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 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 individuals in the coming weeks, stay tuned.
Jolene Hayes | Natural Hair Artist
My best advice for someone who feels like they’re facing insurmountable odds is to “Just Keep Living.” We must accept that each day will have its own set of challenges. We must acknowledge our feelings when those challenges leave us with unsavory options & make choices that most positively fit the circumstances, not our feelings. Each day you wake facing insurmountable odds, do what is possible to keep living for that day. Also, if you don’t believe in God or a higher power, choose to believe in & think on the things that give you hope & keep living.
Kathy Pitts | Owner Of Magpie and Bobbin
My best advice is to pause, pray about it, take it minute by minute, hour by hour or day by day and know that no matter what, there’s a reason for it and every challenge makes you who you are!
Melissa Aguilera-Nambo | Mom, Artist, & upcoming Photo/Video Editor
There’s beauty in the struggle,” sums up my advice to all. In the face of adversity once must have the confidence and perseverance to never lose sight of the goal and the only way to get there is to get through it, go through it and feel through it. Write down and break down all your obstacles, knock out smallest first and go from there, it really helps ease off the stress if you can visually see what you’re up against. And most importantly don’t forget to enjoy it, try to see the bright side of each challenge, find out what each stepping stone is trying to teach you, you know what they say “life is our greatest teacher,” so allow yourself to be taught.
Franky J | Master Barber Instructor
My best advice for someone who feels like there facing insurmountable odds is to stop everything and focus on there mental wellness, find a hobby or even time to relax and meditate so you can get your thoughts together and organized what is needed to be done to get out from the set backs or problems there facing. Mental health followed by physical health are the most important factors to reach productivity, positivity and the will to fight back from the obstacles that we face so we can reach our goal and become a better and successful person.
Bella Cavalli Events | Unique Wedding and Event Venue
If you find yourself facing insurmountable odds, break down the problem into very small tasks, take each task one day at a time and make small accomplishments. And hopefully you will gain a sense of achievement and the odds against you seem to fade away. Also surround yourself with very smart people who have answers to the question and problems you yourself may not have.
No Label Co & Me | The Owner
If We Decided To Give Up Everytime Things Got Hard We Would Have No Accolades To Share With Our Children Or Milestones To Be Proud Of For Ourselves. Regardless Of What Religion You Subscribe To Life Is Simply All About Cause & Affect. Every Decision We Make Leads Us To Where We Are Now. So How Do You Want Your Life’s Story To Be Written When You Are Gone? Mine Won’t Be Written As A Quitter Rather Someone Who May Not Have Succeeded At Somethings But Tried & That’s More Than Other Can Say If They Hadn’t Tried At All.
Anastasia Marie | Virtual Assistant & YouTuber
Honestly, it is ALL about positivity and positive energy. We are all dealt different hands during our journey in life. We all deal with them in different ways. I always try to look at the positive side of the obstacle I am faced with. I mentally think bout how can the situation make me a better person or what I have learned from it all. One saying I always remember when I am going through a tough time that seems impossible to overcome is, “Every setback is a setup for a COMEBACK!”
Kaleigh Kirkpatrick | Founder and Luxury Travel Advisor of the Shameless Tourist
We’d love to include your response to the following question with the photo: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds?— “Just Keep Swimming! Keep moving forward and stay focused. The tides will turn, don’t give up.”
Brandon Correia | Owner of Bright Guys, LLC and Freelance Photographer
Let your faith be larger than your fear. This too shall pass. Your success rate on getting through tough days is 100% thus far!
Samantha Frederick | Mother, Entrepreneur and Artist
If your facing odds that seem to be to great to overcome this may be, you won’t know if you don’t try. Try hard and if you fail at least you tried, knowing that you did everything you thought you could will give you new strength and knowledge to try again or to do something different. We win some and loose some but I think we actually win a little either way. I have found being the minority in my industry has actually helped me to stand out. There is an abundance of fantastic male tattoo artists, many get overlooked. There are much less well known established female tattoo artists. I will keep using this to my advantage and continue to work hard to better my parenting, business skills and craft. No matter what happens I won’t be able to say I wish I had tried harder. I will give it my all.
