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.
My best advice would be, there is no ultimate, best advice anyone could give you. Trust your guts, even when you feel you have failed. Trust your intuition, even when you feel you are lost. Trust your heart, even when you are at rock bottom. You are the driver of your vehicle. When you trust that it’s a darn good one, even at these moments, then there is no challenge big or small, you can’t handle. Grow and love yourself, always.
Elizabeth Reay | Graphic Designer
I’ve found that the best way to face something that feels insurmountable is to take it one step at a time. Focusing on smaller tasks helps me not feel so overwhelmed by the bigger picture and helps keep the fear of failure from taking over. I’ve also found that by acknowledging any fear and setting it aside, I can focus more on the fun and creativity in whatever I’m doing.
Ann | Spiritual advisor and life coach
Getting in touch with your spiritual side is the best way To face any obstacle or challenge that you may be going through nothing is impossible once you find the strength within yourself .
Alexandra Barrientos | Photographer
There is a way to learn from hard endings and to begin again with hope. There are times when we want to rush past the beginning and get to the next exciting chapter. But we can’t rush growth. Through the challenges, I’ve gone through I realized that you should not let fear be the author of your life but embrace the challenge that is in front of you. Remind yourself of this truth and take it little by little.
Charlotte Ellsworth | Community Outreach Director & Veterinary Technician
I am learning that your twenties are filled with challenges and obstacles at every turn. Whether that be at work, with family, in relationships, etc. The best advice I could give for someone who is facing an insurmountable challenge would be remember to believe in yourself and never be afraid to ask for help. Challenges are going to present themselves for the rest of your life, but how you deal with these challenges will make or break you. I know that when I’m faced with something that I feel like I can’t handle, I rely on my faith and I seek out mentors who have been in my position. Having a supportive community behind you, as well as believing in yourself, will help you move mountains you never thought you could. Even when you fail. Even when the world is telling you that you can’t do it. Even when you don’t have the right answer, try to make time to clear your head, take a breath and find that inner strength to overcome the odds. You will come out on the other side stronger than ever. As a millennial, I know that I can let anxiety about a certain situation and fear of the unknown completely shut me down. However, when you learn to combat anxiety with strength and confidence, you will be victorious in the end. Don’t let the worries of tomorrow steal you joy and peace for today.
Stephanie Lynch | Owner of No Bad Looks, LLC | Licensed Esthetician
Every day we face challenges both big and small, but nothing is too big to conquer. Get out of your own way, it is okay to be uncomfortable, embrace the unknown, and work harder than you ever thought possible. Be patient-‘Giving up’ should not be in anyone’s vocabulary, stay focused, set goals, take pride in what you are doing, enjoy the ride, and get after it! Stay positive-you got this!
Julie Dolhon | Interior Home Design and Decor
The best advice that I can give to someone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable is the very advice that I used during an unexpected and extended season of illness that I suffered years ago. That advice was to set small, specific and measurable daily goals. This helped me gain the confidence and the momentum to reach the end of that hard season in full stride knowing that I counted all of the little victories along the way and could celebrate the person that I was becoming through it all. I truly believe that the best seasons come directly after the hardest moments of our life. Having faith and a strong support system will help carry you through the ups and downs. You are stronger than you know.
Tiffany Taliaferro | fashion | lifestyle blogger | online boutique owner, and dancer
If you’re facing something you feel is too big for you, change your perspective and speak positive truths over yourself instead of believing you can’t overcome it! When I’m feeling overwhelmed or incapable of accomplishing something, I remind myself all the reasons why I CAN do it and that I am good enough and strong enough! I also tell myself that I’m going to give it my absolute best with everything inside me and that’s all I can do! If in the end, it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted, then at least I know I tried my best! This mindset has helped me with lots of trials in my own life, including past relationships, jobs, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, starting my own business, etc. When things don’t go the way you had hoped, look for something positive in the situation and something you can learn and take away from the experience! Always get back up and keep moving forward, you never know what lies ahead!
Melissa De La Rosa | Blogger & Stay at Home Mom
Mindset is everything!! When you have the right mindset you can do anything, even overcoming obstacles that you thought were impossible.
