveling Freelance MUA

The best advice I have for someone going though a challenge they feel is too great to overcome; is to remember that we are almost ALWAYS going though a storm, in a storm or just coming out of a storm in our lives. Remain positive and know that your mind is powerful. You can change your painful situation into paradise with the way you think. Mind over matter. “He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power.”ISAIAH‬ ‭40:29‬

Snapchat:  blushedbyshawntenicole


Amanda Wicks | Ph.D. Student | Agent of Change | Creative

Here’s the thing…I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve faced situations that seemed insurmountable. But guess what? I got through each and every one of them. When I feel like I can’t get through it, I remind myself of all the times I’ve been triumphant when I didn’t think it would be possible. If I got through every single tough situation up to this point, why would I not be able to get through this one? It’s about trusting your strength and your ability to thrive. You have a lifetime of experience in the area of perseverance so it’s time to show up and show out!


Kemi OG | Afrofusion Dance Artist and Instructor

A bite, no matter how small, still leaves less cake than before. As long as you are doing something to help the situation you are in, even if it is to breathe and to stay positive for that day, it is still a step in the right direction and gets you closer to your goal. There are some days when you feel motivated and empowered to tackle that challenge and you can accomplish a lot. There are some days you are tired, discouraged, burned out and you feel the world is against you or you have taken 3 steps back. If all you can manage to do is breathe and watch your favorite show with some ice cream that day, allow yourself to do so and celebrate; it is better than quitting, so it is still a win. Not all challenges can be fixed quickly and some of them take time. Allow yourself to make mistakes, rest, recover and accomplish in small doses when necessary.

Brenna | Model and university of Houston student

No challenge is in fact insurmountable, even when it appears that way. The universe does not give more than you can handle but it does challenge you to expand past your comfort zone. Challenges are vital to growth and change is crucial to better oneself. Often times we let issues that arise make us feel out of control, remind yourself that you have control over daily moments in your response to a challenge. Life is sweet and made all the more sweeter once you’ve had success over things that seemingly want to stop you in your tracks. Keep moving forward one step at a time. I promise it’s worth it.


Jennifer Spottswood | HAIR STYLIST | COLORIST HABIT Hand-tied Extensions Specialist

Summerdays Photography

My advice would be to put all their Faith in God. God has a plan for each of us and he will never give us anything we can’t handle. Your focus will become your reality. Our minds will always believe what we tell it. Therefore, our choices should reflect our hopes, not our fears. Never allow your decisions to be based on someone else’s opinions. Always remember… Your tribe is your vibe, so surround yourself with positive people!


Viv Kadbi | Bilingual Fitness & Health Coach

I’ve yourself the opportunity to succeed – We all have our own battles, and whether it is fitness or life in general, you have the power to define how this challenge will affect your life.

I used to be 86 lbs – very skinny and often sick. A few times I started exercising to become stronger, but when I would share this goal with other people I always got the same answer “”This is just your body. You will always be skinny.”” And for a while I let this challenge, and other people’s believes, take the best of me, and I quit without even trying.

I was still working out, but accepted that I would never be strong – I felt defeated because somehow other people new better.

Then one day walking by a pizzeria and I saw a quote: “”Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will,” it sounds like BS but I swear this is how it happened. I couldn’t stop thinking about that quote! I mean, I really didn’t give myself the chance to succeed, which means I didn’t let myself fail either. So, decided to try again, and this time I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

It’s been almost 2 years since then, and even though it has been a long journey, I am now 100 Lbs and stronger than I’ve ever been. I also became a fitness coach and share my journey through social media and my fitness blog to motivate myself and others.

Bottom line: Let the challenge be your drive and motivation to succeed, instead of seeing it as a limitation that just makes you feel stuck. If you ever need help, I am just a DM away 🙂


Jacqueline Vann | Owner of Jacqueline Ann Photography | Capturer of Life and Movement Photography

Never see something as insurmountable. Look at it as a challenge to overcome. Establish dominance over your fear and put all of your heart and soul into what you are doing. Get out of your comfort zone and go for it! Surround yourself with positive people who will always cheer you on especially on days when you don’t feel your best. Don’t ever look at others as competition, only compete with who you were yesterday. Be ambitious! Be your own fire! In the process, make sure to always stay kind and humble to everyone.


Lindsey Pettigrew | Home Baker & soon to be Mom

Nothing is insurmountable! If it’s something that you want or want to get past, you do it! Have confidence and you tell yourself that you will make it happen!


LaTasha Reynolds | CEO of Art in Party | Dynamic Art Instructor

The beauty of facing something that you may feel is insurmountable, is the unknown strength you unconsciously possess. With determination, courage, and patience you can overcome anything. Therefor, you have to run into your divine destiny and never forget to pray and put God first. Psalm 138:3 In the day when I cried out. You answered me. And made me bold with strength in my soul.


