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.
Cristie Schlosser | Interior Designer | Real Estate Investor & Educator
When I am facing a challenge that I feel is insurmountable I meditate. Meditation helps to calm the mind and provide a space for clear thinking. There are a few questions I typically ask myself. 1) Is this a life or death situation? Most challenges are not life or death. After you have children, situations no longer feel so overwhelming. Life is precious and that reality has an uncanny way of anchoring oneself. 2) What long term effect will this challenge present? Identifying long term effects can really drive decisions and move us forward. Not taking action is a decision and sometimes it’s appropriate and feels better not to act; other times making a choice to take action allows us to have more control. Fear can be healthy. When I chose to change careers and go back to school I was overwhelmed, but I pushed through the fear and did it! 20 years later, I’m adding adjunct faculty to my area of expertise. A little fear can be a good thing. May you blessed with options of your choosing. Live well and with beauty.
Dr. Philecia Vassell | Physical Therapist & Certified Trichologist
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
Paola Castro | social media influencer | content creator
Keep your head up high and just remember after rain comes a rainbow. In order to learn and grow as a person you have to go through hard times, so stay positive, you’ll over come it and soon and by then you will see it as a growth experience.
Evo Lineberry | Landscape Designer & Dallas Citizen Forester
Challenges spur growth — stay focused on trying to grow, rather than trying to beat the challenge. This mindset puts failure into perspective, and helps me to appreciate how far I’ve come instead of fixating on the areas that I’m not perfect in. When you cut yourself some slack, challenges suddenly don’t feel so daunting. I look at past accomplishments, remind myself that I’m capable, and face challenges with my head up. Trust the path you’re on, and take it one step at a time.
Madeline Stokes | blogger
As a Christian, I feel it is so important to turn to the Lord when things seem impossible. There is nothing He brings into your life that you cannot handle. Live each day one day at a time. Use the challenges you are facing as a lesson + learn from it, to one day share your experience with others who may face the same thing as you. In the mean time, coffee + bubble baths help too (:
Melissa Jennings | Real estate agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby
I think mindset is key to overcoming obstacles. Envisioning the challenge being completed and the feeling of gratification you will get from it helps set the stage for what’s to come. I am a firm believer in the message “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right”
Angela Yaun | CEO Real Estate Broker | Owner of Day Realty Group & Founding Member of Forbes Magazine Real Estate Council
All of us at one point or another have faced or will face a challenge we feel is insurmountable. Did you catch that key word….”Feel”? In this day and age we live in, there can be too much focus or unhealthy obsession with our “feelings”. Those “feelings” can create bad habits, addictions, and make us choose a different life path that maybe we might not have chosen. So how do we overcome these “feelings” when we are faced with a insurmountable challenge? Ask yourself is it Really insurmountable? Is there a way out? Is there a way under, over, or around it? Let me give you an example….I hear a lot of times “I’m too old to start a new career”, or “I’m too overweight to date anybody.” Unless you have passed away, your age and your weight should never stop you from anything. Mary Kay Ash the beautiful and famous #ladyboss from Dallas TX and businesswoman founded Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc., when she was 45 years old (Wikipedia). Obviously Mary Kay didn’t let her age stop her from creating an entire company from scratch. Once you have determined that ok maybe you can go through this, now you have to sit back and allow your destiny to unfold. You see we all get so wrapped up in trying to figure out the “how” when God, or The Universe has this figured out for you. I often say this a lot to my clients and family….”Don’t limit God”. You see it is SO much easier to rest in Him and allow the flow to begin. So now that we figured out 1) You will not wallow in “feelings” long 2) You CAN do anything unless you are dead 3) Do not limit God or the universe The best part is….. 4) Take the Opportunities that will soon appear because they will Write down everything you want, everything you need, and everything you will overcome. It’s amazing how you will actually start to see the check marks on your list will outweigh the new tasks. I’ve seen it in my own life and I have definitely stopped limiting God. Let me package this all up for you into one word and let it be your motto when times seem tough and you want to feel those “feelings” and that word is HOPE.
Akayla Sims | Makeup Artist
To anyone facing a challenge that feels insurmountable, break that challenge down piece by piece & look at the bigger picture. I believe approach & perception is everything when it comes to facing challenges.
