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.
Arrica Afton | Founder of CECE | TAME and Mama Mentor for Social Mama App
Sometimes our core must be shook in order to realign. I say the core because the core by definition, is: the central or most important part of something. We are stubborn human beings by nature and will not always listen to the signs right in front of us. Like the tree that is shaken to allow the fruit to fall.
nakieta johnson | podcaster and Blogger
Believe in yourself and know that there is something inside of you that is greater than any challenge or obstacle.
Alessandra Madrid | Lifestyle Blogger & Digital PR Manager
Rock bottom will teach you what mountain tops never will. Whatever it is, you can work through it, it will get better, and you’ll rise wiser and stronger. Keep pushing.
Reese Garcia | Business student | foodie | Future world-traveler
A piece of advice I have for someone facing a challenge is to think about perspective. How you view yourself and the obstacles ahead should be the groundwork for overcoming those obstacles. Your mindset can be the difference between “this is impossible, I can’t do it,” to “it’s possible if I try.” To me, that is exactly the kind of thinking that encourages positive behaviors and positive outcomes. Along with perspective there needs to be an understanding that everyone’s experience is different. It’s so much more difficult to overcome challenges when you are constantly comparing your journey to someone else’s. People come from all walks of life, and while similar problems may sometimes arise their journey will always be different from yours. Take your time and go at a pace that is comfortable for you. No matter how long it takes or how many errors you make you will succeed and overcome anything.
Olivia Kuan | Director of Brick House
Take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. Your community is there to support you. I never would have thought so many people would get behind me on this project. And they wouldn’t have, if I had not told them about it.
Mariah Henry | CEO of ‘Deeper Than Dance’ and Dancer/choreographer
Endure until the end. Many times we have to get through tribulations in order to gain blessings. Stopping in the middle will only leave us wondering what we could have gained and where we could be. If you leave yourself wondering, it is the same as ending up wandering around. I will always encourage people to spend time with yourself and spend time with God. Pray, meditate, think about the problem and find new answers while focusing on how you overcame past challenges!
Meagen Post | Oil and Gas Marketing Professional
First of all, I am a firm believer in the idea that in order to see a change in your life, you have to be willing to make a change. I also truly believe that in most scenarios, the change tends to be very challenging. So with that in mind, I would create a plan that would help me to be successful with said challenge. For example, when faced with the challenge, your first instinct is to overreact, freak out, think the worst, doubt yourself, etc. My advice would be to take a step back and breathe. You want to make sure you have a full understanding of what this challenge is. Gather all the info – timeline, expectations, who is involved, what supplies you will need, budget, etc. and then sit down and start planning out how you will face this challenge. In some cases, it may take you weeks to figure this part out. In others, it may be a few minutes. You want to make sure you are setting yourself up for success, so give yourself the time you need to figure out how to do this. Time is an extremely precious commodity, one that many people feel they do not have enough of, so use it wisely. On a closing note, not every challenge ends up successful. And that is okay. It is devastating in the moment, but even though the project might have ended in failure, if you learned something from it, then maybe there was a small success in there as well.
Heather Wehrly | Supercar Owner and Driver
Put a demand on yourself to be fearless. Otherwise, you will never know how strong you are or feel the conquering pride you deserve.
Being defeated is an option. Don’t make it yours.
Janine G. | Mother & Blogger
The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to remember this quote from Nelson Mandela: “”It always seems impossible until it’s done.””
I’ve faced many challenges in my life where I’ve felt this way: starting a new job, dealing with an illness of a loved one, achieving personal goals like losing baby weight, or starting my blog.
It’s important to surround yourself with people who love and support you most–and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I also pray for guidance before making big decisions.
I’ve also found that regular exercise helps keep me strong both physically and mentally; my mind feels clearer and better able to handle life’s stressors.
So take one day at a time and start with small steps. Do what you can today, and be thankful for each success or accomplishment along the way. It takes courage to face tough challenges. Be proud of yourself for showing patience, strength and resilience each and every day you continue to face them.
And though it may be hard during your challenging time to appreciate the journey, remember that you’ll probably gain wisdom or insight from these life lessons and will one day be able to help someone else.