Vive Musa | A Latina Community in DFW
The best advice we give is to always face a challenge with an open mindset. We tend to forget what we as humans are truly capable of and give up when we are faced by a difficult event. Be relentless. Find the courage to continue pushing and know that this will only make you stronger.
Scarllett Cuadra | Home Decor & DIY
Every difficult battle I’ve faced has made me a stronger person and left me a life lesson. If you are going through a challenging time, stay calm, and don’t make decisions lightly. Surround yourself with family and friends; they can offer a piece of good advice. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it. Sooner or later, everything comes to an end.
Monte Feagin | Color and Retexturizing Specialist
The capability and power to overcome is within is all, so put down your prayer beads and actually get to work. If you happen to fail, find purpose in your failure.
Shannon Perry | Independent Health Coach
First, Meditate & stretch, repeat.
Second, Grab a pen (Not just any pen tho. I recommend A silver cross pen…..I hope They make rose or 22 k gold One soon)
and paper (composition book $.91).
Write down & # 1 thru 10 down page leaving space between each #.
Start with most pressing items to least.
Write next to each item a time frame to accomplish/finish.
Make a cup of tea and stretch again & do some deep breathe work. Manifest and visualize which items need your attention right now.
Jordan Combs | Motherhood and Lifestyle blogger
I want to first look at the meaning of the word insurmountable. The definition is: too great to overcome. And that is where I say: you are stronger than you think and you are an overcomer. I have truly wondered many times in my life if the “giant” I was facing was just too great but I can say: “I overcame them all.” And for me, it was with the help of the Lord. I love the analogy of the oyster and its pearl: Pearls are the product of pain and when it gets pricked by a piece of sand it creates a healing fluid which in turn creates a pearl. Without the adversity, the pearl would never have been formed. Whatever valley you are in or whatever mountain you are climbing, take it one step at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time. Take your thoughts captive and speak truth to the fear that wants to cripple you. Have faith and remember there is nobody like you in this world. You are unique, you are loved and you have a purpose!
Jill Boyle | Owner of Davis & Grey Farms
When facing insurmountable odds I always try to do a few things to change how I view the mountain I’m staring at. First, I pray that God would change my perspective. I have learned over the years, no matter the difficulty that I might be facing – there is someone walking through something much harder than I am. Also, by shifting my perspective it allows me to understand that this moment or this season will not last forever.
The last thing I do is dare to hope.
Hope that the sun will shine tomorrow.
Hope that the hard work I’m putting in will pay off, because nothing worth having comes easy.
Hope that the dreams that have been placed in my heart are for something great.
As long as you cling to Hope, you can face anything.
Yvonne Ochieng | Founder & Owner LEAFBERRI Co
The Journey to get LEAFBERRI of the ground has presented itself with many obstacles along the way. I have learnt to face every step of the way by first praying for guidance and wisdom. I have also learnt to be patient and pace myself to avoid being overwhelmed. I look at every obstacle as a learning opportunity to grow and build on my resilience and desire to take LEAFBERRI to the next level. What joy I derive when I am able to accomplish a defined task and move to the next level.
Jeremy Williams | Owner of Quality Casual Hat Co
The best advice I can give to a person facing insurmountable odds is to remember a couple of things and those things are that there’s never going to be anything placed on you that you can’t handle. Remember you’ve been equipped with the right weapons to fight every battle that comes your way. Another thing to remember is that things always have a way of working themselves out, you just have to stay the course. It may take an hour, a day, a week, or even years, but stay the course and you’ll see that those insurmountable odds will work themselves out because tough times don’t last, tough people do. Many people like to say that time heals all wounds, but really time is not the healer, it is the revealer of the healing that only God can do.
