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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 dthey 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.

Shan Cathey | Fine Art Photographer

Photo Credit: Catty Visions Photography

My best advice for someone facing insurmountable odds is to stay focused, keep your eye on the prize, and to never forget the “why” you started your journey to begin with. Whether your goal is starting a new business, finishing school or getting a better job to support your family there will always be obstacles along the way. As a realist, I believe no one ever skips the “struggle phase” of life. We all go through hard times, unfortunately some more than others. There are times we may feel discouraged or feel like giving up, but as long as we’re completing the necessary tasks to accomplish our goals then the struggle will only be temporary, therefore one day, we will reap the fruits of our labor. We all wish life’s journey would be a straight, predictable path, but the road is dusty and windy. Furthermore, each path is our own. There will be days when we are fearful, insecure and feel lost. My advice for that is to simply get out of your head and refocus, keep pushing and never forget the “why.” Mistakes will be made but they are merely lessons where we gain strength and wisdom. We must also understand that there will be times when we only have ourselves to look to and that’s ok, though disheartening we must stay resilient, never buckle under pressure and keep the flame burning that ignited our fire to begin with. We must be willing to fight for ourselves even when no one else will, we will triumph in the end. Remember you are capable of success, deserving of all the great treasures life has to offer, and you’re worth fighting for. Never give up on yourself.

“You are good enough”

Kathleen Navarro | Model | Public Emissary, & former beauty pageant Queen

The best advice I can offer to anyone facing adversity is to just keep going. In each moment of my life where I have felt that I was finished or “done for” was merely just the beginning of something greater. In that moment, in the midst of the storm we are not able to see clearly. JUST KEEP GOING and NEVER sacrifice integrity for growth.

@kathleenavarro (coming soon)

Bria Dunn | Influencer & Entrepreneur

The best advice I would give to someone who feels they are facing insurmountable odds is to

#1 Never give up.
#2 Remember nothing is impossible.
#3 Pace yourself and give yourself time.
#4 Love yourself and always remember your value and worth!


Ashley Janae | Author & Life Coach

In the event that someone feels they are facing insurmountable odds, I would remind them of one simple truth: “Every house, is built brick by brick”. Keeping this truth in mind you can use the following steps to see your way out of an insurmountable odd.

Step 1: Honor the situation for what it is and allow yourself to feel each feeling associated with it
Step 2: Take a moment to shift your perspective to the best case scenario (how does it feel?, what does it look like?, etc.)
Step 3: Create an action plan that will help you obtain the best case scenario
Step 4: Break the plan down in small steps and execute these steps daily

Following these powerful steps will turn a problem from insurmountable, to manageable and solved by simply shifting your perspective.

Addie Allen | Owner and Senior Makeup Artist of Hey Doll Beauty

Photo credit : @laracatherinephoto

As someone who feels like they are currently facing insurmountable odds themself, I would say all you can do is to just keep TRYING. Don’t give up. The second you give up is when you let the odds win. Don’t let it, get back up on the horse and keep going because when you beat the odds you will feel so accomplished. Whatever the case may be, there is no mountain too high that you can’t tackle. Take a deep breath and ask yourself “what can I plan to overcome these odds?” and work out a game plan.

I have faced so many obstacles when it comes to my career, and my personal life. However, I haven’t given up yet even though I might’ve felt like it, and I’m still going strong!

Sylvia Lucas | Lash Artist and CEO of SLS Lashes

Photo credits: @slslashes

God is always by your side and even though it may feel like everything is against you he’s redirecting your route to his purpose. So never give up because you’re right where you need to be.

Christopher Palmer | Photographer

Whenever you feel as if you are in a situation that you can’t overcome always remember why you do what you do and push through to create your way out. The way out might not be the easiest way, but if you sit back and analyze everything, you can create your own way to overcome whatever comes your way.

Tiffany Curry | Real Estate Broker | Franchise Owner

Never give up! One of my favorite quotes, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” by Babe Ruth speaks so many volumes to life. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take your time, find yourself. You will always have ups and downs. The key is to enjoy the journey as you get to your destination. Life is not supposed to be perfect, instead it’s a journey where you have to navigate the waters to get to where you are going.


Chudi Chinweze | Owner & Chef

Photo Credit: All photography is done by me

When facing insurmountable odds, I always remember “TTNLTPD” Tough Times Never Last Tough People Do . My college coach Neil Dougherty, instilled this confidence in me at a young age and now I attack every obstacle in my life.

