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.
Amanda Smith | Fashion Stylist
It almost is….you have to write your own story uses gods hands. When things look bleak, that’s when you get on your knees, be transparent with the lord and ask him WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE ME DO. And then just sit in his presence. You can’t just give up (that should never be an option) grow from from your failures and tragedies and become what you are suppose to.
Rebekah Dempsey of A Blissful Nest | @ablissfulnest
If you are facing a challenge that seems unattainable, take a deep breath and set smaller goals first. I like to break down my large projects and make smaller ones that lead up to my final design plans. It makes me feel like I am achieving and completing projects more often which is very gratifying in the long run. Plus seeing progression can be very encouraging to completing a larger goal.
Shelbi Tanner | Hairstylist | Blonding/Extension specialist
My advice for anyone facing any kind of insurmountable challenge is to honestly push through with the bad and always remember the reason you are here in the first place. There will ALWAYS be bad days, but for every bad day we face there’s always 10 more good days on top of that. Sometimes with the stress of our everyday lives it’s easy to forget the good and focus on the bad. Earlier this year I learned that if you can just write down 3 good things that happens to you in a day you are setting yourself up for success and happiness. It doesn’t even have to be about work, it could be that you made your bed that morning! Or that you woke up and faced another day when you were unsure if you even wanted to. Being an adult is hard and we have to remember to count our blessings everyday. There are so many things to be thankful for, even when we feel like our world is crumbling. Always count your blessings, always lift people up, and always remember why you are here. We all have a purpose and it’s up to us to remember that!
Katina Cooper-Rabb | Artist | Owner of Hot Topics Hair Studio
My advice would be to keep pushing forward. Go to a quiet place where you can pray and seek guidance from the Most High. Ask for clarity and listen quietly for the answer to be revealed. Most times the answer is closer than we think. Trust your intuition, it’s usually spot on and always remember everything happens for reason and it usually for the greater good. There’s always a purpose for the pain. Even if you can’t see it at the very moment. Keep pushing… The sun will shine again.
My allergies to typical makeup brands is what drove me to start me own cosmetics line right here in Dallas, TX. Mahya Cosmetics is my business…, but it is also ME! Being your own boss can come with many responsibilities & stresses. My best advice would be to take time for self-care. On days I’m not feeling myself, I find washing my face & taking some time to apply a little makeup, can really help me feel ten times better! It’s like meditating while scrubbing away surface debris from the previous day & applying a fresh new face to move forward.
Diane Kristine Lucena | Stepdown ICU/ PCU Nurse & Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with endometrial adenocarcinoma (uterine cancer) at the age of 30 & the only treatment was to have a complete hysterectomy. For someone who didn’t have any children yet, it was heart wrenching knowing that I couldn’t have any kids. It was one of the darkest times of my life & it definitely felt like an insurmountable challenge. Despite the circumstance, I surrounded myself with positive, loving & kind people who helped me pulled through. I was also determined to start nursing school in 6 months, and that kept me going because I knew I had a larger purpose in life. So my advice to someone facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, remember what your purpose in life is, remember how strong you need to be to reach your goals & remember that you didn’t come this far….only to come this far.
Kelly Jeffers | Entrepreneur & Mother
The best advice I can give is roll up and let it go! No I’m just kidding or am I? Seriously though, I’m a strong believer that the universe doesn’t give us more than we can handle and the ones with the hardest battles come out the strongest. So my advice would be to keep going and never give in! I’m a single mother of two toddlers, going to school and now a business owner!! Yes there was plenty of times I thought the challenge I was facing was insurmountable! How dare I have to juggle getting the kids to school by 7 am, getting to work by 8 am working till 5, getting back to the kids by 6 pm like have you seen Dallas traffic? Okay cool now it’s 7 pm let’s cook dinner, shower play eat and get the kiddos to bed. Now it’s what 9:30 pm and I have tray orders to complete!!okay well let’s sit down and play with glitter it’s actually the relaxing part of my day. Well now it’s 12 am guess I’ll wash all the pixie dust and today’s struggles away and prepare for to… oh snap I just remembered I have a 3 page paper to submit tomorrow!!!! I give you a brief, yes that was brief, play by play of my day to show you life isn’t all glitty and glamorous for most people. But you have to keep going! The struggle is only paving the way for a brighter future.