Ellyn Amador | Architect
Define your goal and break it down into small, more acheivable steps. Focus on and work each step independently so as to not become overwhelmed by the overall goal. Reach out for help when you feel you don’t have all the information you need. Try and identify areas where you might be limiting yourself unnecessarily. Lastly, talk about your goal. You would be amazed how much other people want to help someone acheive their dream!
Lindsay Ramon | Lead Artist & Studio Manager at Painting with a Twist/Frisco
Being an artist has been a dream of mine since I was able to dream. It has come with many challenges,
from outside voices telling me it was a terrible idea and would take me nowhere in life, to the personal
insecurities of feeling different and not being good enough. I fought to always stay true to myself-to
that part of myself that has always been true to me-“the artist”. Ignoring self-doubt and other people’s
opinions has been one of the hardest things to do. Once I reached the point in valuing my talent, seeing
myself as the person I want to be and not letting the opinions of others define my value, I was able to
face these odds and come out on the other side a better human-a better version of myself. Obviously,
some challenges cannot be fixed overnight. They require short term goals, baby steps, asking for help
from others, change and patience. Fear can find a way of clouding your vision, turn action into
procrastination and making situations appear insurmountable, but the truth is, nothing is
insurmountable. It takes a stubborn faith in your vision to turn it into a reality. I am proof that it can be
Brianda Summers | Mother of three, Owner of Cultured Soul Henna, Freelance Creative
When faced with a challenge of such magnitude I would tell that person to remain present. To keep going and to not let the negative self talk alter your their mood or thoughts .To be in that moment because whether the challenge be small or large there is always something to be learned. But most of all Keep going! This is not going to last forever you are in charge of your life and your future.
Enny Jaen | Mom, Wife, Speech Therapist
My advice is to have a plan and a vision. There will definitely be obstacles but have a positive attitude and don’t give up. At the end, everything will be worth it. I like to refer to a scripture that always helps me keep going:
“WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”
Nicky McDonald | Boutique Owner, Diane’s Bridal Boutique
Never give up on your dreams and pray to the heavenly father above to guide you and point you in the right direction.
I’m a child of god and I believe with him you can do anything.
Chef Dazore Bradford | Owner of Cooking the Details
I believe when something in life isn’t working out or it feels as if you’re having the same reoccurring problem, it means the universe is telling you there is a lesson that needs to be learned. This doesn’t mean you are being punished or the universe is out to get you. It means that you are evolving and growing. The problem that you have is now a problem because you are no longer complacent with your previous situation. Your conscience is basically saying, “Nah that ain’t it anymore. “Insert-your-name-here” we need to do something differently and preferably not this again.
Embrace this. That’s why you feel the itch to make the change. Well, go and make the change. However, somewhere in the process of figuring out what the change needs to be, and then actually making the change we often find ourselves incredibly overwhelmed. The -ish is hitting the fan and we are thinking, ” what in the actual **** is going on?”. If life had a remote control take a moment and hit pause. Ask yourself who am I and who do I want to become? In order to become this person you’ve imagined for yourself, you must leave the person who you currently are behind you. The problems that we face aren’t necessarily our problems. The problem is we’re trying to take on a new challenge with our previous situation mentality.
Our past mindset, beliefs, and habits, most likely work for the current situation you are in (that’s why you’re in it). If we don’t change how can we expect change? Again, ask yourself and imagine who is the person that has overcome the obstacle you’re facing. Do they understand their self-worth? Are they patient with themselves? Are they organized? Outspoken? Consistent? Personally, when I FINALLY figured out what lesson I needed to understand (it took me a hot minute sometimes) my problem didn’t seem as impossible anymore.
Courtney Brogdon | DFW Lifestyle Photographer
I would tell them to JUMP. Push through and never forget that you get to choose how to live your life. No one else gets to gives you permission to give up, just you. So don’t give up. Choose to rise above and remember why you are here. You are worthy and strong enough to do this!