Tionia Nixon | Entrepreneur | Owner of SweetGyrl Cosmetics
The best advice I could give to anyone facing a challenge that seems insurmountable is to pray and then trust God’s answer and/or instructions. During any challenge I face I talk to God first. Then I reach out to someone specifically my mom who I know can get prayers through to God on my behalf. Naturally, I don’t stress or panic. I weigh the pros and cons of the challenge and tackle it head on with God by my side!
Tamara Glennon | Mom | Wellness Advocate, Blogger at A Packed Nest
If you are facing a challenge that you feel is insurmountable, my biggest piece of advice would be to start your day, every day without fail, with a daily affirmation. Every morning! Just DO it! This is a good one. “My strength is greater than any struggle” I pair my affirmations with my favorite essential oil Valor! The oil of courage! Next break it down into bite size pieces. It’s feels less daunting that way. Now that your problem is broken down into bite size pieces “eat” (tackle) the biggest piece first. Remember this quote from Mark Twain “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” You got this!
Dj Teezy | Music Curator | Club & Mobile Dj
The best advise I could bestow would be to keep moving forward. Even when it feels insurmountable, keep pushing. If there is a will there is a way and I truly believe in that. Everything will be okay in the end, if its not okay, its not the end.
Jennifer de la Cruz | wellness coach an entrepreneur
Throughout my journey, I have learned so much. You see I am a mother of two beautiful girls. I married my high school sweetheart. I also have my full time job as a teacher assistant. I am recent graduate received my BA in education to peruse my dream career as a teacher. It seems like everything was going well, right? The true is I wasn’t happy as much as I tried to be happy something was missing. That was ME. I didn’t know who I was. You see my whole life I’ve always put someone else dreams before mine. My parents wanted me to have many roles in life. Since they never received a full education they wanted all of their children to do so. I have many backgrounds I have my medical assistant and cosmetology license is amazing to have many doors, but my passion wasn’t there. Until, one day I realized I was depress, I was diagnosed with deep depression I was always tired and full of excuses. I didn’t had a life nor memories. Then, it hit me. I needed to changed my mindset and lifestyle. I started with taking care of me. I slowly started going to gym I wanted to do something that could help me with my depression. I started losing weight started feeling good about myself and was gaining a bit of confidence. Then out of no where I received my a phone called that I needed to pay my last two semesters of not they weren’t going to give me my bachelors. I felt like that was the end of the world. After thinking to myself I told myself I wasn’t going to quick I came this far for nothing. I decided to become an entrepreneur I slowly started receiving extra income and was able to pay off my debt. Sharing my story to you. Might give you hopes or maybe your story might bring other a bigger impact. You see i never gave up even though I felt at times that i wasn’t enough to be able to do it. My daughter matter in my life and that kept me going. Your why needs to be so powerful that everything Ike you think about it needs to be emotional. I suffer so much financially I don’t want to keep struggling anymore. You will never know how it feels until you finally take action. Doing what I do now. I was able to open up my own business. I am able to help my community here in Grand Prairie, Texas. To remind me that someone may need a smile and give them hope. They matter and they are worth it. My advice is never settle and don’t let someone opinion get they beat out of you. Don’t let anyone opinion stop you from achieving what you want in life. Think about your goal, write it down and take action. If it wasn’t for me that I gained so much confidence because I now love myself. I am able to take care of someone else I wouldn’t have never started. Oh, remember this. The bigger the challenge the bigger the problem. Overcome your fears don’t ever feel like you need a paper to tell yourself you have skills. A paper is a paper at the end. Your passion is much more. Last, but not least. Your life is a plastic you are able to shape it in any way your heart desire you can even reshape it. It takes a long time to achieve something and be successful. Success is a pleasure. If you are not fulfill with what you are doing today you can not be possibly be successful. Get a goal and don’t stop till you teach it. Just because you reach it don’t mean your done. Master it and really understand it.
Heather McGee | Beauty Blogger
The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable would be to take that first step. It’s going to be the hardest and scariest thing you might ever do, but take that first step. Be patient and kind to yourself but also persistent. Celebrate every goal however small it might be. You are the only person standing in your way!