Brittany Sikes | University of Houston Communications major

Photo credits: staff at Santa’s Tavern

Allowing yourself to stop growing, evolving, and progressing is way more scary than any of the odds that may be against you. Your mind will always believe everything you tell it, so remind yourself that YOU are in control and that great things never come from comfort zones. Because the same walls that protect you now, become your prison later. Keep fighting for growth, always.


Davette Mundy | Instructor of Esthetics Specializing in Lash Extensions and Body Waxing

It’s been my experience, while on this Journey called life, that we will go through many hardships. During periods of hopelessness or disappointment, if you remain faithful in knowing that God has a plan for your life while continuing to push, things may turn out better than you could’ve ever imagined. It’s never how you start, but always how you finish. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.

Tanisha Hendricks | Business consultant | life coach | Director and model

Photographer: @deion_gray_

I would advise that person to take it one day at a time. Advising the person to set small goals and to take small steps towards that goal, even if they only reach 10% to celebrate that milestone. I would have them to appreciate the things that they have and experiences thus far in their life. Pace yourself and be gentle with yourself as you step forward and take a lesson approach instead of a loss approach. We go through things in life to gain growth through learning from those odds. Obstacles can provide self-growth, embrace the odds because those are life’s teachers. Most of all I would tell the person to ask for help because we are never alone there is always someone who has gone through what we are facing to a certain extent that can provide a feasible solution.

Tatiana Zelaya

To reach out to others that have faced similar obstacles. Asking for help is always useful , because you’re able to see the situation from a different perspective.


Sadra Kassaei | Freelance Photographer

“If I were you I would have just quit, the odds are against you.”

I remember hearing this sentence in my life many times in different ways. To me, the odds were never good in the first place; We have everything to win and not much to lose. Your feelings and what makes you happy are your best odds. Take good Care of them.


Stephanie Garner | Owner & Creative Director

Learn from your challenges and focus on the positives. You can achieve anything with consistency, discipline and determination. In order to overcome the odds, you have to make up in your mind that nothing is going to stop you from getting to your next destination. You may hit some potholes or go through detours, but you must keep moving forward. It starts in your mind and with what you tell yourself.


Erika Nelson | Realtor, The Bayou City Team

When you feel you are facing insurmountable odds, trust yourself and instincts. As one that has been faced with such odds many times, I first pray and then remember everything that I stand for and confide in. I know that I can overcome any and every thing that I am faced with as long as I stay true to myself and never compromise who I am. It sounds so simple, but when the odds are against you it is easy to lose confidence and become discouraged–just keep pushing and know the reward will be worth the struggle in the end!


ROZENDOVE | Houston, Texas based company, created to spread the love of art and celebrate artists worldwide

Dia Al-Azzawi “Oriental Window No. 1”

It is easy to get overwhelmed, but take a few seconds to look around, breathe, and appreciate the beauty around you. Taking the time to step away from a problem or challenge often allows for clarity you may not otherwise see. Create a step by step plan with attainable goals to slowly chip away at the challenge and eventually beat the odds to achieve your goal.

Satarre’ Necole | Caker

If you are at a point in your life where you are feeling defeated and nothing seems to be going your way my first advice would be to pray. Find a quiet place, sit, breathe and pray, then release it. Philippians 4:6-7 says do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I have been there and I prayed my way out of it.

A few years ago I was in a pretty bad motorcycle accident where I broke and dislocated both of my elbows. I went through 7 surgeries over a year and a half and many months of rehab. With only about 65% range of motion in both arms and 10 permanent screws in each elbow I was told there was nothing else that could be done. I was in a very dark place. But then I began to pray and that’s where He introduced me to cake decorating and treat making. It became therapy for me. I worked through the mental and physical pain I was experiencing.

You can and will get through your adversities if you believe without ceasing. Nothing is too great for God!


Alexis Wilson | New Grad Nurse

The best advice that I can give someone that is facing insurmountable odds is to NEVER GIVE UP! If God brought you to it, he can bring you through it. I know this may sound cliche, but one of my close friends, Jade, shared this bible verse with me, and it stayed with me when I was facing a time like that. The verse is, ” And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9. In today’s society, we often compare ourselves to others and lack appreciation for where we are at the moment. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Stay calm, driven, and focused, and before you know it, you will have reached the highest pinnacle there is.