Robin “Honey” George | Licensed Cosmetologist | Educator
God asks us to count it all joy when we find ourselves in good and bad times. We celebrate the good because there is a blessing and we celebrate the bad because there is a lesson. It may be hard to see the reason for what you’re going through but joy always comes in the morning. Often times, difficult situations build us up in ways that sunny days do not. No one ever graduated or grew without some struggle in the process. What I’m saying is that character is built in times of overcoming hardship. Its even said that lack is the father of invention because it forces you to be creative in obtaining the desired result. My advice is to pray for the grace to endure, remain positive and focus on what is going RIGHT and not what is going WRONG. If you can’t change your position, change your perspective. You would be surprised at how energized you could feel toward a challenge with a renewed mind.
Jerri Quiroz | Rock & Roll Enthusiast and Artist
Not everything in life is easy, believe me, if it were, I would have not had all the mental break downs I had throughout the years. Sometimes I look back and think about how I even overcame these obstacles, to begin with. I have always had problems with anxiety and am easily prone to stress. Which is not a good combination, especially, when facing a challenge that I think is insurmountable. Though it does not mean that I am going to let that hold me back, because we all are going to face challenges in life, and unfortunately whether we like it or not we have to overcome it in some way or another. I am not going to lie though, there were times that I thought of giving up and thinking it was too much for me to handle. However, despite all this, I still managed to persevere. We all need time to break away and just focus on our self. I have many times called a mental break here and there. Though, it does not mean that we must stay in this sort of limbo forever. We must focus then come back to reality because one way or another we must face these challenges. Trust me it is not going to be easy and we might not receive the outcome we so desperately desire. I have personally received outcomes that I did not want or intended to receive myself. Though we might be afraid to try if we do not try at all to overcome this insurmountable challenge, we will never know what could have been. It is better to try and fail than not try at all. As time progresses, we will be faced with many challenges and how we choose to overcome these challenges will impact our lives. My best advice to anyone who is facing a challenge they feel insurmountable is to at least try. Even if you must take small steps in overcoming this challenge, take them. You must persevere one way or another, and if you must take a break take it. It is good to take a break and focus on one’s mental health. Though, when you are ready get, back at it. Do not give up even if it seems too difficult to overcome. Look for others for support when needed and if all odds are against you… do not lose hope. Not everything will work out in the end as you intended it to be, but it is better than never trying at all. Though, who knows… maybe this challenge will be one of your greatest accomplishments. Just persevere and keep on trying no matter what.
Brittney Carmichael | Salon Owner | Soul Coach | Founder of Shine School
Don’t give up! When you go through crazy struggles, don’t forget to take care of yourself first. Spend a little time each day to practice mindfulness such as meditation, yoga, or quiet walks in nature so you keep the connection to your soul open even when your heart wants to close. Each time you find yourself in worry mode, shift your thoughts to search for a creative solution and ask yourself “What good can come from this or what could go right?” Stay positive on your search for the silver lining. You’ve got this!
Jennifer Nicole | Handbag Designer & Founder of Jennifer Nicole Collection
The best advice I have for facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to do a couple of things which have always worked for me. Fist, no challenge is insurmountable or impossible, it’s all about perception and attitude! If you go into a situation feeling like you’ll never be able to achieve it, it’s over before you even began. This leads into the second aspect, perseverance, which is half the battle. If you go into any situation knowing you can achieve any challenge and if it’s something you’re truly passionate about, just keep working at it and never stop “swinging the bat” and eventually you’ll knock it out of the park. This is something I always remind myself and have done for every challenge I’ve faced creating my own business and it’s worked for me every time.
Meredith Little | Account Executive & Actress
Many times when I find myself with a challenge that seems too big for myself I do a couple of things. First, I remember this saying “if it’s not going to matter 5 years from now, then don’t spend 5 minutes worrying about it”. Most of the time, it’s not insurmountable to the big picture. Then I take time to breathe, remind myself that I am not alone and I have a great community of friends, family and coworkers who are willing to help. Also, prayer has always given me peace. I am currently suffering from Lyme Disease. I’ve had it since 2013 but only found out this January. That is a challenge that has felt to me, insurmountable. It seems most of the time like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. When I have a flare up (ex: migraines, nausea, panic attacks, heart palpitations) I feel so defeated but I am reminded that I am not alone and that there are people out there who have it much worse. I also have to remember the remarkable testimonials of those who have conquered Lyme Disease and are now living healthy lives. So while in the moment it may be scary and dark, I know that this isn’t forever and God has a bigger picture in mind.
Hannah Spencer | Hair color connoisseur & fashion enthusiast
No challenge is in vain. It’s all apart of your journey, take what you can from it and move forward.
