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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 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.

Michelle Nirumandrad | Professional Skydiver and Aerial Artist

William F. Cole III

When I’m faced with an obstacle that feels insurmountable the most useful tool I’ve found is to see myself as having already conquered the problem. When you convince yourself ‘You Can’ it gives you the confidence to pursue your goals with passion and when you are passionate about something…not even the sky can limit you!


Candy Evans | Founder & Publisher of,, and CandysMedia

Kent Barker

Take it one step at a time, baby steps. We all have challenges we believe are insurmountable, happens to every single person on earth to one degree or another. I have had the breath knocked out of me by a major life challenge, and despite a beautiful education, had zero experience or notion as to how to surmount or where to even start. That’s where writing comes in — and fortunately, I am a writer. Write out your honest feelings and fears. Make a list of the challenge(s). What experts can you seek (books, articles, professionals) for advice on how to best handle? (In our case, it was a family suicide.) Research the challenge and any solutions, get advice. Make a recovery/re-take your life plan. Understand it may take longer than you’d like (I am a bit impatient, wanting everything to be great NOW) but take the first step even if you are NUMB. Fake it till you make it, psychologists say. Do your best, stop, reflect, rest and take the next. Continue until you have overcome the challenge, it has disappeared, or become marginalized. Voila: you did it!

Danni Chandler | Dallas Fashion Blogger

My best advice for someone is facing a challenge would be to take it one day at a time. Things take time, so just be patient and know it’ll work out in the end. It also helps to surround yourself with other positive individuals whether that is friends, family, or your faith!


Lindsey McNally | Creative & Video Producer

Humans were never meant to do this life alone! If you’re facing an overwhelming challenge, find those people in your circle that will empathize with you, encourage you, and fight for you. Having a community that will help carry your burden will make the insurmountable seem more surmountable.


Susan Cooper | Corporate Assistant & Business Administrator

Jessica Jenkin

Take a deep breathe and chill out. Some things just take time and a bit of elbow grease to accomplish. Do the things you can, put to the side the things you can’t, and always focus your energy on a solution rather than the problem. Once you can shift that focus to what you want rather than how you get it, you’d be surprised how many situations seem to solve themselves.


Alexandria Norado | Photographer | Interviewer | Digital Media Specialist

My advice to anyone facing a challenge that they feel they cannot overcome is to remember they are not alone. Everyone has faced a challenge in their life in some form — whether they’ve shown it publicly or kept it to themselves. Pursue what you think you’re incapable of and you’ll find yourself feeling more empowered either by overcoming the obstacle — or by creating a new sense of determination within yourself. You can choose how you’re defined, so use that to your advantage and make the best out of the situation.


Leah Hudson | Event Designer |  Event Coordinator | Business Owner

We all have more capabilities than we’re living up to because we all have more God Given potential than we’d ever recognize on our own. Remember that and the 4 C’s of Success. No one ever goes confidently in to a challenge they feel is insurmountable. First, they have to commit to it. Second, they have to have courage to stay committed to it over & over again. Then, they have to add capacities in the form of knowledge, tools, help, etc.. Lastly, they develop confidence. Everyone is hesitant at first but once you have confidence, it doesn’t feel so insurmountable, does it? 

Alix Barth | Nutritionist

A situation being “insurmountable” is only insurmountable because of the language we tell ourselves. Whatever the situation is, we have to focus on the things that we can and will do to change the circumstances versus focusing on what we don’t want or feel we can’t do – we have to get rid of the I can’t’s, I will never’s, etc. Re-framing your language with affirming words such as, “I can” or “I will do” allow you to create a mental and physical template to overcome the “insurmountable” situation you’re facing. Also understanding that it’s not going to be easy and that struggle is part of the process. But in that struggle lies growth. And that is where the magic happens!

Feli Aguilar | Lettering | Artist | Mom

First of all, BREATHE. As someone living with anxiety, this is what I have to constantly tell myself when facing difficult situations. Be patient with and remind yourself that you are capable of overcoming this. Secondly, having a creative outlet has always helped me face difficult situations. I can’t imagine a life not creating and it’s something that has helped me cope when things get difficult. I grew up watching my mother and grandmother sew quilts and blankets. I tried my hand at sewing, painted and drew occasionally, but when my dad bought me my first journal at the age of 10, words were what I would turn to when going through a difficult situation. Three years ago after recovering from a painful surgery, I started learning to letter as a way to take my mind off the pain. What started as a hobby grew into a passion. Finding that one thing that you love to do is so rewarding and it can help in even the darkest of moments. Last but not least, turning to my beautiful family and friends will always bring a smile to my face no matter what I may be going through! When I don’t believe in myself, I know they have my back and are there to remind me of why I started in the first place.


Dr. Porscha Showers | REALTOR & Pharmacist

Figure out why are you here, what have been doing, and what do you gain when you get to the other side. If you answer any of these and are unsure of your answer, maybe you should re-evaluate if this is truly a challenge. Should you be here at all? If you are extremely sure of your answer, then persevere and know this challenge only lasts a short while. Sometimes you just have to go through it in order to get to it. No challenge is insurmountable.


