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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.

Danielle Ganon – Arizona State University Alumna

My advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to take things day by day and in each day to treat themselves with kindness. Don’t be hard on yourself, try your best, and remind yourself that things will work out in the end.

Sadie Whitmore – Floral Designer

I would say to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, to start small! I feel that the hardest part in tackling a challenge is getting started. So start small, take one thing at a time and recognize the small victories. This will give you the confidence to move forward and continue. One of my favorite quotes is “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass”.


Tera Barnes- Boudoir Photographer and Self-Confidence Life Coach

Tera Barnes as well as Ashlee Galaviz, Hair and Makeup Artist

The best advice I would give is that, you have to change your thinking from “I’m broken and helpless” to “I’m Growing and healing.” I truly believe that no one is broken. I believe that humans come into existence  with an unobstructed, unwavering, love and passion for everything around them. As we grow and evolve, our mindset changes. We become overly aware of ourselves based solely on people’s perceptions of us.  In turn, our actions, attitudes, and over all sense of being is altered. Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes, it’s not so great. Those moments become the foundation for our thinking as we progress…for better or for worse.  We too often come to believe that we are not worthy of the life we want or that we are somehow not good enough. We find ourselves swirling in a cyclone of negative and self-deprecating thoughts accompanied by limiting beliefs. Once you shift your mind to choosing to see that you are growing and healing, as well as taking ownership of all the shit that has gone along with it, oh my darling, you will unlock doors to worlds of possibilities you never could have imagined!  No challenge is insurmountable. No problem can’t be solved. You have to WANT to take on the challenge and understand that it’s going to illicit change. You aren’t going to get around it unscathed, but you WILL conquer it  and have a more profound appreciation for yourself, and the knowledge that you did it despite any and all outside opinions from others, or self limiting beliefs standing in your way.   That in itself, is an unshakable power ground in self love. You’ve totally got this!

Dawn Mougel, BSN, RN

Always believe in yourself and no matter what others may say, know that there is nothing you cannot do. If facing something in your life that feels insurmountable, try not to focus on the size of the challenge, rather one small piece at a time and before you know it, that massive challenge will be successfully behind you.”

Amber Holistic Skin Care Specialist/Business Owner

If the outcome is worth it, no challenge is insurmountable. Set small goals, and work your way through obstacles one step at a time. Challenges are what give your life substance; confront them with determination. If you mess up, you start over, or take a different route. When you view challenges as something positive for personal growth, then every barrier you overcome will only make your character that much richer. Don’t let your mind defeat you and what you are capable of.

Brittany Trull – Blogger

My best advice would be to take things slow and to know overtime anything you set your mind to can be achieved. It may not be instant but with passion, hard work and dedication no challenge is too tough. Believe in yourself, you’re your biggest supporter!

Jessica Bynum (Ruston)- Owner, Master Stylist, Integrative Health Practitioner at Detox Organic Beauty and Wellness

First step is to become present. Don’t focus on what you didn’t do in the past or what could go wrong in the future. All any of us really have is right now. The second thing I would recommend is to become crystal clear on what it is you want. Once you’ve got a clear focus I’d  advise using the S.M.A.R.T. system: Small Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time-based. You see, maybe your goal is so lofty that it may take a while to achieve. You may need to set smaller more realistic goals to keep yourself motivated and accountable while on your journey to the big goal. Work on your goal a little every day. Even if you only set aside 30 minutes a day, that adds up to 3.5 hours a week you’ve dedicated to your objective. This small amount of time you put in every day also helps to keep it a relevant priority in your life. Another key to facing these challenges is a positive mindset. Staying positive in the face of adversity helps keep you moving towards your goal even when things don’t go your way. Bottom line is: you got this! As Deepak Chopra says “You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.

Annie Cooper – Content Creator

My advice for anyone facing a great challenge is to take a step back, a deep breath, and attack the problem in stages. The problem will not cause as much anxiety if you deal with it one step at a time.

Naomi A. Evans- Owner of East Valley Florist, LLC and Owner/Designated Broker of Royal Ruby Realty, LLC

Setting small goals that lead up to a bigger objective.  Making lists to achieve those goals. Breathe and stay focused not only on the bigger goals but the smaller ones to get past those challenges that may seem insurmountable. Believe you can achieve anything and keep pushing towards whatever it is you want to accomplish. Life always has challenges but staying focused, believing in yourself, having passion for whatever it is you want to achieve, and putting yourself out there you can overcome any challenge along the way way while accomplishing anything you want. My motto has always been success nothing less.

