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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.

Annie Vallejo – Pre-Nursing student and lover of all things fitness

Looks great! I realize it’s already been posted but being that you’re the editor, is it possible to change my response? I thought of something I’d like to put as my response to the question:

When facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge, I think it’s so important to remove yourself from the situation for a little while. Do something you love that makes you happy, and then return with a fresh perspective and attitude. Believe in yourself, know that you truly are capable of anything, and go crush your goals!


Gabriela Barajas- Makeup Artist, Hair stylist & Lash Tech

My advice for someone who is facing a challenge that seems insurmountable is to alway give it a try before giving up. There is no such thing as something insurmountable because, there is always something you can do to better yourself and better the project you’re working on. Always make sure that you are relaxed and your mind is clear when working on a difficult task and most importantly never forget to believe in yourself. Remember where you want to be in life and the goals you want to accomplish, have those goals be the motivation to everything you do.


Gabriela Gammo – CEO of Organic Fabric Company

In business and in life, we can be faced with challenges that feel insurmountable.  In any case, it’s best to take a step back, materialize the perceived challenges by making a list, and then brainstorm ways to overcome each challenge step-by-step.  Most often, a challenge seems overwhelming because we actually see multiple challenges within one larger goal.  When we take bite-sized steps to work through it and eliminate the simpler obstacles first, our task can feel more manageable.  It is also a benefit to ask trusted family and friends for advice.  Often, outsiders can see things from a fresh perspective and may even have access to resources you were not aware of!  Don’t be afraid of asking for and accepting help from others.

Miriam Vega, Finance Sector

You have come so far already nothing can stop you!, not even this challenge!. Look back in your life at all the challenges you have overcome already, you had the power then, and you have the power now.

Kamila Tan – Advocate for Eating Disorder Recovery, and Aspiring Professional Athlete

1) Break your challenge down into small steps, into smaller challenges. This will make it easier to take it one step at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time. By breaking it down, the most insurmountable challenge becomes far less scary, and far more conquerable. The tallest mountain can still be scaled, especially if you take it at your own pace and persist all the way to the top.
2) Don’t be afraid to open up and ask for help. If you surround yourself with good people and a strong community, they’ll rally around you. More people might be willing to help than you realize… if you let others in and show them what you are struggling with, they can help you far more effectively than if you hide your challenge! Strong people deal with many challenges on their own… but I am a firm believer in the power of vulnerability, and it may be an even stronger decision to ask for support.
3) Remember that tough seasons are temporary. Even if you face difficult challenges now, you won’t forever. This too shall pass. Better things are to come. It sounds so cliche, but remaining positive goes a long way!

Anna Ekstrand – Global Supply Chain Specialist

It might sound like a cliché, but nothing is impossible! Personally, I don’t like to sugar coat things, and more so I appreciate honesty, that’s probably why my advice to someone who feels that a challenge might be insurmountable would simply be – that it is not. Our minds are extremely powerful as long as we have the confidence to believe in ourselves. I do have a few points I consider valuable for a strong mindset along the way, and which I try to incorporate when I stand in front of a life challenge or decision:

·      Believe in yourself – don’t depend on others, you are the only one who can overcome your life’s challenges, but always remember that you can find strength in the most unexpected places.

·      Reflect on past decisions, reassess all your decisions from both success and almost-defeats to see what you could improve, and make sure to stay away from past misfortunate decisions.

·      Accept reality, the sooner we accept reality the sooner we will be able to perceive a clearer view of the world.

·      Stay positive – never let the negativities get to you, never drown in self-pity, it is ok to feel down at some point but have the courage to snap out of it. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.

·      Control your emotions, never make any decisions when you’re angry or frustrated…

·      Consider different perspectives, maintaining an optimistic approach can sometimes make all the difference.

·      Celebrate the small steps, even if the victory feels far away you should celebrate and take pride in every step you take in the path to get there, it will boost your confidence and make you stronger!