Firefly Gardens | Wedding and Event Venue
Always pick yourself up the next day and keep pushing. Wallowing in doubt only wastes your valuable time and you must remind yourself of why you are putting in so much hard work toward your goals. Even though circumstances get hard when you are running your own business, the only way to be successful is to go the extra mile. Being a business owner takes extreme dedication but it is so rewarding. Take the little accomplishments as victories when you are struggling; You are always achieving more and doing better than you think. It is also important to have a solid support system to uplift you when you are facing challenges that seem insurmountable, in your personal and work life.
Ashley Murphree Tran | Founder | Owner of Verbena Parlor and Social House
Being an entrepreneur and business owner for the past 20 years in various industries, I’ve faced many seemingly insurmountable odds, in business and in my personal life. What has worked best for me is simplifying each situation and viewing it as a tangled ravel of yarn. I pull it apart one section at a time, sorting and assessing them until I can finally reconstruct them into something I can work with. By going through this process, it becomes more resolvable.
I can recall those dark days clearly. I remember being sucked into feelings of debilitation and paralyzation; not knowing how I was going to get myself out of it. I honestly think that I was able to overcome them by setting an outcome or goal, and then dissecting into achievable tasks. After those tasked were set, I forced myself to attack them one at a time. Once I was able to knock one task of my long list, it gave me the confidence to do it again and again. Overtime, I was able to build momentum to get to the final result. I truly believe that success builds on success.
Taquicia Titus | Owner and Creator of Naturally Yours Co.
It will probably sound clichè, but don’t give up. There are times when I have to throw wanted in the towel but that’s when I realize that I believe in myself enough to see through the difficult times. Keep pushing through, and keep people around you that are positive influence.
Heather Duke Parr | Color specialist & Travel agent
Behind the chair and in life I’m really good at listening, but I have to admit I’ve not been the best at taking my own advice. I’m a people pleaser and I worry about how everyone else feels and what they think. I’m in my own way ALOT! But here is what I’ve learned.
I had to stop talking about it or thinking about it and change it. My way has always been avoiding, locking myself away from the problem or the people involved.
I became a young mother just before I turned 19 years old. Postpartum depression took me away from him a lot, the feeling that I wasn’t good enough was a daily battle. My parents were disappointed in me all the time, and stepped in for my son. I would go to school from 8 to 5pm and then go to work from 6 to 3am. I saw him maybe twice a week and my mom was spitting mad because I’d often fall asleep beside him, I’m pretty sure they thought I was doing drugs (I wasn’t). I missed out on so much. I was living in a government subsidized apartment and ate crackers and ranch at my waitress job because I couldn’t afford food. I thought to myself many times, is this ever going to get better?
Cut to now, Im married with 3 more children,
I’ve been doing hair for 17 years and have built a full clientele , with a side job that I can do while spending time with my children. I’m not a perfect mom, but I’m there everyday trying, protecting and loving them to the best of my abilities. My parents are proud of me (I think).
Everyone has a story to tell, about how they felt defeated, heartbroken, or even done. Yet here they are smiling and talking you through your troubles because there’s another side of this, there’s hope.
Surround yourself with people that will listen and support you without judgement. My family and friends didn’t like listening to me or seeing me stuck in my sadness, but they did it out of love. Misery does indeed live off of the company at their pity party. Don’t be friends with Misery!
Im so grateful for the setbacks and the broken bits of my story, they’re how I learned from the gut wrenching pain and humiliation of failure. Perfection doesn’t exist, and happiness is subjective.
I know this all sounds like you walked into a power yourself, with yourself, by yourself, for yourself pep rally motivational seminar. But it’s the truth, you have to put in the work and dedication to your job, your situations, and your relationships because no one else is YOU!
I’m convinced that God gave me my husband and children as my reason to try harder everyday.
Find your reason, wake up, and take a deep breath. YOU just did that, you’re alive!
Marshala Calhoun | Braider at Salon 215
When the odds are against you never give up. Being consistent is key, even when you want to give up. Keep going until you reach the level of success that you are aiming for. Never compare yourself with anyone else. You’ve got this!