Tonia Branche & Ebony Powell | Best Friends | Food, Drink & Event Instagram Bloggers
We would tell that person to look at the challenge, and take a deep breath. Change your perspective and don’t see this as a thing you can’t do; see it as something you WILL do. There is true power in positive thinking. Look inside yourself and at everything you have to offer. Then write down all of the steps to accomplishing this “insurmountable” obstacle. Pick one task and crush it! Take another breath and look at the list again. Then just continue going down the list tackling things one at a time. People often see things as insurmountable because they try to do it all at once. We here at Champagne Campaign DTX don’t stuff a whole burger into our mouths. We take bites. Same rules apply.
Laura Carrillo | Creative Living Decor
When building my business, I faced difficult challenges of self-doubt, especially when promoting my product to other businesses. My husband would remind me, in sales, to expect three “no’s” before you get a “yes.” We put so much time and hard work into our products, we see the value other may not see initially . Sometimes, you have to grit your teeth and put yourself out there, even when you aren’t comfortable doing so. It is extremely rewarding when the “no’s” become “yes’s!”
Shamrika Renee | Divine Elegance Virgin Hair Brand Ambassador & Marketing Consultant
To pray and pray again. Nothing is too hard with God on your side. His word told us to look to the hills from which comes our help and that he will never leave you nor forsake you. I was raised in the church and still a church girl to this day and every time life has given me more than I can handle I have to call on the Father to help me carry this load. There is a song by James Fortune that I repeat to myself when I am facing broken pieces or challenges in my life and it simply says this
Let your power fall when your name is called prove the doubters wrong God you are still mighty and strong Fight this battle for me and help my unbelieve so I can tell all my friends that you have won again
God, I need you to fight this battle for Me!!!!!! I Can’t do it alone so I need you to Fight this Battle for me!!!!
Elizabeth Bohannon | Calligrapher & Hand Lettering Artist
For anyone facing an insurmountable challenge, I would say to focus on the “why” behind overcoming the challenge, lean on a support system of family and friends and take things one step at a time.
Ashley Sells | NuSkin Global Business Mentor
I have been through a few experiences in my life that have felt this way at times. It’s been almost 10 years ago this year that I would say would have been my 1st ever insurmountable challenge and that was losing my 1st child due to a pre-term labor. I till this day wonder how I got through and actually I am still getting through this heart break. It was my family and friends, my faith and I am a true believer in prayer and never giving up! Each day takes time to heal and I am a very strong person and in the hardest days of my life I chose to believe and trust that, this shall pass! I believe if we look to God and ask Him to help us and stay faithful He will bless us. He blessed me with 2 precious girls later! Those were for sure my darkest days. When it comes to business and every day challenges I would say here is what has and is helping me as an ambitious woman. Create your why & prioritize your goals and desires. Take action daily and consistently. Ask for help or ask someone that you admire or who has done it before you. Be patient with yourself and kind because we all progress differently and your time is your time. Delegate what isn’t serving you or is sucking your energy. Progress takes time and because it isn’t over night you must NEVER EVER QUIT or GIVE UP and I believe this along with your mindset and ultimately believing you can do it, is the key! You got this! xoxo
Grace Williams | Professional Photographer and Writer
Life is full of many seemingly impossible and often unexpected challenges. While some hurdles are meant to teach you, some are meant to change you. You will often not know the difference until way after the fact, so give yourself time to reflect. Life is not a race to the finish, be patient with the process. You are on your own path with your own lessons to learn. Just be yourself, love yourself, trust yourself, take care of yourself, and never stop showing up for yourself. YOU GOT THIS!