Sarah Evans | Natural Hairstylist
If I was to give a person advice on facing a challenge they felt was insurmountable I would tell them they should release themselves from mental chains that is holding them down. Life is a mental game. You have to focus on the positive things. If you have the power to change things, do so. Be at peace with what you can’t and fall in love with the process. Its not about the destination, but the journey itself.
Alysa Teichman | Ylang 23 VP of Business Development & Buying
When I am coming upon a challenge that feels insurmountable, I spend some time visualizing my success. It really works! Better yet – when someone tells you that you can’t accomplish something, studies show that a mechanism kicks in that will make you successful. In sum, no means yes!
Ashley Bryan | Hand Tied Halo Extensions Artist & Salon Owner
In business and in life we all face obstacles and challenges. How we deal with those truly shows our integrity and character and honestly our commitment to our goals. In my case, once I decided on something in life or career, there was no going back. No obstacle that I couldn’t face and learn from and no one that could deter me from what I wanted. This was not always the case for me. In my college years, I was told that what I wanted in life wasn’t achievable, it was too hard, had too many cons and not enough pros and I was told to settle for the safe choices. I did that for a while and realized I wanted more, I wanted to stand in front of those challenges and prove to myself, my kids and my doubters that I could achieve whatever I wanted for myself and my family. Some days it was hard to look forward but I got up every day and chose to face the odds head on, whatever came my way I would be ready for it. Try to remove yourself from your situation and become a problem solver. This is an opportunity to learn and grow. Of course not giving up on your goals is key and working through the challenge will make you a better person, entrepreneur, or team player. Surround yourself with people that GET YOU and support you so that you can talk the issues out and maybe take a piece of advice. Align yourself with like minded people, even if that’s just your spouse or your best friend. But the most important thing to do when facing something that seems like it mind end your journey to your goal, is to not give up. It’ll be so worth it on the other side!
Emily Hood | Recipe Developer | Food Blogger and Social Worker
While I have faced challenges in my life, there are many other people who have faced things more challenging than I can possibly imagine. On social media and my blog, I am a recipe developer/food blogger, sharing healthy and Whole30/paleo focused recipes with my community. However, the rest of the time I am a School Social Worker, and I have the opportunity to work with students and families who face challenges that truly do seem insurmountable. Some of the students I work with have an incredible amount of resilience and strength, and it is part of what helps them through their daily challenges. While I am may not an expert on how to face challenges, I am honored to be able to work alongside the students, parents, and families that trust me with theirs. They allow me to walk alongside them, listen to their struggles and pain, and try to problem solve where to go next. So my best advice? Find a listening ear, a family member or friend, a counselor or therapist – going through a challenge that feels too big to handle will feel much more manageable if you can do it alongside someone you trust.
Jennifer G. Thompson | Artist | Educator | MFA Candidate
I think the best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge that seems insurmountable, is to write down what your challenge is. Then, break it down into achievable steps and do your best to check each one off. It may seem hard, but please don’t forget to ask for help, take time for yourself and pray everyday. I know in life we all will face insurmountable challenges but you are going to make it to the other side victoriously. I believe in you. Believe in yourself.
Alleah Austin | Hairstylist + Makeup Artist
My advice would be to embrace the challenges in life, no matter how big or small. I think a lot of times when things get rough, human nature makes us want to give up. But I truly believe a lot of hard work and failure is behind most success stories. Challenging times are inevitable, but if you change your outlook and look at your challenges as an opportunity, your outcome can change.
Samantha Bedgood | Cookie Artist
My biggest piece of advice for someone facing a challenge that feels insurmountable is to ask for help! Find the people that love and support you and lean on them when you need it. They may have a solution or perspective that you wouldn’t have come up with on your own!
Angel Morris | Journalist by day, bargain hunter all the time
Consider your resources. Do you have family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances who can assist in any way? Are there groups in your community to whom you can reach out? Whether it’s a personal goal or an actual need you have, there is often someone in your circle who can help if you’re just willing to ask. We’re all put on this earth to ease one another’s burdens, in fact. Let others aid you however they can, then turn around and support the person behind you!