Nique Babie | Public Figure & Actress
The best advice I would give someone who is facing a challenge is to Keep Faith, don’t give up on anything, failure is not an option.. Never have fear of doing what u dream of doing!! It’s okay to try and try again, once u get to that last try it’s gonna be worth it!!!
Ashley Jove | Wellness Coach
The best advice I can give anyone who is facing a challenge and they feel is insurmountable is to focus more on the solution and not on the problem! You will experience life in different ways, it is up to you on how you will react to the situation. Remain a student and learn from your mistakes at the end of the day if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem & smarter than you think so get up, dress up, show up and NEVER give up!!!
Doray Castillo | Event Producer
Do not be afraid; fear distracts you from your objective. Embrace the wisdom and fight inside you and use it to visualize how you are going to achieve your goals and how you are going to overcome your challenge. Go for it. Believe in yourself!
Destiny Saucedo | blogger | influencer
Remember about all the other times you felt like you couldn’t go through something on your own then apply it to what you’re currently going through and always stay positive!
Maria Pellman | Writer
I think in life, the only think that is insurmountable is death. This thing called “life” is everything we need to overcome anything, anytime, anywhere. Life will bring us so many challenges everyday. There are going to be challenges that are easier to overcome than others. There’s going to be days when we’re going to want to give up because we think it’s the easiest way out, when the easiest way out is to keep on pushing and trying harder. Every time we try harder we’re steps closer to where we are headed than to where we started. I do believe there are very difficult challenges in life that can make us think and feel we’re not going to make it, but with certainty I can tell you we all do… we all do make it if we want to make it. We all find the light at the end of the tunnel. There is a light waiting for us. Find it and let it go with you anywhere you go and make you shine, because you deserve it. Everything in this life has a solution, everything. Therefore, with certainty and affirmation I can tell you there’s no such thing as an insurmountable challenge, unless you want it to be that way.
Eva Anderson | Spanish Medical Interpreter | Wellness Advocate
I decided to go back to school at the ripe age of 50 years of age. I had been having nursing school on my heart for quite some time but because I was older, I kept talking myself out it. Also, math had never been my forte therefore the pre-requisites and all the steps to get into a nursing program all seemed completely overwhelming and insurmountable. Needless to say, I finally had a deep conversation with myself, told myself I could do this and broke the bigger picture into small manageable steps and started at square one. I am now waiting for an acceptance letter from the nursing program after having completed all pre-requisites for nursing (and there’s so many!)
So the advice I would have for someone facing an insurmountable challenge would be to first of all meditate on the situation, write out a plan on what small steps you can take to overcome whatever it is you are facing. Make a checklist. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Celebrate each step of the way and don’t allow any room for negativity. Enlist the help of others because basically we need our own little cheer leading squad sometimes to push us through when you feel like quitting – and I say when because there will be those times you just wanna throw in the towel – but don’t give up. Remember your purpose and know that you will come out on the other side – and a much stronger person because of it!”
Elisabeth Webb | Style Advisor
Nothing is insurmountable if you’ve weighed out both outcomes of a situation. Remove your self from the equation and think of how you would advise your best friend. Follow your gut instinct.
Jayla Johnson | Curve Model and Creative
Keep fighting. Remember that challenge you felt like you just couldn’t overcome a month ago? Two months? Maybe even a year? You overcame it. The trails of your today won’t last forever.
Gabby Smith | Insurance Broker & Agency Builder
First remember your goals and the big picture. Then, take action and start with the smallest thing you can do to get you closer to where you want to be. If you do the small things right and for long enough, your challenges get smaller.
Nathalie Ambar Lozano | Philanthropist | Creator | Health and Wellness Educator
First and foremost, take some time to find a quite place where you won’t be bothered, and allow yourself to express all of the pent up emotions of stress and worry about the challenge, in whatever safe and healing way helps you to release them the most. This is crucial – do not ignore! Would you rather face your challenges carrying around all of the negative emotions it’s creating within you, or would you rather lighten your load up a bit by letting some of those emotions go before you even begin finding your solution? You won’t be able to avoid feeling and releasing forever, and the more you try to avoid, the worse you will feel as those emotions continue to fester – for they too are waiting for their moment of sweet relief.
