To Top

Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds

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.


Ahlia Biondi – Yoga Teacher Mentor, Teacher Training Lead, Full Time Private and Group Yoga Teacher, Spin Instructor, and Former Professional Tandem Surfer

Everyday, tackle one project or task at a time and put one foot in front of the other – and then celebrate your victories and successes (even if they’re small).  Progress towards a goal or overcoming a challenge may take time and feel insurmountable.  When you focus on one thing at a time – whether it’s self-care, or productivity, or setting boundaries with someone – and then look back at the end of the day at what you accomplished, you can acknowledge progress towards the goal.  I think it’s very important to reflect in order to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and overcome to get to where you are today… without dwelling in the past.  I believe that it’s important to learn from the past, be present to appreciate the moment, and set goals for the future.

Kimberly Kessler – Textile Designer Owner of Cloud Envy Decor a felt pillow and felt decor company

Try to take on a big challenge one step at a time and dive into it knowing you are going to make mistakes and those mistakes you will learn from. It’s worse to over think and let your fears stop you in your tracks. Plan to fail and know the more you do something the better you get at it, so when you fall get back up and keep going. Believe you can do something and you will overcome the doubt.

Angie Kleidette- Fashion Enthusiast

Even though you are feeling this challenge is unconquerable Don’t Give Up! You may be closer to achieving your dream than you think. Always have an “I won’t quit” mentality, it will make it much easier for you to persevere and be able to achieve your goals.


Sarah Katsiyiannis AKA Baby Kansas – Passionate Storyteller

When faced with a decision, it’s not about which choice is better. It’s about committing to one of them and then not looking back with regret.

Let me say that again: When it comes to decisions, it’s not about choosing the better option, it’s about committing to one!

Find your reason.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

“He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision he is really diving into the strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

– From The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

Resist the urge to regret. When we look back and regret, we waste time! There is absolutely nothing that we can do about it once it’s done.

I had to make the decision to cut something away from my schedule. I turned down writing for the Odyssey because I got casted in an SDSU off-Broadway production. It was hard, but I’m not going to think about the what ifs. I am going to think about the what is. I AM GOING TO BE IN AN SDSU PLAY!! (A solo scene too!)

The world is very giving.

The fact that I say that the world is very giving instead of saying that the world is a cruel, cruel place is a decision! I wake up every morning and choose what to do, say, and how to act and interact with others around me. In everything, I try to choose happiness. (See that in action below.)

Lastly, I want you to know that you are not a product of your past, but a reflection of your now. (If you made a bad decision, then learn from it and move on.) Within yourself, lies all the answers and power to shape and transform your future.


Angela Jackson- Contemporary Artist Inspired by the Sea & Art Educator

Many times, we spend so much energy worrying about the challenge ahead of us.  My advice is to just plow head first into the challenge and use that energy for tackling it, rather than worrying about it.  I also remind myself of all the other challenges I have overcome previously and that “I got this one, too”.  A challenge is a message from the universe and a learning experience for you!
Instagram: Angela Jackson Artist

Taylor Christine – app consultant and coffee drinker

Focus on the first step. breathe. call your tribe and let them help. and then move onto the next. with baby steps and a good community, it’ll get easier.


Kelsie Michelle, Strength Coach and Powerlifter

The actions of confidence come first and the feelings of confidence come later. Meaning, the only antidote to the fear you face for overcoming any obstacle is taking action. Even if it’s one small thing you can do within the next 24 hours. The more you practice getting uncomfortable the more confidence you build.


Life Optimized with Ashley Lane: Business, Fitness, and Life Coach

When myself or a client is facing a challenge that feels insurmountable that first step is to write down all the roadblocks, fears, what you don’t know how to do yet, and the reasons you feel you can’t do it. Once it is all out in front of you, you can see the problems, and they are no longer taking on a life of their own inside your head.

Then I address each concern and create a plan to overcome it. Are there tedious tasks that you just don’t want or have the time to  do?  Let’s outsource them. Are you lacking knowledge?  What training can you take? What coach can you hire? What book can you read? What friend can you ask? These are tangible things that we can solve.