Hannah Kingsolver | Photographer and Bank Teller
It’s cliche to say, but everyone needs to hear it at some point or another… NEVER GIVE UP. Some people need to be reminded more than others that when there is a set back, you find a way to overcome it. Life is the BEST thrower of curve balls, and wow… you may strike out over and over again, but that’s life. YOU have the power to choose what your next steps should be. Set small goals for yourself until they become bigger and bigger, and when you’ve made it, reach higher. Just NEVER stop trying because if you do, you’ve already lost. Improvising and adaptability is key to over coming insurmountable issues, and it starts with your mind set. Just know that whatever problems you may have, there will always be a way to solve them if you are willing to improvise and adapt to those curve balls. You got this, and there are people out there who believe in you!
Davelyn Davenport | Personal Trainer & Mental Health Advocate
The best advice I would give is first shift your mindset. Within any challenge you are facing a positive mindset will propel you over the mountain when you thought there was absolutely no way you were going to scale it. Going into anything with the mindset of defeat guarantees you a loss before you even step on the battlefield. You have to be able to visualize yourself winning. Manifest it! Our minds are so powerful and we wield everything, positive or negative, upon our lives. So speak and think all things positive. It starts in the mind. The second piece of advice I would give is to stop forward looking. We are a generation of forward thinkers that we get so anxious for what’s to come before we barely began to crawl. Remain in the present and work on taking the action steps, small or large, before you deem something over or out of your reach. The last piece of information, and to me ties all these together, is change your environment! If you are constantly submerged in a negative space, with negative minded people & energies (this goes for what content you follow on socials as well), nothing positive can flourish. You become a product of that space. Find positive groups, whether online or in your community, and allow that positive energy to radiate within your soul. Free yourself from negativity and no challenge that you come across will ever feel insurmountable again!
Marilu Villegas | Photographer
Put God first in all of your projects, never give up your goal, your never ending dream. But give up your fear, your “can’t”s, and the excuses. Do not place limits on your mind and never stop seeking knowledge. Be diligent that nothing and no one will put out your fire or your vision of the things you want to accomplish. Keep persevering and set your sights on the goal, clinging to and embracing with all your strength what you want to achieve.
Alondra Islas | HairArtist
I would tell them , to never give up or loose hope. You will always be your own worse critics but at the end of the day you are capable of doing a lot more than what you think you are! Nothing is too much of a challenge as long as you are determined!
Alex | Marathon runner | Student & Barista
When facing something I feel is insurmountable, I always take a step back and detach from the situation at hand. I look at every possible outcome and possibility, then immediately take action. Is there something I can do NOW to get me further to a positive outcome? If so, then I begin planning and taking the steps needed to tackle the challenge. Don’t talk about it, be about it; anything is possible when you take control by actively working for what you want. On the other hand, if there is nothing immediate to be done, I may be frustrated, but there is no reason to waste precious energy worrying about situations out of my control. Bottom line? Detach, plan, and take action.
Nicole DeVoss | Speech Language Pathologist with a specialization in social learning
We all go through periods of our lives where we feel we are facing challenges that are insurmountable. My advice is to take a step back and not let yourself be defined by the problem. Obstacles in life exists, so we can either resist them or accept the reality that they are in front of us. I love using the analogy of ocean waves when thinking of challenging times in my life. I can either try to fight off the wave (which would be futile) or accept the wave and let it wash past me. Once I have that perspective, it helps me realize that challenges are part of life. Don’t think “why is this happening to me?” but instead flip the script and think “what can I learn from this?
Stephanie | Photographer | artist and model
It is something I have to tell myself a lot as well because having anxiety and running your own business that isn’t always where you want it to be, you just have to tell yourself when you think you are going through hell, keep going cause who stops at hell. Things may not be how you want it at the moment but you just have to keep pushing through it and work through your problems, don’t just quit because it got hard.
Sara Price | Sales Consultant | Photographer
When faced with a difficult challenge the best advice I can give is to trust your gut! Its amazing to receiving constant support and advice from everyone but at the end of the day your the one in control. You know your own limits and strengths, never be afraid to lean on them. Continue to have faith in your decisions and remember it’s not the end of the world!
Nnedimma | Singer | songwriter & Medical Student
The best advice I can give is to believe in yourself and have faith. Work indefatigably to fulfill your goals and always be intentional with your actions. Even in the face of adversity, you can succeed.
Brenda Armendariz | Personal Trainer
Erase the words “ I can’t “ From your vocabulary. And replace it with “ How can I “ Words are powerful, and if you train your mind believe in yourself anything is possible!