When s#!t hits the fan, as it inevitably will from time to time, the best thing I’ve found that helps me get from one side of a problem to the solution side of it, is getting real. Real down and real dirty. There is no other choice but to face life head on during challenging times. If you’re afraid of getting real with yourself about what must be done to change your circumstances, you might fail to clearly see all the areas on the fan that need cleaning. On the other hand, if you’re afraid to get dirty, you might avoid the job all together, and well, we all know how that usually turns out..
Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself how you came to be in the situation you’re in. Sometimes, they are self-created for the purpose of our own learning and development, and sometimes, they are circumstantial; but even then, life is still offering you an opportunity to level up in some way. And that is something to be celebrated! Our entire existence relies on evolving and adapting, for the simple desire life has of wanting to continue to experience over and over again. Whether this expresses itself in large or small ways, either way, it is for your own fulfillment of experience and self-realization that life continues on serving up creative opportunities to grow. Chaos is a catalyst.
So ask yourself, if you haven’t already, what do you want out of life? What do you want out of the current insurmountable challenge that’s in front of you? It may not feel like it in the moment, but if you dig deep enough, you come to realize that you have all the power to affect your life in whatever way you please, and to demand of life to conspire with you to reach your goals. I have personally experienced the power of having so much conviction, that life has no choice but to listen and help me attain my desire, and I know for a fact that you can experience this as well.
With that, I encourage you to research and explore, to give yourself all the tools you can find to lead yourself to success. Connect with the deepest parts of you, and connect with the unlimited assistance you have at your fingertips in this day and age, to learn about yourself, discover your patterns, and unearth what will help you the most during hard times. Read a book or watch a video that will teach you about yourself, and how to overcome specific challenges; listen to your body if its asking for more attention – do ANYTHING but remain powerless. Because at the end of the day, it’s all up to you to decide what you will see when your eyes open in the morning, and how you will choose to feel as they continue to experience your life throughout the day.
And finally, always remember that there is someone out there that sees you as powerful, worthy, loved and highly favored – and everyday, they pray that you see what they see, when you look in the mirror.
Lalita Nilakantan | Lifestyle Blogger
Embrace your life with all its good and bad. Give yourself the chance to see the positives during difficult times. If you need to, take your time to tackle challenges. It’s okay to make mistakes, to not have it all together. Be more compassionate towards yourself, believe in yourself and your worth. Be strong, keep going. For there is always light at the end of a tunnel.
Chidera Ilomechine | Registered Nurse | Wellness Coach | Dancer
Everything looks like a failure in the middle , You can’t bake a cake without getting the kitchen messy, so PERSERVERE!!
Its not a SPRINT it’s a Marathon. its is okay to take time off to reevaluate, recharge and restrategize but it is not okay to give up, you have a lot of greatness and potential in you.
Put your faith in God and believe that everything happens for a reason and all thing are working together for your good, trust me everything will fall in place
Change your mindset, think positive, change your thinking from I can’t ! to How can I ?
Believe that you can overcome this, I believe in you!!! cos you are BADA$$$
Lilliam Ayala | Lilly Artistry | Bridal Makeup Artist
Whenever I face a challenge or circumstance in my life that feels insurmountable, I step back from the situation, breathe, meditate and think of ways I can resolve the situation. As a makeup artist, I have been blessed with many opportunities to network with many vendors and I’ll admit there’s been many times I have been put in situations outside of my comfort zone. It’s always important to remember that you’ll always learn from these experiences, whether it was a smooth or challenging task, that’s how we grow as a person. Always know that it’s okay to ask for advice or help from others! Make a list of accomplishments you have achieved and celebrate every challenge you have overcome, whether it’s big or small. You are not alone, have faith in yourself that you can do it. You are strong!
Michelle Carson | Makeup Artist
Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.