Damaria | Singer | Songwriter from Houston, TX

My advice for someone who is facing insurmountable odds is to meditate and reflect. I think we all get so caught up in our every day responsibilities and struggles, that its easy to feel defeated and overwhelmed. But we are capable of overcoming the obstacles in life with the right mindset and attitude. Our attitude’s define so much. If you think your going to fail at something, then you already lost. Program your mind to claim victories before they happen, protect your energy from negativity… And remember every L is not a lost, but a lesson.
Music is available on all streaming platforms

Evan Parker | Executive Chef, Strato 550

Kirsten Gilliam

Understanding strengths and weaknesses and prioritizing tasks is key. You also don’t have to go it alone. Someone has probably already faced the challenges you are facing and can give you guidance. – Evan Parker, Executive Chef, Strato 550

Jaé Elle | Artist

Pray. Breathe. Regroup. Find ways to remind yourself who you are and why you’re on that path. Understand everything may not be a breeze. It’s in those times where you need YOU the most. Hold your head up & FIGHT! Try being in a different space. See where you are going wrong.

Mentally put yourself where you want to be. I believe it starts there. See it. Think it. BE it. Fear can not exist. Fight for what you want. Nothing and no one else matters. Believe in yourself. Nothing is impossible.


Gigi Michelle | BASHI Brand Founder, Graphic Designer

@HonestlyWTF Clem Around The Corner P&Co @tessmartez Kammy Almeida

DO NOT GIVE UP, most of the time when we face a challenge we are quick to walk away. But it is all about mastering that challenge and getting better. Think about it we all start with nothing, its about having the DETERMINATION to make something out of nothing.

Chelcee Monae | Entrepreneur & Cosmetologist

Insurmountable is another word for unconquerable. Over coming unconquerable odds starts in your mind. To change your life you must first change your mind. Time is of the essence but you can’t wait for others to motivate you, you have to believe and motivate yourself.


Jonathan Penright | Entrepreneur & Chef, Houston native

The only insurmountable odd is death, everything else is a cake walk. Seek inner guidance and tune out all outside distractions; then death, too, is easy.

Zoe Iman | Writer & Model

I believe that with the right mindset & beliefs toward oneself, you can overcome anything. Our thoughts can build us or destroy us. It’s not a simple task but you have to learn how to control your thoughts to tackle the issue at hand. Thoughts are powerful & they alter our reality whether we realize it or not! So, thinking & feeling like you’ve won the victory over a challenge, obstacle, etc will eventually empower you to do so naturally. We are all on the brink of change, overcoming insurmountable odds & living a better life by simply thinking positive thoughts.


Dena’ Coleman | Personal Trainer/Mind, Body, and Soul Coach | Trainer Nickname: JUICY

As one knows life brings unexpected surprises that we at times have no control over. We may at times question things, but from experience I’ve learned to not worry about what’s not in your control and let God be God to reveal to you what’s not understood. Build a relationship with Christ and allow Him to take control over the unknown. I guarantee you will begin to get to a place of peace and calmness overall. Find you a hobby that will keep you busy and occupied through your days, whether you going through trials or not. Find something to commit to whether it be working out, swimming, dancing, skating, drawing, ect. Allow your mind to be at ease with something you love to do or grown to love on a daily bases. Keep your mental healthy so the body can do what it needs to do everyday!

Mary Alice Newton | Speech Language Pathologist, NPC Bikini Competitor & Fitness/Lifestyle Influencer

Life’s hard isn’t it? It definitely has the tendency of knocking you down time and time again, to the point that you might begin to feel helpless and discouraged. We all experience storms in our life and while in the middle of your storm you can’t help but wonder ‘when will this end?’ The world renowned poet, singer, and activist Maya Angelou so eloquently stated:

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated”

It’s easy to give up and let our problems consume us, but during these times we must remember to hold on tight to our faith and trust that God will bring you through it stronger, wiser, and better than before. My advice for someone who might be facing insurmountable differences would be to let what ever circumstance you are facing sharpen you, turn those wounds into wisdom, and grow!


Eric Fischer | The silver lining of a heart” by Eric Fischer 36” x 36” acrylic on canvas

To someone who is facing an insurmountable situation anywhere in life, there is always going to only be one if you. Ever. Don’t dwell on the minor things that create frustration and doubt if you want to achieve something don’t second guess it, just trust your gut and go for it. And when you find yourself saying “what if I can’t”, what if you can?

Model Amanda Woodard | Poet and lyricist known as fresh

Makeup & Photographer credit: @calvinbrockingtonartistry

First you should never give up on yourself, your beliefs, nor your dreams, no matter how long it takes. Don’t limit yourself into thinking that you must have everything you strive for in a certain time frame It’s inevitable for us to have life without challenges. And it’s how we access and tackle challenges that illustrates our growth in overcoming obstacles. Sometimes we are forced to adapt to situations that are unwavering. However, whether we win or lose its our story to tell about how faith and our strength helped us overcome challenges. Continue to be healthy, strong and faithful accept those challenges and push through to your victory!



