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.
Kaylan Rosa | Plant Sitting, Care, and Consultation
We are capable of so much more than we are led to believe; with determination, a positive mindset, and faith in oneself, we can achieve our aspirations. When you keep taking small steps toward your goal, you’ll find it isn’t as insurmountable as it originally seemed.
Aisha Shahid | Graphic Designer | marketing specialist
My advice is to always look for the positives and think rationally in every situation. I realize that is easier said than done, but in moments when we are overwhelmed, positive thoughts rarely occur, and we tend to break ourselves down. A lot of what we think is insurmountable, can usually be solved if we just sit and take a deep breath for a minute or two and think rationally about the situation. We also need to know what we can and cannot handle and when to let go of things.
It is also important to have the confidence to take on whatever the world might throw at us and that confidence builds up as you go on with life and deal with a lot of different obstacles. When we are too in our heads about something causing us a lot of stress, we can’t come up with a solution. So yes, my advice is taking a deep breath and making a list of positives.
In my creative career, I have found there to be so many challenges. There were certain things I wasn’t sure how to do before I started working as a designer and I would get overwhelmed with so many assignments at one time. As time went on, I learned how to handle stress a bit better. Not just in terms of work, but other things in life as well. We just have to think rationally and know what we are capable of as humans, which is a lot.
Caterina | Fashion Producer & Psychology Student
My best advice would be to believe and have faith in yourself. You have all the tools to get where you want to be, you have the power to design the life you want to have, but you have to be consistent, persistent and patient through the process. Teach yourself discipline, try to be a better person day after day and overcome your limits and demons!
Marie Miller | Jabz Boxing Co-Owner and Trainer
I would say drinking more coffee and wine, but that really isn’t the solution. My advise is to know what your end goal is and then take it one step at a time. Always celebrate the small achievements as you know they will lead to bigger results. Even if it feels like a huge challenge, you can do anything you set your mind too. It just might be one piece of the puzzle at a time. Stay positive, push forward and punch through those negative thoughts.
Michelle Renee | Model
Life doesn’t stop for anybody, so when times get rough, you gotta pick your head up and keep moving, or you’ll get left behind.
Cynthia Dales | Certified Fitness Trainer, Co Author (book will be published on 9/19/2019) & Transformation Specialist
When you have a big challenge that seems insurmountable, I find for me it’s best to break it down into smaller chunks.. Using weight loss example: someone who wants to lose 100 lbs. Seeing that huge number can be overwhelming but if you break it down into 5 to 10 pound chunks and reward each goal that is achieved, it makes that 100 lb more manageable and not so overwhelming. The smaller goals are seem more achievable and you also get the benefit of seeing that you are making progress towards the big goal.
Ada Rose Mancusi | Designer & Jewelry Maker
Take a break from it and let yourself refresh and refocus. I love baking so whipping up a batch of my favorite 15 minute muffins takes my mind off the challenge and takes me to a relaxing mental space. Bonus – I am left with something sweet to help me face the challenge when I am ready to jump back in.
Allie Mathews | Salon Co Owner & Stylist at Tribe Hair Co
Stop doubting yourself, work hard and make it happen!
When facing something that seems impossible, I think it’s important to know you can do anything you set your mind to. When you are determined and passionate about something the possibilities are endless.
I would rather try and fail than wonder if I could have been successful. If you do fail, look at it as a lesson and it will steer you in the direction of success. We are all capable of being successful, but its those who actually venture out of their comfort zone and do things that scare them that have success. I believe by switching your mentality from “I think I can” to “I know I can, and I will“ is very important!
Charlii Jones | Real Estate Agent
When faced with a challenge that feels insurmountable, my biggest piece of advice is to break the challenge down into steps. Similarly to the saying “There is only one way to eat an elephant; one bite at a time,” so don’t be too consumed with how impossible it may seem at first. By approaching the challenge step by step you can celebrate the little wins which will keep you motivated. Just remember, this challenge is just helping you to become the best version of yourself and it gets greater, later.