Michelle Davis | Gym Owner & TV/Radio Host
For me, a continuous conversation with God is first, but many people confuse that with the responsibility of taking action. Being widowed with two young children at 33, I can tell you how easy it is to want to disappear into non existence and hide away. I followed up being widowed by entering into a business deal with a real bad character. My friends and family might call me Wonder Woman, but in both situations I felt like I wanted to crawl into a hole and peek my head out when it was safe. Everyone handles stress differently, and what motivates people to drive hard is different as well. One thing I can tell you, don’t turn your back on it, don’t ignore it. It will not just go away. Take a deep breath and then be proactive with your destiny. Work hard at the end goal. As you chip little pieces away at that challenge, you will feel good at each swing of your sledge hammer. When you do nothing, nothing happens! Every action you take is one step closer to busting over it, around it, through it. You won’t always make the best decisions and it almost never turns out exactly the way you planned, but you will pass the insurmountable and feel unstoppable.
Casey Colodny | Food Blogger & Freelance Content Creator
Just go for it! You never know what you’re capable of achieving if you don’t try. With that being said – do your research. Be smart about your approach so you can set yourself up for success!
Chef Stoney | Celebrity Chef & Pastry Chef
The best advice I will ever have for someone who is facing challenges that feel insurmountable is to P.U.S.H! If you follow any religion you know this acronym stands for Pray Until Something Happens (even if you aren’t big on religiousness) it means to persevere through all obstacles. If you give up, you will never see what could be or could’ve been behind the next opportunity. There are no obstacles that you are given that you can’t overcome, but you have to be willing to sacrifice & work hard in order to change your circumstances. It all starts and ends with you, literally. From your diet to your daily thought process! Be the change you want to see, and everything else shall follow behind.
Larissa Rolim | DPM MS Foot and Ankle Specialist
Stay focused on taking care of one task at a time to address your challenge. You’ll be overwhelmed by trying to fix it all at once. One step at a time facing the challenge by taking the stairs and not hiking Everest.
Beauty By Bailee | Hair Stylist
We all face hardships in life and deal with situations in different manners, so the best advice I can give someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, is to first meditate. Meditating can relax the mind and also take away any negative thoughts that you feel can distract you from handling your situation. I would also advise to ask for help. Many people are prideful and let their pride get in the way of being helped, which can block someone who really wants to make an impact in their life!! Life can get the best of us at times, which is why using the two suggestions I provided in your daily routine can really make a difference in not only your thinking, but your presence as well!!!
Anna Huber | Self taught makeup artist
Be confident! You can do everything you want to do if you put hard work and effort in it.
Roma Osowo | Contemporary Abstract Artist
When you’re facing a challenge you feel is insurmountable, the first thing I would advise anyone to do is to pray. Pray for peace through the challenge and for guidance on how to overcome it. Seek advice and guidance from those you respect and remind yourself that your challenge isn’t bigger than your will to overcome it. While walking through this challenge, be defiantly joyful. Do not allow this temporary obstacle to take away your present joy. Finally, everything is only for a time, so while going through your challenge, ask yourself what this trial is trying to teach you, and I assure you that you will be a wiser, stronger and more resilient human being once you’re on the other side of it.
Azzy Francis | Traveler and Content Creator
My number one piece of advice would be to take comfort in the fact that this too shall pass. I know this may sound cliché or it may be easier to say than to experience. But I challenge you today to hold on to that promise and know that God will never give you more than you can bare. If things are peaceful now and you’ve overcome, remember those days when you thought you couldn’t. Never give up! My second piece of advice is to surround yourself with prayer warriors. Surround yourself with individuals who will lift you up, who will support you, inspire you, your “positive vibes only” folks. I promise, with your tribe by your side, no challenge will feel insurmountable. Finally, have confidence in yourself and believe that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! You have everything it takes to overcome any challenge you may face! Believe it, cling to it! You’re a force to be reckoned with!
Huong Vo | Fashion | Lifestyle & Leadership Digital Content Creator | Sustainable Living Advocate
Everything you do (or don’t do) begins with your state of mind. When it comes to facing a challenge you feel is insurmountable, you need to know that it’s all about your mindset. Rather than running away from your difficulty or ignoring it, choose to shine your light on the obstacle. Instead of it being you who’s facing the challenge, it’s the challenge facing you…amazing, fearfully and wonderfully made, one-of-a-kind you. What you give energy, attention, and focus on is what will grow. Why give failure the limelight? Failure already gets enough attention so choose to aim for success. Shift your focus and change your perspective as many times as you need to when approaching your challenge. By doing so, you give yourself various “home field advantage” game plans to take action. And if you fail, it’s okay! Failure is growth under pressure so embrace it! It also builds confidence and resilience. The more you fail forward, the more you’ll need that experience you’ve gained to take on bigger challenges you’ll face in the future. Learn from that defeat, try again, and keep going. Don’t be afraid of failure more than being afraid of trying. Action is the cure to fear, but you have to be intentional about how you respond to your challenge(s). And in case you didn’t know, diamonds are made under fire and pressure.