Jessica Trotter – Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner, Mother & Wife

Whether we like it or not, adversity is part of life. Regardless of how sharp, clever, or happy-go-lucky we are, we will encounter struggle, challenges, difficulties and at times, heart wrenching moments. Overcoming adversity is one of our main challenges in life. When we resolve to confront and overcome it, we become expert at dealing with it and consequently triumph over our day-to-day struggles. The difficult times in life help us appreciate when things are going smoothly.  Look for the learning opportunities in every adverse situation  Decide whether you will allow your experience to make, or break you. Depending upon how you choose to perceive it, it could go either way.
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Cori Felix – Life motivator

Every challenge is an opportunity to grow stronger whether you meet that challenge or not. If it is truly an unsurmountable challenge, then you have no control over that so only worry about what you CAN control. Use this as an opportunity to make yourself stronger, and face the challenge to the best of your ability.

Danica Strand- Content Creator and Kindness Advocate

First off, just take a deep breath. Quiet your mind for a moment and just breathe. Nothing is insurmountable. It’s so important to FEEL through what you’re going through. Let those emotions happen but learn to let go and not dwell on the things that we have no control over and hang on to the ones that bring us joy. If we don’t, they can consume our whole life, making it feel impossible to move forward. Then look at your challenge and see what steps you can make to start tackling it. Don’t wait, but don’t rush it, just take one thing at a time and most importantly, remember to be kind and patient with yourself during this process. Do your best and know that that IS enough.


Erica Brown- Arizona Breasties Babe & Previvor

For me it’s always the fear or not knowing of unknown that takes over. I want to know what to expect, I want to plan and I have had to learn to take each day as it comes, soak in the good and let yourself let go of the bad. In the end, we get through and all those “unknowns” are what make us stronger.
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Facebook: Brcamama


Patherine Charoenmins – Co-Founder of Goal Getter AZ & Food Blogger (@Panthereats)

Patherine Charoenmins & Justine Dachel

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge that feels insurmountable is to remember that the pressure you feel is normal. It happens to everyone. I recommend to first, identify what it is that is causing the pressure. Then, recognize why it is causing you that amount of pressure. By doing so, it helps to normalize what is going on. Then, seek help from someone you trust or your mentors (ie. if you don’t have that person, network with like minded people through groups such as Goal Getter AZ). And finally, have confidence and know that you can tackle it all, no matter what. There is always a solution to whatever it is you are facing and a reason for everything. Just take it one thing at a time and everything will be okay.

Regina Burford – Content Writer for SmartThings and Podcast Host for Legends of Podcast

Whenever I’m facing a challenge that I feel is insurmountable, I take a step back and think to myself, “Can someone else reasonably do this?” If so, I like to breaking the challenge into smaller and easier to attain goals. Baby steps will get you there! I also like to remember that there is nothing more satisfying and self-liberating than being able to overcome a challenge and accomplish your goals.


Abril Elixavide Owner/Lead Designer at STEMS & STYLE

Let go of your fears and make room for positive and creative thoughts. Be flexible and open to ideas that you may have not thought of before.  Ask for help and learn to delegate when appropriate  I’ve learned to hit the pause button when I am feeling overwhelmed.  Take time to regroup, organize  your thoughts and  make a plan to tackle the challenge whatever it may be. Always move forward even if it is tiny steps at a time.

Destiny Hamid- Holistic Health Coach (Destined for Wellness)

I would give advice to anyone feeling like the challenges they face are too big to overcome is to “Take it one day at a time and have faith that every challenge is a blessing in disguise. It will teach you lessons about yourself, the people around you and most of all that the power within you is greater than you think!” My parents taught me that once you overcome adversity you can help others overcome too…that’s a piece of advice I’ve used in my coaching practice.

Vicki Zangl , Luxury Home Specialist , Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Change your mindset. The first thing you should do when faced with a difficult problem is to start with a positive outlook. Sometimes our first reaction is to fear uncertainty. That’s pretty natural. However, I’ve realized over the years it is the unknown that has given us, as individuals, the curiosity to try new things and aim for the stars. Don’t fear the problem itself. Look at it as an opportunity to learn something new and to test your ability and wit. That is not easy to do with deadlines and pressure, but keeping a positive outlook will go a long way toward making each issue a bit less daunting. Your mindset is everything.           

1 Comment

  1. Josh

    March 2, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Olivia Mcgee dropping some wisdom!!! Awesome stuff.

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