Courtney Griffin | motherhood and family photographer
The best advice I can give to someone facing a challenge they believe is insurmountable is to stop, take a breath, say a prayer, and sleep on it. Everything seems clearer in the morning.
Alex Irwin | Creator | Writer & lover of people
Friend, I hope as you read this that it would empower you to face the challenges that will arise in your life with courage and the bravery you need to overcome them. My hope in writing this is that you would help you see life and challenges with hope and a new sense of purpose. Life can be hard and we are guaranteed trials but if you grab the hands of Jesus, you will begin to be filled with hope no matter what you’re facing. You can overcome anything life throws at you when you know the One who is the Over comer of all things. I have seen God do the unimaginable in my life and I have overcome odds that I shouldn’t have/couldn’t have if I didn’t have Jesus on my side. I have faced many hardships in my 25 years of life and have felt so many of the challenges were insurmountable and for 18 years I went through those challenges feeling hopeless and believing the lie that there was no light at the end of the tunnel or that the challenge would conquer me before I was able to conquer it but Jesus rescued me and from that moment on my outlook on challenges changed and I was able to look at any challenge that came my way through a different lens.
My hope for you is that you would let Jesus do the same for you. What I once saw as giant mountains became opportunities to learn and grow and they were opportunities to see the power faith can have if we believe God is bigger than that mountain towering over us. When we invite God in – our biggest mountains don’t stand a chance. My encouragement to you, friend would be to grab hold of the hands of Jesus and let Him conquer the challenge(s) for you because He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever do on our own. Trials, challenges, heartbreak, less than ideal circumstances are opportunities to grow you and strengthen you and often times inspire you to create and become all that you were created to be. I look back on the greatest trials of my life and realize they are now the very things that have inspired some of my best work, overflow into my creativity daily, my ministry, and help me live my everyday life with a strength and zeal that isn’t my own. I look back on my dad’s death, having a child as a senior in high school, addiction, depression, suicide, poverty and generational struggles that made me feel I would never make a new life for my son and myself and always think of Propaganda’s words, “wear your scars out loud, that’s the fingerprints of the Lord.” We don’t need to bow down or try and hide the challenges we face but use them as a platform so God can get His glory. If you want to conquer your challenges – partner with the Conqueror Himself and you will look back and realize nothing that comes your way is more powerful than the God who wants a relationship with Y O U. Once you have God inside of your heart – you are unstoppable and live as a conqueror. Your challenge(s) that seem insurmountable will become the stepping stone for you to reach new levels. Stay strong, friend. You have been created for more than you could have ever dreamed!
Yasmin A. | Content Creator
Talk to a couple of friends about the challenge. They may be able to offer clarity on the challenge and various solutions for it. Also another way you can solve the challenge is write the challenge down. Then brainstorm a couple of solutions for it.
Belinda B. Schmidt | Top Producing Realtor at John Daugherty Realtors & Texas Longhorn Fan Extraordinaire
I find that our insecurities and fears are the biggest hurdles to overcome when faced with insurmountable tasks. So just know that fear is universal and lean into the fear.. use that gut instinct to guide you. Seek out advice from all sources, over and over. Then eat that “elephant” one bite at a time.
Katherine Marchand | ABC13 Reporter
Turn to people who have been in your shoes. You probably have a friend, relative, or mentor who has dealt with the same challenge! Reach out and ask for advice. And don’t lose sight of the end goal – this is only temporary!
Kristi Davis | MomPrenuer | Food Blogger & Legal Professional
We’re all faced with challenges big and small, whether it be personally or in business. Sometimes they are bigger than we think we can handle; but remember – you are resilient and stronger than you realize. Start small with the things you know you can tackle, then knock the tasks off one by one. Seeing progress, even a little, will help with feeling accomplished. Do what you can, work first on what you excel in the most (which will boost your confidence!), trust the process, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We can all make each other better by bringing different strengths and perspectives to the table. Keep at it – beautiful things take time, and that’s okay. You’ve got this!
Taryn Shaffer | Life coach & blogger
Follow your gut, even when you don’t understand the why. Know that everything happening is shaping a beautiful transformation. You’re not going to understand it all, & that’s okay.