Chastity Griffin | The Makeup Artist
Nothing is too big to overcome. Surround yourself with bosses who have similar dreams and goals as you, put in the hard work, and most importantly don’t be afraid of what could go wrong. Have faith!
Diana Crowder | Professional Ballet dancer
First, I think it is important to determine why this challenge is important to you, and what meaning it brings to your life. Try to place this challenge within a larger framework of your overall goals and values. Identifying on a deeper level why you personally need to accomplish this challenge will help frame the task, give it purpose, and keep you motivated for the right reasons.This can transform an ‘insurmountable challenge’ into a ‘project I am passionate about.’ For example, when faced with big challenges in my ballet career, I have realized that I need to bring my mindset back to why I dance in the first place. I reconnect myself with my passion for the art form, and identify what it is about sharing dance with audiences that is so meaningful to me. Break it up into bite-sized and accomplishable tasks. I find that I get overwhelmed easily by challenges at the outset. Looking back on ones I have taken on, I can see that there were a series smaller of steps and choices that had to happen one after the other. Thinking about it this way can help to make the challenge feel doable. One of the most difficult parts of my job as a dancer is auditioning. There can be so many thoughts swirling around in my head before and during an audition, but when I break it down, an audition is just a series of tasks that I have been training for years to do. Staying focused in the moment and accomplishing one thing after the other, helps make the whole audition process feel less overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are much more willing to help others than we might think when we are the ones asking. Then, we always remember to help others when we are the ones being asked!
Ashley Jefferies | Influencer | Arbonne Consultant and Student
I believe that we are given trials to help us grow. If life was always easy for us, then how could we improve? Thus, since trials are essential to personal growth, we will never be given a trial we can’t overcome! So whenever life gets tough and you feel like you can’t go on, never give up and look for the positive side of your trials!(:
Kelsey Jackson | Social Media Consultant | Vlogger
My biggest piece of advice for someone who is dealing with something that feels insurmountable is to keep pushing forward! Everything that you are dealing with is for a reason and this too shall pass. Make it your purpose to get up each morning and press forward. Your energy creates the environment around you. Always be grateful no matter the circumstances and remember, your circumstances don’t define you. Change your mindset, change your life.
Misha Nazim | Model & an Activist
The best advice i’d have for someone facing challenges would be the cliche quote where I tell you to never give up, and that’s sound advice, something you should follow, but I think the most important key to that is that it’s okay to WANT to give up, it’s okay to feel hopeless. It’s okay to take a step back and reevaluate your place, how you’re going about achieving a set goal. And when you feel overwhelmed, that’s what a support system is for, that doesn’t have to be some big team. It could be your mom, your friend, an Instagram follower you’ve never met who comments heart eye emojis under every picture you post. It could be just you (because it truly is enough). Just don’t stop chasing your goals. If you need to take a break, take a break. A step back. A hiatus. Whatever you need to call it and whatever it is YOU need to do for YOUR success.
Fernanda Arduini | Owner of The healthy Cakes and Mind Athleisure
I would say that the problems and obstacles are the size of the importance we give them. Face them and decide how best to resolve them to move forward.
Natalie Collins | local artist and student
As cliche as it sounds everything happens for a reason to shape you into the person you’re supposed to become and take you through your own unique journey in life. Remember how short and precious life is and take everything you face one day at a time. Don’t forget to find the good in life and find what brings you happiness even in the hardest circumstances.
Adean Kingston, MD | Board Certified Dermatologist | Owner and President of Adean Kingston
I truly believe that you can achieve anything you are passionate about with hard work and dedication. On your journey toward success you will encounter many failures which ironically are the hurdles that help you become stronger and wiser and ultimately a real success. So, my best advice to those starting their journey is to never give up and when challenges arise, it will be how you handle them that ultimately define the person you are.