When it comes to fear, productivity, and time based roadblocks, we need to dig a little deeper. These are my favorite problems to tackle with my clients. I have a step by step coaching program I take them through as we get clear on their vision and why. We time block out their day so they can visually see their to-do list and their big scary dreams in their schedule appts, not an ever running list of things they hope get done. They we address each limiting belief and fear that is preventing them from reaching that vision we defined.
My Free Guide: 5 Easy Ways to Get 5 More Hours Every Week:

Shelli Pelly – Author, Lifestyle Influencer

Whether you think you can or think you cannot – you’re absolutely right…… In other words, when mentally labeling a situation as insurmountable, you’ve already decided AND dictated the outcome:  Failure, because success is impossible.  Thoughts and intention are energy, and what you think about – you truly bring about.

Change your perspective, change the outcome.  Instead of making an excuse, make a plan.

Start by adjusting your perspective of the situation.  Instead of labeling it impossible or insurmountable, think “This is a challenge, but I can figure it out – I can land the plane.  It’s just a matter of devising a strategic plan, in small-bites.”

Now, make a plan, breaking it into BITE-SIZED PIECES.

What needs to be done FIRST.  Now focus ONLY on that portion, putting everything else on the back-burner until you’ve completed the most important first few steps.

Next, tackle the SECOND set of “have to do’s”, and so on and so on…. Now, something that initially felt totally overwhelming, is not only doable – but you’re literally 100-feet from the top of the mountain!

In a former life, I ran large sales organizations in the corporate world.  Inevitably, team members would come to me completely overwhelmed, sometimes almost in tears.  Our mantra became… “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!”  Inspiring, motivating – and reminds us all, of the power of thought, intention and taking strategic action in determining our own life path.

Life is 10% what happens to you – 90% how you handle it.

Nicole Kallberg- Fashion & Lifestyle Influencer

First take a deep breath, then think how they can break up the challenge into smaller tasks and start by tackling the easiest piece first and then going from there. I live by this daily and think it really helps!!

Krista Fernandez – Senior Project Manager & Wellness Educator

Don’t look at the challenge as an unclimbable staircase. Focus just on that first step. What do you need to do to just get to step one? Now take that first step. Congratulate yourself for climbing step one. Alright, you did this once before and you can do it again. Focus on just climbing that second step. Step on up to step two. Now keep going. Progress is still progress no matter how tiny that step up may be. One step is still ONE WHOLE FREAKIN STEP! Keep going. Set S.M.A.R.T goals and just focus on one step at a time since pretty soon you’ll look back and be so glad you took that first step. Since that is all a staircase is….a bunch of smaller steps. Keep going till you reach the top. : ) #youcandothistoo


Krysti Larsen- Health & Fitness Coach

Don’t be afraid to dream big, even if your dreams are too big some someone else to understand. Put your head down and do the work it takes to achieve thought goals.  Never be scared of the hustle, for one day you will be able to look back and be proud of yourself that you never gave up. And always remember the struggles you are facing will give you the strength to over come bigger things. Believe in yourself and you will become unstoppable.

Sara Dunbar | San Diego Realtor & working mama. Founder of Allomamas

Take a breath . Pause. And break down the task step by step. you don’t have to accomplish everything in one moment and you don’t have it do it alone. Challenges are a part of life and we all go through them. It’s important to remember you are not alone. 

Sarah Nichols

Keep pushing forward, even if people tell you it’s impossible. When I was in college, I made it a priority of mine to study abroad. I was a transfer student, on financial aid, and I picked a highly selective environmental research program that had nothing to do with my major. After being accepted into the program, I pulled off the impossible. At the age of 20, I graduated with 3 associate’s degrees and a bachelor’s, all completed in just 3 years. I caught a 30 hour flight from Australia straight back to my college graduation and I have never been more proud of anything in my life. So yes, the impossible is possible with a little hard work and perseverance!


Arielle Gelosi – Tax & Finance Coach

I would give is to BREATHE! When you ask for big things from the Universe, you’re going to run into BIG challenges. The best thing to do when you face challenges that seem insurmountable is to take a step back. Allow yourself to go through the motions (stressed, angry, scared), then when you’re in the right headspace, make a step by step plan on how you’re going to achieve your goal. If you break your goal down into itty bitty steps, it feels a whole lot more manageable than trying to take on everything at once. Also, don’t forget to also celebrate each of those wins. Before long you’ll be exactly where you dreamt of being.”

Ana Singh – Henna Artist and a Baker

Never give up on what believe in and be patient. It will all work out for the best!



1 Comment

  1. Barbara

    April 5, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I can especially relate to Allison Lindblom’s home organizer. I moved from New Jersey to Florida. New home/new job with a lot of “baggage” I took with me. Thank you for your insight and positive feedback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Food & Entertainment