Michele Lough | Owner & Designer of The Denim Dreamery
Never give up. There is always a solution with thorough research, dedication, and the trust in yourself that you can make anything happen. Be comfortable setting aside your pride and asking for help or guidance from somebody who was once in your shoes.
Lauren Rosin | Associate Broker | Realtor | Leader The Lauren Rosin Team (+ #Bossbabe )
My biggest advice is to focus on yourself: where you are now and where you want to be. Find what motivates you, create a plan, and hold yourself accountable to stick to it. Whatever you do, don’t compare yourself to other people. Your chapter 1 is not the same as someone else’s chapter 5. And if as you are going along in your plan you happen to face some set backs or failures… GOOD. There is no success without learning from failures. So don’t let them stop you. Use them to learn, get up & dust yourself off, remember your motivation, and remind yourself where you want to be. Then keep working to get there!
Merdiana Spaiju | Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Life is full of challenges and problems but it also is filled with love, happy moments, endless possibilities. It is all up to your perspective on how you’re going to view this journey of life, so if you believe a problem is insurmountable, it will be! Sometimes I think back in time and realize that I am happy that some of the things I wanted to go differently didn’t go like that because I wouldn’t have had all the good things that happened after that. Every time you’re facing something challenging just stop and look around you, you don’t need to look far to see people who are dealing with far greater challenges than you but still keep going strong and attacking life with all they’ve got. Just watch the news, see people who get displaced, lose someone close to them, get handed all kinds of health diagnoses and compare your challenge to theirs.
So here I am being your voice of reason today: do not sit in self pity and wait for the solution to come to you, bring out the positivity from within you and tackle the challenge in front of you! If it is something that really has no solution, maybe it wasn’t meant to be resolved and maybe one day you’ll laugh at how it probably wasn’t a challenge at all. All of this might not be easy at all but it’s better than feeling sorry for yourself!
There is a quote that I like to resonate with “”stars can’t shine without darkness””, meaning life can’t always be sparkling and beautiful, you need some of those problems and challenges to bring out the best in you, you were made to be strong and yes, you can handle anything!
Dana Bentley Black | REALTOR®
When I’m faced with an obstacle that feels insurmountable the first thing I do is to pray for wisdom, peace and guidance. When you have faith that ‘You Can’ it gives you strength and confidence to pursue whatever the challenge is with confidence and passion. To quote Roger Crawford: Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.
Lexa Renay | Model and Follower of Jesus
I would honestly encourage everyone to look at God and care for others when they are feeling lost of depressed, a lot of the time we are all so consumed and focused on ourselves we drown in our own sorrows. But use that energy and help others and spread love and I promise you will fee so much better, you will feel life. Life is better selfless.
Alex Longo | Lifestyle Blogger
I’ve have had a few challenges in my life and as I look back at how I got through these obstacles I always took the time to slow down, think it through, and lean on my friends/family to support me. I believe because of these challenges it’s made me a better person, spouse, and mother!
Laryssa balderrama | Artist
The best advice I can give is never take no for a answer when it comes to your dreams and something you believe in , always remain genuine to your self , keep moving forward and never give up believe in yourself and know that anything is possible expect miracles!
Lacy Hodges | Online Business Coach & Strategist
I believe that every woman has the ability to overcome any challenge they may face even when they feel like it is insurmountable.
Build a business that they are proud to share ⠀
Make money online⠀
Grow a following of soulmate clients⠀
Show up every day and share her message⠀
Get results daily⠀
Do what they love⠀
Show up as herself without shame or embarrassment⠀
Create the life they thought was only for the lucky ones and in movies⠀
Create the freedom they crave and desire each and every day⠀
Day after day I hear from women how they would do this but they don’t have the time. ⠀
They would do that but they don’t have the money. ⠀
But they don’t. ⠀
It takes more time to make excuses then it does to actually show up, do the work and get the results.
