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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.

Sally Windnagle, Sales Manager in the Retail and Interior Design Industry for CODARUS

I believe challenges are really opportunities in our lives to learn and grow.  It is a given, life is full of challenges.   I think the most important thing to do when a challenge presents itself is to accept the challenge and FACE THE CHALLENGE head on.  I try to assess the situation and take fear out of the equation.  (Not always an easy task, as fear is a stumbling block) I try to look at the best and worst case scenarios and take action as quickly as possible…no need for procrastination. The sooner you take action, the sooner the the challenge will be over.  Kind of like knowing you have to walk through the fire to get to the other side.  My favorite saying when faced with a challenge is  “No matter what, the sun comes up and the sun goes down”.

Alexis Enright – Real Estate Agent

Lauren Beglin Photography

Instead of looking at the larger picture, take each challenge step by step. Stay true to your values and pray for guidance in times of frustration. There is no such thing as failure – only learning, expansion & growth. Surround yourself with positivity and absolutely take time to care for yourself!


Jess Shedlock – Manual Therapist

My best advice to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to just start. Do something every day that gets you even the smallest step closer to your goal.  Do what you can with what you have. Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you’ll see farther.

Candice Quinn   Principal Designer of London Pierce Design

Life is full of challenges and although they can feel insurmountable at times, every obstacle we face is a learning experience.  If you keep a positive attitude and face the challenge head on it can be overcome.  Just believe in yourself and stay positive. Remember not to let fear creep in and proceed with confidence. You’ve got this!


Melissa Velazquez – Divorce Real Estate Specialist

First of all, giving up does not equal failure. Your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health are very important. If something is too much for you to handle, it is okay to ask for help or to just simply throw in the towel. There are so many other opportunities and adventures to be had in this world. By being hyper-focused on one that is just not going right for you, you might end up missing a different opportunity that is a perfect fit for you. I’m not by any means saying that if at first you don’t succeed, give up. That isn’t it at all. I think it is important to approach a problem from several different angles and directions until you can eventually figure it out or get through it. Creativity and hard work are extremely important. We should never give up too easily on the things that matter to us, but at the same time, sometimes enough is simply enough. I believe life is too short to expend excessive amounts of precious energy on things that don’t appear to be fruitful, advantageous, or joyous. There are countless problems in the world. Maybe you’re not the correct person to solve said problem. It’s perfectly okay to pass that challenge along to someone else who is more equipped to handle it. Problems and challenges come easy, it seems. Pick your battles wisely, and know when to call it quits. You’ll most likely be a great match for the next challenge that comes along, and if not, don’t beat yourself up. Try your best, and try again. Fight hard, but don’t lose yourself in the process.

Dayna Tames- Cosmetologist and Lash Artist

When faced with something that seems overwhelming… I take a moment to step back and really process what it is I’m afraid of. I remind myself to operate from possibilities instead of circumstances. I remember my “Why” and that fear is usually only a feeling and seldomly a fact. Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or think you can’t… you are right.” I whole heartedly believe that statement. The power of our minds is our biggest and most underused asset. My best advice is to never perceive something as being insurmountable in the first place. Instead- envision the greatest possible outcome, believe it’s true and act accordingly.  We create our own reality and the universe will always give back to us exactly what we put into it.


Kaylee Thorne – Professional Lash Artist , Business Owner

Everyone starts somewhere, breathe and take it one day at a time. Make lists, and focus on what needs to be done. Always seek happiness through the challenges, though it may be difficult it’s easier in the long run to be positive through hard times than beat yourself up!


Shawna Peryea – Business Owner and Curriculum Designer

When you are facing a challenge always remember that everything will be ok in the end and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.

April Somerville – Esthetician Julia Hobbs – Hair Stylist Kai Goers – Hair Stylist

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, is something that I had to face myself especially opening up my own business last year.  “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”  Reach out to people who know more than you in that area, set up coffee dates and take notes. Gather as much information as you can from people who have been in that situation longer than you. Don’t be afraid to ask!!! Make detailed goals for yourself every day and write it down. One hour at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time and before you know it you’re kicking ass!


Sharon Poortinga – Yoga Teacher and Life Coach

When you feel you’ve encountered an insurmountable challenge, there’s three realistic options that can take place: fix it, put up with it, or walk away. But before you jump to a decision… Take a step back from your situation and take a few minutes to bring yourself to a calmer state of mind. My recommendations are to draw a warm bath, take a few mindful breaths, or go outside for a screen free walk. Return to your situation. Grab a pen and paper (or your phone’s notepad) and draw 3 columns: Fix it, Put up with it, Walk away. Write down the reasons for each. Study each one carefully.  Ask someone you trust to read your list and ask for their feedback. Once you make your decision on what to do, stick with it, unless additional events change your situation. And remember: you’ve got this! It may feel like the end, but I promise you it does get better!

Sandie DeMarco – Social Media Instructor with Socially Branded

The best advice that I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to allow someone to help you. Whether the help comes from an offer from a friend or family member, business association, or even a charitable organization, the allowance is a humbleness that stretches you. It reveals your value while highlighting the generosity of others. 