Jazelle Baker | Wigmaker | Wigstylist & Entrepreneur
The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable would be to remain positive and optimistic during any situation; keep the faith & pray daily. Also, stay dedicated and determined.
Hannah Galbraith | Photographer & Art Teacher
Everything we go through builds our character and makes us stronger in order to grow and also help others in life. Everything happens for a reason, even if it’s hard to see at that time. So, if one door closes it is only because something better is coming.
Natalie Broom | esthetician & freelance makeup artist
The best advice I can give anyone, is to never give up, put in hard work, and work towards your goals constantly. Hard work truly does pay off in the long run, and if you hit a wall, try thinking outside of the box, out of your comfort zone, and try something different. You never know what might inspire you.
Jessica P. Turner | Photographer & Curl Enthusiast
My advice to someone who feels like they’re facing something they just can’t surpass is to take it day by day. Nothing’s worse that trying to tackle a problem all at one time. Especially if it’s super challenging. When you take it step by step, you gradually see the light at the end of the tunnel and before you know it, it’s over!
Katie Clark | Teacher and Curriculum Creator
If you find yourself facing a challenge that you feel is insurmountable make sure you are leaving enough time for self care. I know self care is a popular trend right now but it’s real. Reflect on the things that bring you happiness; the small things. Develop a routine of daily self care and make sure you follow through. Wake up early or rearrange your schedule so that you have time to do what you need to set yourself up for a positive and productive day. Don’t feel guilty for needing time and wanting to do something for yourself. Your loved ones will understand. You cannot pour from an empty cup. It’s easy to let your self care go when life becomes busy again so make sure nothing gets in your way! You owe it to yourself!
Mia Lockhart | Entrepreneur | Founder | CEO Exousia V.
To keep the faith no matter what happens. We have to learn to take the bad with the good. And no matter how things turn out always do your best, and be honest so you can look yourself in the mirror with respect.
Rozhunta Jackson | Baker | Cake Artist
The best advice that I can give to someone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable is to always keep going no matter how difficult the challenge is. You have to continue to move forward because there is always a calmness after each storm, but if you choose to stop then you’ll never know what’s ahead because you chose to give up. Remember that anything worth having is worth fighting for. Also, you have to think about all the reasons you started to begin with, and to NEVER SETTLE for anything because it’s not taking off as fast as you thought it would. It’s all about how bad you want to reach your goal/your dream…if you want it bad enough then you will do whatever it takes to accomplish your dream. Only look back to see how far you have come once you have reached your destination, but even then keep moving because there is always more after you have crossed the finish line!
I’m a big believer in seeking outside counsel. No one should feel alone during a challenging situation. Seek advice, wisdom and counsel from others around, whether that’s a family member, a close friend or a counselor. You might be surprised at who else has gone or is currently going through the same thing or what kind of perspective they can offer you. Be willing to be transparent and vulnerable with someone you trust and the challenge doesn’t hold as much power as it once did!
Elena Bayda | Photographer | Retoucher | Stylist | Model – The Light In You
You should continue to fight no matter how and what. If it’s hard and painful for you, then wait – because the victory is almost here. Just, please, don’t give up and doubt about your strength. You can everything! Be you! Believe in yourself!
Kelly Collier | Personal Online Nutrition Coach
Personal development and our healthy lifestyles tend to go hand in hand. I believe you cannot sustain one long term without the other, and that is why I work on both of these areas simultaneously with each of my clients. Life’s challenges are unavoidable, but if we can see challenges as opportunities to learn lessons for our future, we will never fail. I have my clients think back to different times in their lives where they have felt this exact way, but yet came through it. Simply remembering that they have felt this before, learned a lesson that they continue to use to this day, and can therefore be thankful for the challenge, helps them believe in themselves again. It shows my clients hard proof that they have the power to overcome any obstacle life throws at them and not only survive it, but use it to their advantage and succeed!