You can get results no matter how much money you have or how much time you have during the day or what your past was like. You have the same opportunity as everyone else but you have to show up, do the work and take action to get results because it’s important to you. ⠀
You can’t deposit excuses but you can deposit checks… It’s Now or Never. ⠀
You can have the life and business of your dreams if you show up, do the work and take action daily.
Victoria Willow | Transformational Guide | Perspective Shifter | Movement Creator & Mystic
It gets to a point where one has to be real with themselves and ask, How badly do I want to change my story? Is this “story” really mine? Have I created this for myself? Has my surroundings played a role in it? Have I allowed my surroundings to affect me? Notice your Will to keep pushing forward. Although it may not FEEL like it, you are, and that’s an incredible start. It’s about changing your perspective and seeing your situation for what it’s really worth. How can you view your situation differently? I ask that you remove yourself from your own attachment to your story, and from a detached point of view, really observe the situation and speak to yourself about what it really is. Choose to be honest with yourself, and understand what is going on. Be curious and dive deep. Allow yourself the permission to go there. Cry, yell, scream from the pit of your Being, workout, dance, sing, meditate. Do something that resonates with you that will help you release, and as many times as necessary. Understand that whomever gave us life, had a grander picture for each and every single one of us. The Creator, Universe, God, Source, Light, Energy, Something More knew we were capable of getting through the challenge that is holding us back from being our Greatest Self. You ARE strong enough, TRUST! Believe that you are. There is a specific message, lesson waiting for you at the end of that dark space, where light breaks through. Your Divine message is meant to be shared with others. For every person you meet, is for a reason. That reason may be for them to hear the message you learned from your turmoil. Imagine how helpful that would be to them. Imagine how impactful that would be for them. Imagine you just saved their life…Imagine. As for time, it’s non existent when it comes to healing. Allow yourself to heal, for you are capable of Healing. Forgive yourself and those that need to be forgiven. Be kind to yourself and give YOU what you need. Possibly a hug. Or looking at yourself in the mirror saying “I love you”, and keep saying it until the magic begins to create. You may break down, you may have a deep conversation with yourself, you may even laugh. I say GREAT!!! You deserve to be honest with yourself! The beauty that comes from your realization is more powerful than you could possibly ever fathom. Let life flow and see what unravels. I love you, and I see you. I know…trust, I know. And I believe in you, you STRONG, CAPABLE Being You! YOU GOT THIS!!!
Laura Ozuna | Cannabis Entrepreneur | Writer | Founder @ Chronic Sad Girls Club
When we face challenges that seem impossible to overcome, they sometimes isolate us and have us feeling alone and misunderstood. If you find yourself in a situation like this, one important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. There are others facing their own obstacles to whom you may be able to relate. There’s something very special about being a part of a supportive community who understands you, so if you’re up to it, seek those people out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Also, please try not to be so hard on yourself for going through a rough time. You’re doing your best, and that’s enough. When I face challenges that seem insurmountable, I often start small. I ask myself “What small steps can I take now to help my end goal?” Then, I try to turn my impossible challenge into a series of small, attainable goals. This makes it easier to see and gauge progress. When you face difficult obstacles, it’s also so important to give yourself credit for any progress you make or challenge you overcome— no matter how small. Every single step you make toward overcoming a challenge, self-improvement, and healing, is a victory. So take some time to acknowledge your efforts, and remember to always be kind to yourself.
Aydee Arrayales | Makeup supplier
My advice is always to think positive, difficult times will arise when you think you can no longer be able to, but everything has a solution. we have to look for the good side of things, and that all this makes us stronger and motivates us to believe more in ourselves, we can do more than what we expect , make your limits grow and always try to be a better version of you. Think you can do it and you will do it!