Ashley Cruz | Photographer & Content Creator

I think the best easy go over come a challenge is by sitting down and laying all your cards out. Decipher what the issue is, find ways to improve it and educated yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, the worst thing someone can say is no.

Gabby and Gracie Arciba | Twin Bakers from Dallas,TX

Even when you feel like your at your lowest, your biggest blessing is soon to come. Our parents always taught us to stay humble, even when everyone around you is fighting against you. “God see’s” is what they always say.


Hannah Isabelle | freelance illustrator & cosplay hobbyist

When faced with a challenge the best advice I would give is to keep going. Life has a funny way of presenting you with obstacles bigger than yourself and I think it’s human to want to avoid these sort of problems. I believe that you would be doing yourself a disservice if you threw in the towel. Even if that means taking tiny bites out of your problem as opposed to cleaning your plate. When I’m working on an illustration and I start to struggle with a line placement or the overall shape of the piece I take a moment to assess why it feels off. Sometimes I will move on to another section of the illustration and come back to that trouble area. I never let myself give up on a piece, however, because that work of art is a story that needs to be told. Two years ago, I moved away from my home in California and left behind my partner and best friends. It was a difficult decision but I knew that if I wanted to grow and have a more fruitful life then I would need to make the hardest choice of my adult life. I constantly struggle with the feeling of giving up but I remind myself of the people I’ve met on this journey and how far I’ve come as a creative. The world would be a much duller place without us in it.

Rya Bosley | type 1 diabetic | BBQ enthusiast | mom | health and wellness fanatic

Grab a glass of wine and dance to Wiggles Fruit Salad song. But on a serious note, first of all, take a deep breath and clear your head. I believe everything depends on your attitude about the situation. If your goal is conquering the world, and you’re determined to do so, nothing is truly insurmountable. We are capable of great things. You might take a detour but you will get there. Every little experience is an opportunity to learn something new. Use that experience to be the best version of yourself.


Caitlyn Kirby | founder of Kirbside Planning- Event Planner & Elementary Teacher

My best advice is to take things one day at a time. I get so excited thinking about a new event, but you can’t do it all at once. It takes time to make your dreams happen! I also stay encouraged by the people I do life with! They help keep me accountable as well as give great advice and wisdom for big decisions. You don’t have to have it all together all the time! Every business starts somewhere and takes off at different times. Focus on your goals and celebrate the small wins! Each step you take gets you closer to the dreams you have both for yourself and your company!


Josefine Salazar (Josey) | Baker | Cake Decorator | Entrepreneur

Never Give Up!! When you are always thinking, dreaming, looking at YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook about cakes how to decorate what to do next, That’s your passion. There will be days that will be hard, days that you will want to give up, Those are the days you want to get up and continue fighting. Never stop trying.


Stephanie Harrison | Founder of Au Mexique & Freelance Writer

With whatever challenge you are facing, focus on the small tasks or daily habits you need to accomplish instead of looking at the big picture and being overwhelmed. Little by little, those actions add up and lead you to overcome your obstacle. Also, never give up and always keep pushing forward, even if it doesn’t seem like you are going anywhere.

Liz Novi | Motherhood + Family Photographer

If you’re feeling like you’re facing a challenge that is hard to overcome, remember that it’s okay to ask for help.  Starting out in the photography industry, much like many other small business/creative entrepreneur industries, can feel very isolating.  I encourage you to reach out to other creatives and small business owners, build a friendship, support one another, bounce ideas off each other, and suddenly, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a solid support system of like-minded individuals who will guide you through challenge after challenge.  I am a firm believe in community over competition, and as females creating businesses we need to continue with this mindset of community empowerment.

Julie Applegate | Personal Trainer & Life Coach

Instead of giving advice I’d prefer to share my experience.  When getting sober at the age of 35, everything seemed out of reach!  Even the simplest things were intangible.  But with guidance I was taught to sit in stillness.  With life’s problems swirling around me, I learned how to slow my thoughts and listen from within.  Identify the fears.  Are they real?  They certainly were to me, until I shared them with someone I trusted.  Once I got them out of my head and into the light, I could see they weren’t true.  And as these so-called fears disintegrated my path became clearer and I was able to take that next step forward.


Jennifer Law | The Creative behind Journal By Design

First we should always keep in mind that God wouldn’t put us through any situation that He doesn’t think matter of fact know that we cannot handle. We all face difficult challenges but when we come across one that seems insurmountable I suggest; surrounding yourself around people who uplift & inspire. Have your “Positive Vibes Only” playlist or favorite song on repeat, try listening to Masterpiece by Jazmine Sullivan, and dance like no one is watching.  Or Indulge in a little self care whether it’s a mani/pedi or a social media cleanse/fast. I like to hideout in my creative space and create till my heart’s content. Always remembering that on the other side of an insurmountable challenge is Greatness.  And at the end of the day keep going, never give up & Pray because God’s got you!


