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
Destiny Ruiz – Owner of Unlimited Beauty Studio – Hair Stylist / Makeup Artist
My advice for someone who comes face to face with an obstacle that seems insurmountable is to believe in yourself enough to just TRY! No harm comes from trying, or trying your best! By simply stepping out of your comfort zone (instead of second-guessing yourself which most of us do) and trying something you normally wouldn’t, you’re already one step closer than you would have been, and in turn possibly taking your first step into something that could turn out to be AMAZING!
Alix Clowser- Loan Officer & VA Home Loan Expert
The best advice I can give, is that Life has many seasons, and if you do it right you should forever be growing and changing; evolving as in individual. Change and growth can be exciting and both uncomfortable at the time same-but you have to remember that nothing worth having ever comes free, or without sacrifice. We don’t always understand the “why” behind what is happening to us, at least not right away. Once you have persisted through these hard times, it is at that time you will be able to connect the dots going backward and realize why everything that happened, had to happen, the way it did in order to get you where you are today. If you can remember that-you will be better for it.
Joanna Maomie Mersel
I am pessimistic by nature, though I try my hardest not to be. When I’m faced with an impossible challenge, I immediately think of the worst way it could all go down. What if I don’t have the skills? What if I don’t have the will motivation to pull through? What if I fail? … So, what if I fail? Then I move on to find new opportunities with more challenges to face. It’s not the end of the world, luckily for all of us. Wouldn’t I rather want a challenge than be bored?
I live by the cliché “do what you love”, but I don’t want settle for doing something just because it’s easy. It’s important to seek challenges that will help you grow personally, enhance your knowledge and add to your skills. You will need this to take on any other future challenges that will be thrown in your direction. So if challenges are this valuable for our self development, just imagine the value of an “insurmountable” challenge.
When a challenge feels insurmountable, it’s probably because you’ve never had to face something like it before. This is all new to you. Take your time in figuring out how to deal with the challenge, it’s only fair to yourself. Remember to stay realistic, but always aim for the best outcome. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask people for help or advice.
Challenges show you who you are, what you can do and who is there for you. Really, the results are the sweetest when the challenges are the hardest. And if you fail, it is not the end. Learn from your mistakes, and use this knowledge for other challenges you will face in the future.
Emily Macisso, Special Needs Preschool Teacher
At the preschool I teach at, we use the phrase “be quiet, worry” to help our students as they overcome their daily obstacles. I love this, because they learn that they are capable of controlling fear’s ability to limit our capabilities. When facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge, I believe the most important thing we can do for ourselves is allow our strength to conquer anxiety from within. Sometimes, the hardest task is not the challenge itself; it’s quieting the voice that tells you that you can’t. Start small, deep breaths, be quiet worry.
I have definitely had my fair share of seemingly insurmountable challenges whether it be through sports, injuries, school, or just my attitude towards life. My advice to those going through the same thing is to really lean on those around you. Many times, we may feel too prideful or too embarrassed to ask for help. But we cannot let ourselves think this way. The people in our life are there to help us, guide us, give us the hard facts when we are too afraid to admit them. The family and friends that I surround myself with are strong, confident, loyal, and compassionate human beings, and they always know how to help me through tough times. No one is supposed to go through life alone.
Surround yourself with people that you trust and that care for your best interests. Do not be afraid to go to someone even if you just need to talk and get things off your chest. It has never benefited me to go through these challenges alone.
Caelin Nieto – Social Media & Marketing Manager
Continue putting forth even the smallest efforts to sustain your dreams and get through the hard times. Accept the fact that if you fight through the challenges, there is always a chance you might lose, but if you do not fight at all, you have already lost.
Melissa Adao – MEL -Dancer, Choreographer, Educator
I used to respond to adversity feeling sorry for myself and ask, “why me”? It was only recently that I changed my perspective from “why me?” to “why NOT me?!”
I truly believe that the universe brings challenges in my life to prepare me for something greater that is about to happen. It’s hard when I can’t see the reason or what I’m being prepared for. I had to practice trusting that there is the reason, as well as being patient for that new chapter that’s about to arrive in my life.