Tiffany Hollimon | Visionary Style Creator

KJanise Photography

The best advice for someone who is facing any type of challenge they feel is insurmountable would be to embrace their journey. Although everyone’s journey is designed differently there will always be some sort of obstacle in the way of reaching the final goal. As I’m sure most business owners can relate that in order to succeed, there will be many sleepless nights, a ton of tears shed, even times where you want to give up but never let that be an option. Also, in order to grow you have to step outside of your comfort zone. With that being said let go of any fears, take a mental picture of your goal then write it down to make it plain, attack each goal little by little, embrace each challenge that you may face, and prepare to succeed.

Ashleigh Keith | Web Designer

My best advice for someone facing any challenge that they see as insurmountable is to break everything down into the smallest tasks possible. Everything seems like a beast when you’re only looking at the end goal, but it’s the little things that you do every day that push the needle towards making that goal a reality.

Once you break those tasks down, break them down even further. Break them down all the way and then schedule time to do them in your to-do list in a way that makes sense for how you work best.

It’s those small steps – that 1% a day improvement that really adds up in the end. Work at it every day, and it’ll work out. 

Luna | Hair Art Director

Love yourself & Fight. It is inevitable that there will be mountains in life but we should never lose sight of the end goal. I know that my story ends in success, come what may, I gotta get up and fight not because I wanna post a great picture but because I love myself enough to fight for myself. If you love yourself enough to truly know AND trust yourself, you will be the best coach you’ve ever had. Everyone has had a taste of victory and a taste of defeat. There will always be ups and downs in life but when we’re at the bottom we gotta remember the top, and when we’re at the top remember the bottom.


Ruth Spradley and Maria Serafine | Balloon Designers

Take it a day at a time. When I face a challenge I decide to write out my big goals, where I want to end up and I work backwards to decide what are the steps necessary to make that goal a reality. Make a road map and decide what resources and habits you need to gain to face that challenge. I do not make a task list, but a results list so that each day I know what I need to accomplish. I decide which 3 on the list will get me to my goal and those become the goal posts. Then i work towards coming up with mile markers that will get me to that goal posts and that will eventually help me reach my big goal. So get out there and taking on those challenges one at a time.

Elizabeth Stoll | Boutique Owner

Starting Stitchery Boutique really taught me how to take overcome challenges that seem impossible. As a single mom to a 5 and 7 year old I knew I would get overwhelmed with these huge tasks that needed to be done in a short finite amount of (kid-free) time. I had to come up with a flexible routine for how to handle these situations.

I want a clear mind not worrying about everything that’s going on in my life or what needs to be done so I always clear my head with a quick 5 minute meditation. Next, I create a bullet point list of everything that needs to be done in no particular order just as they come to mind. I then put the list into task groups which I prioritize.

The concept that breaking huge impossible tasks down and writing them into small manageable task list, you are preventing yourself from getting overwhelmed with all that needs to be done and able to focus on completing the task at hand. You also take away the worry of what you have to do next because it’s written out in front of you while you chip away at the challenge one small task at a time.

I have a tendency to write down steps/items I don’t really need to because it makes it more fun to cross them off my list! Some times I break down the lists into times that I work on. I have a master list and more specific lists. Create your list in a way that works for you and your situation!

Melanie Picou | Figure Skating Coach and Fashion and lifestyle influencer

In the moment a challenge can feel so overwhelming and difficult to overcome, but it’s important to remember that all situations will pass. When I’m faced with adversity I try to take a moment to digest the big picture and then break it down into achievable tasks. Don’t ever feel bad about taking time to figure yourself out or for asking others for help. Life is too short to let challenges stress you out. Just remember you are awesome and you got this.


Bijal Patel | Neuro Physical Therapist with a side love for fashion and travel

I think it is important to first reflect upon why you feel something is insurmountable. Be honest with yourself – is it REALLY insurmountable or is there something driving that outlook on the challenge in front of you? Is it fear? Is it a lack of confidence in yourself? Sometimes we channel a lot of energy into ours fears and self-doubts rather than focusing our energy on just doing the damn thing. Imagine what you could accomplish just by focusing your energy differently?

When I first sat down to answer this question, I immediately thought of one of my favorite quotes: “By the yard it’s hard, but inch by inch, anything is a cinch.” From my own experience, the best advice I can give someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to break it down “inch by inch”. Looking ahead to the expected end result or focusing on the challenge in its entirety can be daunting.Take the challenge in front of you and break it down into steps. It doesn’t matter how many steps. It can be 3 steps or 30 steps. Regardless of how many steps it takes, you just need to focus on accomplishing step 1. Once you can put a check mark next to step 1, you will have the confidence to tackle step 2 and then step 3 and so on. It starts with believing in yourself. Channel your energy and break down the obstacles in front of you and nothing will seem insurmountable.


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