Lee Wedeberg | Owner | Chef of Pink Slip Gourmet | Baking Enthusiast | Wife | Mom

Press pause and pray.  Give yourself the gift of time; you deserve it.  Nothing has to be done immediately.  Work hard and believe in yourself, but remember you are not alone.  We were made to live in community with each other.  So, ask for help and seek good counsel.  Find someone to lift you up and even carry you when you are down.  Have a cheerleader on your team, but also a coach who will push you forward.  At the end of the day, the challenge is yours to overcome but no one said you had to do it completely alone.


Ellerie West | Personal Stylist

In my experience, I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason and things usually work out the way they’re meant to. I’m naturally a pretty carefree person and I don’t let myself stress too much about things I’m unable to change. Worrying about the situation is like praying for something you don’t want to happen – it won’t take away your troubles, but it will take away your peace. Find joy where you can because this insurmountable challenge won’t last forever!


Abby Shadle | Photographer + Content Creator

There are a lot of things in life that are challenging; we all have a different story and all walk through things that seem insurmountable. When I find myself faced with something so much bigger than me, my initial response is to want to give up and fall prey to the lie that I am not enough and that I’m unable to get through whatever it is that’s taunting me. I think if we’re honest with ourselves, that is our innate, human response. When those lies are all that our minds can muster up, we have to re-evaluate our position. For me, the times that I have risen and found my self face-to-face with that giant is after time spent on my knees surrendering — admitting that I am not enough and that I cannot do it on my own. It’s okay to ask and pray for the faith and confidence that you will get through it and you are enough. It’s in the moments of feeling so small and ill-equipped that we find the source of True Strength. Surround yourself with community that will speak life into your situation and build you up instead of feeding the lies you so often believe. We were not made to do life alone, so don’t. 2 Corinthians 12.9 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 

Bria Rogers | Vintage Connoisseur and Entrepreneur

Everything in life is temporary, except our spirit. Do what brings you true happiness and fulfillment and life will fall into place and work itself out. Be kind and be a blessing to others as well as yourself and good vibes will flow. Happiness isn’t conditional, it’s what you choose! Your life also depends on what you put out into the universe, so put your talent and heart into everything you do.

 “Scarlett O’Tara” Cesario | Violinist and Teacher

Find a great support system who encourages and believes in you, whether that’s a parent, a friend, or a co-worker. Sometimes just talking out a situation helps you see things so much clearer. Also, don’t be afraid to go for it, even when you feel like something’s out of reach. I’ve grown as a musician and gotten so many more gigs than I thought I could just by giving it a shot. Even when I felt like something was out of my comfort zone, I ended up surprising myself. You won’t know unless you try!! 


Don’t get stuck on all the ways you can’t do something, and [start thinking about] all the ways that you can.  Once you realize all that you contribute and know your value, it’s just a matter of pulling up and being confident. There’s always going to be a good excuse, but if you want something, GO GET IT!  Just find a way… make it happen.  It will always turn out just how it was supposed to be in the end.


Claire Richard | Residential Mortgage Loan Originator

Beau Bumpas

You have two options when facing a challenge: You can defeat it or you can allow it to defeat you. Frankly, one of those options sounds better to me than the other. The best advice that I have ever received was given when I was foraging my path in New York City as a young Southerner. I was told, “No one is going to stand up for you better than you can stand up for yourself.” I encourage others to be empowered by this and remember that their voices and ideas have a significance of their own.

Christy Archibald | Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Christy Archibald Photography

The hard truth (one that took me much too long to learn) is that there are things in life that we can’t conquer on our own – and that’s okay! So breathe, pray, and let go of that nasty lie that if you don’t beat this thing you’re a failure. Admitting you need help is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. As I look back on my life, I can honestly say that there’s nothing of worth I’ve accomplished without others, whether that came in the form of a well-timed piece of advice or divine intervention. Help is out there – don’t be afraid to seek it. Victory is sweeter when it’s shared.

Laura Torres | Hairdresser & Eyelash  Extensionist

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to take a step back and analyze the big picture. Find the courage to take that next big step. In the end, what if that leap is what you need to get to where you want to be. Always stay positive. Never let an opportunity pass you by.


Kori Morgan | Mobile Makeup Artist & Registered Nurse

My best advice for someone who is facing an insurmountable challenge is to give it over to God. There is no problem or issue that God cannot fix. Prayer truly changes things so whatever a person is facing they should pray daily that things get better and truly believe it will happen as they wait on God to answer the prayer in HIS timing. Gods timing is perfect. It’s inevitable that life will bring about unexpected challenges but it’s all in how we deal with the challenges. It’s important to always keep in mind that things could always be worse so that we remain thankful despite our temporary circumstances. Whatever you do make sure to keeping pressing towards the mark. Always keep a positive mindset and celebrate the small wins as you head towards the ultimate victory!

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