Porsha Pruitt | Owner of Bling.tasticwithp, (Paparazzi Accessories-Star Consultant)

My best advice is to keep pushing and never give up! I live by my faith in God and HE says that I CAN DO ALLLLLLLLL THINGS through Christ! So therefore failure is not an option. If you fall which you may just get up, dust off and pick up where you left off. For every no there are 10 yes’s. Keep going girlfriend you got this!

Tyrescha Blaylock | BSN Nursing Student

Photo credits: Tamika Martin mom, @mstrmartin04

The best advice that I could give is to never give up. Life will throw you curve balls, lean into it and just keep pushing forward. For me, I tend to rely on my faith in God. I truly believe that having faith, the size of a mustard seed, can move mountains. There is nothing that you cannot accomplish in this life without first believing in yourself and trusting God.


Jessica Mitchell | Branding & Marketing Specialist

With God, the odds are always in your favor!


Jesse’s Table | Home Baker

The only way to move forward is to persevere. When things are hard, I have to remember that success comes when you try and try again. Start with one action that is in your control that helps move you closer to your goal, and continue to build upon it. This picture captures the first time I used fondant. Is it perfect? No, but that doesn’t mean I am going to stop trying!


Alli “ukulalli” Villines | Singer/Songwriter | Actor | Ukuleleist | Puppeteer | Voice Teacher

Tasha Gorel @tashagorel

I wanted to be terribly eloquent and sound über-smart but in truth, I just keep coming back to the thing that most drives me: Do the work. It’s okay to feel like you’re facing insurmountable odds, sometimes we truly are. Feelings are valid; feel them thoroughly and then have the audacity to move on. I have found time and time again that if I put my head down and do the work (put in the hours, practice, write, reflect, walk, take care of myself, process), things fall into place; sometimes how I thought or hoped, but most of the time in surprising ways and oftentimes better than I thought or hoped. What I’m working on in therapy now is to do the work, but not put my head down and pummel through, but keep my head up and take in the moment and look around; instead of living life project to project, or season to season, LIVE. LIFE. The highs and the lows. All the while, doing my work. My artistic work, my human work, my growth work, my relationships work, and my “relax and stop working” work. Because I can’t wait around and hope someone “gifts” me an opportunity, it’s great when it happens but I can’t trust that it will; so I’m making my own. Trying, at least.

Vee Gooden | Respiratory Therapist & Lash Artist

My advice would be to never give up. The hard times won’t last forever. Anything too easy isn’t worth having. Some of the best have endured the worst.

Kaylan Thomas

The best advice I myself would give someone if they are facing insurmountable odds is to first trust in yourself. If you really want something bad enough, you stand a better chance of achieving if you unzip the negative thoughts that get in the way of many wonderful things. Many times, we constrain our capabilities to challenges we’ve already beat and this can leave us in a sluggish place with no growth. You have to believe that you are competent enough of pushing through what you think you can do. Your mind is a very powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will seemingly start to change. If you push through challenges in your life, you’ll begin to understand that what seemed unbeatable in the beginning was simply just a stepping stone in your life journey. Every time you focus on the positive, you are bringing more light into your life and that light removes all darkness.

Anthony Serrano | Freelance Photographer

Photo credit: @Melothemogul

If there is a will there is a way. Every day is a new day to get closer to your goals. Some days we make more progress than others, but making some progress is better than making none. Nothing great comes without great sacrifices. We need to live in the present. When you aren’t being present you become a victim of time. Be here and strive for greatness.

Cynthia Perez | Makeup Artist & Cosmetics Manager | Nickname: Cyn

Take a breath before you over stress. Breakdown your goal or task into smaller ones. Complete them one by one and slowly you won’t realize you’re actually achieving your goals. Also, never quit because you didn’t succeed your first go around. You may come across a few setbacks before you reach triumph but it’ll be worth it because you never lost sight in how bad you wanted to succeed.

Let’s face it. Life is hard and don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. We all need help every now and then.


Kenvi Wesley | Freelance Makeup Artist & Social Media Influencer

When I feel the odds are insurmountable, I tap into my faith. Prayer, meditation, whichever works best for you, I would encourage someone to look at all the times things have worked out before & focus on that. Life is full of insurmountable odds, once we overcome those the odds are always in our favor.


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