Sarah Laos | Creative Director, Laos Haos | Brand Marketing | Design Consulting
I would say first examine the situation and self reflect. Has this feeling of insurmountability been a trend in your life or is this seasonal? What’s stopping you? Once you can answer these questions you can grow and learn from your obstacles and road blocks. Sometimes your obstacle courses are challenging and refreshing while sometimes your road blocks are impatiently long but in the end worth the trial. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions. Be present. Fill your world of wisdom, good energy and encouragement. That’s what you need. It’s okay to ask for help… to ask for advice. It’s in these times where we can connect and learn from intimate moments vulnerability. You’ll get there. It’s normal to struggle.
Samantha Keleher | Unique Food & Travel Itineraries | Industrial Engineer
First, step away for a little while. Do something you love to get a new perspective. Sometimes I just need to get away from the situation or put myself into a new setting to help me see the challenge in a different light. Once you have had some time where you are not focused on the challenge, create your “lighthouse” off in the distance. Picture yourself having completed whatever the challenge is, now all you need is the boat to get you there. Write down the steps it takes to get there and focus on one step at a time, just like you would focus on paddling the boat one stroke at a time. Lastly sometimes you will come across smaller challenges on your way to facing your insurmountable challenge. Remind yourself what you have already accomplished and that its not worth turning around now when you are so close to getting to your destination.
Sarah Kehoe | Co-blogger
Don’t approach the challenge as a whole. Break it down into small achievable steps so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. I like to create a checklist of those steps so I can physically cross something off my list and feel like I am one step closer to achieving my goal. And do not be afraid to ask for help! I always see asking for help as a sign of strength, rather than a weakness. Believe that you can and will get through it!
Lindsay Viker | Owner of Viker Media and Everyday Dishes
When I’m facing a huge challenge, I like to break it down into smaller parts. I find that it’s a lot easier to focus on accomplishing smaller goals and celebrating the little victories. The most important step with this is constantly checking in to ensure that your plan is continuing to move you closer to your long term goal and pivoting or re-prioritizing where necessary.
Jacqueline Valdez | Entrepreneur & Social Media Consultant
The advice I would give someone facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable would be to surround yourself with those who lift your spirits, can be family and close friends. I think having someone to talk to can really help clear your mind and give solution to those challenges you might see as impossible to overcome. Be true to yourself and know there’s always a solution to every hurdle.
Bitsy Deubler | Yoga Instructor
The best advice I could give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to just Breath. I believe the breath is our biggest tool and when we can just stop and breath deeply we become equipped to handle much more than we knew we could. I would also say to trust the process. Sometimes our biggest challenges turn out to be our greatest teachers and we come out better in the end. Or at the very least there is an opportunity for growth. It isn’t easy, but being present and learning to trust the process can elevate so much worry and pain.
Rochelle DeLucia | Lead Designer at Yonker Construction
Just keep going and believe in yourself, and you will find that you are your strongest in the most insurmountable moments and in the end you will be happy you did because those moments are moments of personal growth and learning.
Alma Esquivel | Beauty Vlogger and Makeup Enthusiast
The best advice I could give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to have a positive mindset and shine a bright light on whatever the situation may be. Positivity only attracts positivity, it’s all about the mind and the way one reacts. At the end of the day, that challenge wouldn’t be there if one couldn’t overcome it.
The advice I’d give to someone facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to first remember life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. I have found that your mind is your worst enemy and as human beings we are naturally drawn to negativity. To attack an obstacle that seems insurmountable head on, you must tear down the idea that you are incapable of overcoming it. Take it piece by piece or day by day, track your progression, and reward yourself for the work you put in. Soon enough you’ll find yourself in a place you didn’t think was possible at the start.
Karla L | Mama | Civil Engineer
I would say every failure or success is an experience and failures make you see things differently after evaluating what went wrong. Every day you always learn something new so don’t be afraid to fall.
Marcy Briggs | Mortgage Loan Originator
Ask yourself “is this “MY challenge, or is it a challenge SOMEONE ELSE thinks I need to conquer”? I think perception is key. Break it down. Ask yourself “what is your desired result”? Then ask “what is the worst result that can happen”? I think once we break it down, it doesn’t seem so scary.