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.
Avery Foster | Instagram Fashion Blogger & Influencer
When I think about facing a challenge that is seemingly insurmountable, I have to constantly remind myself that everyone had to start somewhere or had to face something similar. Even the most successful people have dealt with tribulations that have hindered them from reaching their absolute best. When it comes to success, it is often difficult to keep this in mind. I know I have wrestled with simply wanting to reach my goals without traversing through tough times. However, when handling struggles with determination and grit, getting through them can make us stronger in the end! It is imperative to remember that what we battle can make reaching our end goal that much more satisfying.
Tina Naidu | Outpatient Program Director | fitness | health & dance enthusiast
No 2 situations are the same and the timeline of emotions (the peaks and valleys) that people go through is different too. An advice for one person may not resonate with the other, but I think it’s important to know that nothing is truly insurmountable. It’s our mindset and how we perceive things. So when we change the way we perceive a challenge it helps us overcome it or possibly find another path in life. When facing a challenge, I try to write down things that I’ve already done and failed and things that I still need to do. It helps me see it in writing instead of dwelling over it in my head. Things don’t always go as planned, it’s okay, slow down, take a step back, adapt!! There isn’t one set way or right way to get to where you want to be. It took me a while to understand all of this too and I am still learning as life throws some curve balls at me. But I’m much happier being able to change my mindset!! It is also very important to surround yourself with those who will lift you up when you truly need it. You can’t always overcome things on your own and it’s okay to ask for help and those who believe in you will be by your side no matter what.
Sarah Blaido | artist | cosplayer | histology lab aide
Challenges that seem too big to tackle often need to be broken into bite sized pieces. My mother always says “just take the first step”. I frequently find myself falling back on that advice when I am feeling overwhelmed by the big picture. Also remember to use your support group (friends, family, etc) to help you get through challenges. It’s easier when you’re not alone!
Kristen Cruz | Brand Promotion Strategist & Event Planner
There will be challenges big and small, everyday of your life. The most rewarding part is looking back at that one challenge you thought you’d never overcome and remembering you’re so much stronger than you give yourself credit for.
Brandy Haas | Lash Artist
Life can be challenging, the best advice I can give is to be present through it. Taking one day at a time, sometimes even one hour at a time. You’ll emerge and when you do it’ll be growth and perspective you’ll gain.
Daisy Barrera | Hair stylist
Take a moment to breathe and think about where you started and where you are at currently. Take everything a step at a time.
Kimberly Kirt | Online Entrepreneur | Fitness Fanatic and Owner of Hustle & Flow Social Co.
Take everything one step at a time. When there are massive obstacles in the way, it is best to break them down by small, quickly accomplishable steps, that you can check off and work through every day and every week. It will take time, but if you stay consistent you will overcome that challenge!
Sonya J. Cameron | TCM Classic Movie Junkie | Wife | Mother | Owner of J Cameron House of Linen Rental
If you are still able to experience the emotions (anger, sadness, crying and even screaming) that go along with trials then you maybe down, but you are definitely not out…you still have some fight in you. Each and every challenge that I have faced in life was temporary and after the storm came growth, resilience, determination. You realize just how strong you are.
Yaasameen Garrett | Entrepreneur & Multi-Media Creative
The best advice I have is to take a step back, think about yourself be selfish in that moment and decided what’s important to you and what makes you happy first. Then break down your challenge, plan it out and accomplish it with little steps, so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
Kristin Nicole | Professional Makeup Artist
When someone is facing a challenge that feels insurmountable they need to believe within themselves, have strength that things will get better and can get better. There’s no failure unless you stop trying. So, keep going cause great things will come!
Brittany Howard | Teacher (elementary) & Makeup Artist
My advice to anyone who feels/thinks that the challenges they are facing are insurmountable is: to go all the way through it first. I’ve never faced a challenge that God (as I know him) has never brought me through. And I’ve been through some things. Nothing is too great.
Tasha Jay | vocalist | vocal coach and artist
Know that you can control the challenge and that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind too. That you’re only faced with things that seem challenging to get you to that next level. Face, Embrace and Conquer your fears.
facebook page: Tasha Jay Music
Jen Russum | wife | mom | English professor
Drink lots of water, get enough sleep, make a plan and break it into baby steps, and pray like crazy.
Mamta Rana | Lead Henna Artist at Matrika Henna
You know we always hear other people advise us to take ourselves out of the equation and detach ourselves to see the situation for what it is- without all of the emotion and all the drama. I’ve always had an issue with this because, how does one just shut out their emotions. (They’re involuntary to a certain extent, and we can only control them for so long, before we end up exploding like an emotional volcano.) I think it’s essential to find out why the situation is making us feel like its so big and insurmountable in the first place. See, because it’s all in our head.
I’d like to share the following method that my mentor once shared with me- its called the five why’s method. So anytime we feel a certain way about something we ask why, and then we question that reason by asking why four more times. Some research shows that by the time we ask why for the fourth or fifth time we are able to get to the core of the issue at hand. So for example if the issue at hand is,” I feel like I’ll never be able be healthy.” and we might ask:
1. Why? answer: oh because I don’t have time
2. why? answer: because I work two jobs and have a child
3. Why? answer: because I need to make money, because my parents abused drugs and alcohol and I don’t want my child to not have to feel like they can’t have a child hood.
4. Why? answer: Because that is what I had to do. I never had a childhood because my parents abused drugs and alcohol so much that I felt like I grew up too fast and didn’t have a child hood and I want my child to go through that.
Now this is just an example all of the format that we may have- the answers will vary from person to person, but answering the questions honestly and in depth and asking why we feel a certain way about the situation until a deep answer is received is key to opening the curtain to whatever situation is seemingly unbearable. and then when we work thorough the core back up to the situation at hand it doesn’t seem so insurmountable because we now are able to understand our feelings enough to be like okay I get why I’m feeling so bad about this, I have now acknowledged my feelings and can detach my feelings in a loving way and then proceed to look at the issue that was once so big and scary from a practical stand point.
Mayra Alas | Certified Lash Artist | M Lash Studio
When the odds are against you is when we learn the most about ourselves. Take a moment and put things into perspective. With focus and a positive attitude you can achieve anything.
Ezmirelda Elizondo | Cosmetologist & Beauty Influencer
My best advice for someone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable is if you work hard enough and you really want to conquer it, it can be done and to just work hard for whatever you want; It can definitely be accomplished!
Shelby Plummer | Makeup Artist and University Student
It is easy to forget that our bodies and minds are not permanent on this earth, but the effort you put forth is. Be the example for generations to come and never give in no matter the challenges you face.
Erin Clark | Life Coach and Wellness Advocate for Mompreneurs
When I am faced with challenges that seem too big to overcome, first – I close my eyes and take 10 deep breaths. By slowing myself down, I am able to clear my mind and see the challenge for what it really it. Nothing is too big for your brain to take on if it’s well trained. In my work, I have realized that every problem – and I mean EVERY PROBLEM – can be solved in our mind first. By understanding our thoughts and emotions are the root of our actions and results, we can take on anything without ever changing the circumstance at hand! Nothing is too big for the mind to handle.