Cathy Kaczmarczyk —> Visual Content Designer

Girl, we all face overwhelming challenges in our lives, and believe it or not, it’s a blessing. No matter what obstacles are thrown at you, you need to take them by the reins and OWN IT! Ride that horse girl! A recent insurmountable challenge in my life was deciding to quit my corporate job to start my own business. So many doubts and insecurities… from the change of routine.. finances, actually getting the right customers, all while keeping my mental health in check! I had recently survived a traumatic event and it has been the perfect reminder of how I needed to embrace life on a daily basis. Challenges are scary, but if you keep your focus… you will be ahead of the game! If it were easy, EVERYONE would be doing it… right? Your time is now!

ErinMarie Reiter – Theatre Critic, Journalist, and Editor

What’s the best advice you have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable?
“Make a plan and a schedule based on what you need to accomplish. What’s the goal?  What are the steps? What one thing can you do each day to get you to the next step? Be flexible.  Sometimes challenges come up that seem to derail you from your mission, but those are learning and re-building opportunities for you to figure out who you are in that moment, what you want to be in the future, and how to get there.  The path may not be immediate, or what you originally thought, but if you’re present each day in the work you will be amazed at the opportunities you can make for yourself.”

Gabriela Peregrina — Digital Storyteller and Marketing Consultant

Trust the process, everything will make sense at the end.

If you really want something be relentless, committed, and put in the time.

If you do all of those things, it’s guaranteed that you will overcome any challenge.

Your mind controls everything that you attract into your life, stay positive and great things will come!

Dr. Cara Miller – Developmental Coach and Leadership Consultant to Organzations

It’s tempting to face challenges with the question, “what do I need to do to to face this?” You’ll gain more perspective and multiply your options if you first ask, “who do I need to be to face this?” If something feels insurmountable, it may be exactly that, a feeling. And that feeling was likely constructed by a more limited field of vision, a way you made sense of challenges earlier in your life. That earlier sense-making helped you determine your actions, your doing according to what you could see. Grow to face challenges with a later form sense-making, one focused on your being, and you’ll see more connected possibilities. Your choices about how to act and what to do, will become more intentional, and be constructed from multiplied perspectives. When your field of perspective expands to see yourself as more of an author in the midst of the challenge, the challenge itself will feel less insurmountable. The best teams help each other to continuously expand their vision this way in the face of challenges.


Patty Tolentino- Makeup Artist

The best advice I can give to anyone that’s facing a challenge is to let go of your fears that are holding you back and ignoring that little voice in your head thats telling you you’re no good. Breathe in and out and say “I got this”. Don’t ever back down from a challenge that seems too impossible to conquer, dominate that challenge and enjoy every second of it. If you decide not to face the challenge you’ll be full of regret asking those “what if?” questions. I missed a lot of great opportunities during the first years of my makeup career because I decided not to face difficult challenges and til this day I still regret that I didn’t. So be strong and brave babes, you got this!


Brenda Obi ( Beauty Artist)

For any one who is facing a challenge that is insurmountable my advice will be hold on! Change is coming soon!


Gabrielle Jolie Waugh Licensed Esthetician | Lash Specialist

The GabrielleJolieBeauty brand has seen significant growth in the past year. At times I run into challenges that seem impossible to overcome. I feel frustrated and overwhelmed. It’s times like those that I go to the ones I trust. I stay positive, humbly ask for help, and keep open minded to their advice.A challenge is only insurmountable if we say it is. So don’t say it. Attitude is everything. With the right attitude, hard work, dedication and the right people in your corner, nothing is insurmountable. Stay positive. Stay humble. Stay open minded. Get out of your own way. Ride the horse in the direction it’s going and never stop.”


Nicole Batiz influencer

You will overcome whatever the challenge is, life goes on. Nothing that is easy is truly valuable and whatever the challenge may be, you will come out stronger and wiser than you were before.


Lola Wren – Artist and Designer, Creator of Eccentric Accessories

When faced with a challenge that seems insurmountable, I believe that first, we must remember that, we are much stronger then we give ourselves credit for. I believe you have to sit down with yourself, close your eyes, and send your thoughts and prayers, out into the universe. We must tell ourselves, sometimes on repeat, to trust the timing of our lives and to breath into the thought that, the universe IS unfolding as it should. At the end of the day, all we can do, is try. Try and be the best versions of ourselves, and the rest will follow. Anything is possible. Remember, you’re a warrior

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.

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