Angela Chee-Media/Communication Coach & Keynote Speaker
It isn’t always easy, but start by changing your perspective. See the challenge as an opportunity to grow. Remind yourself of past challenges you overcame and the lessons learned. Then quiet the noise and make a decision from a place of clarity, not anxiety or overwhelm and listen to what your gut says. What do you really want your next move to be? Then take action. Give yourself grace and let go of the outcome.
Claire Jenks – Graphic Designer and Brand Specialist
Take a step back, breathe and break the bigger challenge into much smaller chunks. Challenges that are far too big seem like they impossible to overcome but once broken into smaller pieces, you can face it step by step.
Get someone to help you see the smallest parts of the challenge if you can’t see them yourself. “I was once told….you can’t eat an elephant whole….start with the toes first!”
Georgia Lewis – Fashion Blogger & Instagrammer
The advice I have for someone facing a challenge is to always continue to push through adversity no matter what. Although it may be hard at times the reward will be greater then what you had to overcome.
Selina Murdy | Wedding Coordinator
Everyone will face obstacle in their life that can make them feel too small to overcome it. Perseverance is a necessary trait of a fighter and an entrepreneur. Take on one small task at a time, when I feel overwhelmed with the challenge in front of me I break it up into multiple small challenges and celebrate each victory along the way.
Trianna Owen- Los Angeles Realtor
My best advice for someone who is facing a difficult challenge is: to envision themselves after they have overcome that difficult challenge. Recognize what the challenge is, realize what you need to do to overcome it, and recreate how to approach the challenge.
Melissa Mecija – San Diego Reporter/Anchor
Take a deep breath and don’t forget it’s okay to ask for help!
Gabrielle Martorana – Entrepreneur & Digital Nomad
I would recommend they break down the challenge into smaller bite-size pieces, and work on taking small steps in the direction of the goal each day. I would also ask them to do some critical thinking and self-reflection. Why does this challenge feel insurmountable? Is it hitting on a long-held fear or limiting belief? A lot of times challenges are placed in your life as an opportunity to overcome a long-held limiting belief. As an entrepreneur, I feel I am met with challenges frequently (especially in the beginning years) that made me question if I was good enough, smart enough, and knowledgeable enough. And sometimes those felt insurmountable, but when you break down the challenge into smaller pieces you see that fear is what is really behind the challenge. And when you recognize the fear for what it is, a thought you have chosen to believe in, you then have the ability to make a different choice and create a different outcome. This will empower you to take those action steps each day, proving to yourself that the challenge isn’t insurmountable after all.
Challenges are a part of everyday life and help you realize the value of what you have now. Each different challenge and obstacle in life is what makes us who we are. They may sometimes seem insurmountable but best advice is to face the challenge head on by accepting that it is there. I tend to procrastinate when I’m faced with a problem, but have realized that the sooner you take the first step towards action, the easier it is to overcome. Just taking the first step toward solving it may be the hardest yet most important part. Break down the challenge into small parts so it doesn’t seem as impossible and shift your point of view to the thing you’re doing instead of only focusing on the end result. Figure out what you need in order to overcome it, then look for those resources step by step. Some challenges may take longer than others so just catch your breathe and take your time! Communicating with others is also very helpful since others can give you a different perspective. Challenges are opportunities to grow. Have patience and endurance throughout the process. They sometimes seem too big to face, but if you remain centered, relaxed, and determined… every challenge can be conquered with confidence. They only make us stronger and allow us to push ourselves and see what we are capable of. When you take it step by step, you’ll one day look back and realize how far you’ve come. It reminds you that life does get better!
Danielle (Dee) Henry – Hairstylist Specializing in Blondes and Makeup Artist
Think of the last challenge you had that you felt completely overwhelmed by. It passed. You got through it. This is a challenge that you will also get through. When things seem completely insurmountable, I like to force myself to think minute by minute. Sometimes day by day is too much. Hour by hour even. Just focus on this moment you’re in, think positive and know that it will work out. It will be ok because there is always a way through things. Always.