Samantha G. Rosas | Creative Founder and Owner of Millie and Bows
If you ever feel like you’ve come across a point in life you don’t think you can get past, just breathe deeply and remember all that you have already overcome. You have the power to make any day a great one. You are a super human and your strength lies within. Your mood can be changed with the power of your mind and the way you choose to look at a situation. Always try to remember to see the glass half full and not half empty. Small bumps in the road do happen, but that’s all they are.. small bumps on the road through this beautiful life journey. You can and you will get past this.
Joyce McLaughlin | Founder& CEO of Official Lady Lash | entertainment Manager & Financial Consultant
My best advice for anyone facing a insurmountable challenge is to remember the last one. Unfortunately with life comes challenges some small others seem to never have an end point. As humans it’s okay to feel defeated but avoid being defeated. Challenging’s bring out dark emotions you may not know how to handle alone. Reach out to someone you trust and if you don’t have someone to listen invest in free therapy locations in Dallas. Remember the hole you are in can not bury you unless you allow it , like your hole there is a way out of all situations. The climb will be hard you may lose ones you love deeply and even lose money you’ve saved for months. Good part is you have a love within yourself that will attract people into your life you deserve and money is replaceable.
Mackenzie Berry | Mortgage Loan Processor & Account Executive
My best piece of advice is to always keep going, & keep striving to be a better person than you were yesterday. It’s okay to have set backs or a bad day, but our success is determined by how we handle those set backs. Step back from the situation and asses how you can handle it better & learn from your mistakes. Take chances and push yourself out of your comfort zone. The greater the risk the greater the reward. It’s not an easy road but if you push yourself every day one day you’ll look back and realize you’ve accomplished more than you ever would imagine! Never quit!
Stacie Dahlbeck | Yoga instructor and Hip Hop Yoga Creator
When faced with a challenge that seems insurmountable, it is important to remember that your reaction to a challenge determines how the situation unfolds. Remember to be bold, take challenges head on, and know that everything you need to handle your situation is already within you. On another Note, take solace in knowing that every notable achievement thus far was once deemed impossible and insurmountable.
Claudia | nail artist & lash | pmu artist
Don’t give up! Keep going and never let someone else’s opinion of you define you or keep you from following your dreams. Anything can be mastered with practice and practice will make perfect! It’s only failure if you quit.
Natasha Chimney, BBA, CPT | Founder of She Who Embraces | Author | Entrepreneur | Mentor | Personal Trainer
The best advice that I would give to a fellow brother/sister facing difficult challenges would be to truly hang on & seek God first! I, too, have faced many challenging and dark seasons but I had to trust that God was with me every step of the way. I was always told “one day you will look back on this moment and smile” and I must say I overcame my Giant and did just that! It took me not only evaluating myself, my environment but my circumstances, as well. If I wanted a different outcome, I need to change my outlook, along with my decision making and/or behaviors. Trouble truly doesn’t last always. Now every troubling experience I have, I’m fully equipped with His armor because my previous lessons prepared me & it can do the same for you! I have provided a bible verse to serve as your reminder as you push through your seasons: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 NIV God promises that your battles will be won! Hang on to His every Word & in due time you will experience victory!! Your roads will get tough, but give yourself credit! You are much more stronger than you think!! Believe in His promises & also believe in yourself!
Jo Lam Founder | Project Beauty (501c3 nonprofit) Empowerment Coach and Speaker
We have to remember that no matter what happens to us. We have the choice to choose how we perceive and respond to that situation. I have been through many obstacles and challenges in my own personal journey, and what I have learned is to master my own energy, my own emotions. We can’t change what happens to us. But we can change how we look at those experiences, and when we change our perspective, what we look at changes. I look at every experience as a teacher. I know that nothing happens in vain. We grow and learn from EVERYTHING. It might be hard to see it while we are going through the storm. But look at your life, how many times you thought you couldn’t make it through. But somehow things always works out. We can’t deny that there is always a Higher Power at play… and when we look at this from the perspective of “I am so glad I got to go through this, because it taught me what I do want or don’t want” you will begin to build gratitude for EVERY experience.