Photo credits Mel Zawadski – Instagram @melznaz

Emily Marek-Owner & Interior Designer

My best advise for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable would be to relax and take a deep breath. This too shall Pass and you will overcome this! 

Danielle Pino – Interior Designer/ Owner House of Pino

Work hard and be kind. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with genuine people. Tough situations build strong people. 

Paige Fleischmann, Movement Specialist, Strength Coach, and Yoga Instructor

Life will always provide obstacles and challenges so it is unavoidable, but how we overcome these obstacles or transmute them is what matters. Pause, Take a deep breath and try to get a new perspective. Can you call or friend or reach out to someone in your tribe/community for support and help. Write down the problem and list three things you could attempt to do to try and tackle the situation. Remember to practice self care and self love with your yoga, hiking, meditation, dancing, singing, running or whatever helps you shift your energy mentally and physically. Time will heal and practicing patience and trust that the universe only gives you what you can handle.

Rina Akajan-Jando Marketing Leader & Style Curator

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill.


Beauty Blogger, Content Creator

I would say if someone is faced by a seemingly daunting, insurmountable task, the only way out is to keep trying, even when we fail.  There is a saying that goes, “Never let success get to your head, but never let failure get to your heart”.  The only difference between a successful person and the next person is that the successful one refused to give up.  Try not to look at the long road ahead, but focus on taking little baby steps in the right direction.  Focus on living day-to-day and accomplishing small tasks one at a time so that the end goal doesn’t seem so impossible to reach.  Most of the time, the battle is all in the mind, and our worst enemy is ourselves, so try not to be too hard on yourself.  Take a break, unwind with friends or do something that calms and refreshes your soul, so that you can go back to work re-energized and ready to take on the world.

Phyllis Gupton Smith -Influencer/Entrepreneur/ Salon Owner -Stylist

My best advice for someone who is face  with a challenge. Is to never give up. You are closer than you think. Exhale and purse your dreams. Gupton smith

Heather Killigrew, Health & Wellness Coach

I have been through many challenges & obstacles in my life. Eating disorders and mental health challenges were just the beginning. After extenuating events six years ago, I convinced myself that I would be better off to end the fight.  Faith, family, friends and professional therapy were my answers.   After traveling to Poland to share my story, I came back ready to fight and ready to win! I went to school to study Exercise Science and last year devoted myself to living a healthy active lifestyle. I found a judgement free healthy community of like minded people who provide motivation, inspiration, and support to help 1000s reach their goals. Ask for help! Never be ashamed of what you are going through! Find people who help you rise, people who accept you for who you are and help you live your best life.  I believe learning to fuel my body with personal development, balanced nutrition and living an active lifestyle were key components to my drive to be successful!  Being spiritually, physically and mentally healthy have made me see what a happy life is like.


Lisa Lewis Real Estate Specialist Gilbert AZ Homes-Myers & Co.

If you are facing a challenge that is insurmountable, get out a pen and paper or your phone or computer and write your thoughts/feelings down. Sometimes it just feels better to get things off of your chest. Writing how you feel and what you are going through allows you to be able to process things a little better because you can see and read through your thoughts.  Listening to a Podcast or Ted Talk from someone that is going through something similar can be benificial. It can help you to see that you are not alone. You will also know that someone else out there understands what you are going through and probably has some good advice to share.

Julie Ahearn – Interior Design Professional

Step out into nature for some quiet time to help you gain perspective.  Do the “out of your comfort zone” tasks in small daily increments and make them your first priority of the day!  Be kind to yourself.  Don’t make comparisons to others, just do you.  Make sure you surround yourself with people who will encourage you so that when you are feeling the overwhelm, you can turn to them for a pick me up!

Laura Haught-Top Microblading Specialist

My advice to someone facing an insurmountable challenge would be to take it day by day. Don’t worry about figuring everything out or finding all the answers. Just focus on staying positive and finding ways to relieve stress. I like to do hot yoga to clear my mind. Sometimes we look back at challenges in our lives and realize how much we learned or grew from it but it’s hard to see that in the moment.

Jen Meade- Licensed Massage Therapist, Figure Competitor,Outdoor Enthusiast, Mom of 2

I truly believe we are never given anything in life that we can’t handle. No matter how challenging what you are facing at the time may be, don’t give up. The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before the breakthrough happens.


Ciantha Cranshaw- CEO of GlamourChiccs Virgin Hair/ Co Owner of Divinity Beauty Bar/ Master Stylist

A wise woman once said, how do you eat an elephant… one bite a time. So,  that what seams insurmountable can be accomplished in bite size pieces.



The advice I would give someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is two-fold;  believe in yourself!  Know that you are capable!!  Be willing to stretch yourself even if it’s uncomfortable or you feel insecure.  It’s the only way you can grow!  Also, don’t give up.  Once you look back at what you have accomplished, you will be blown away by your own courage and it builds your confidence to attack the next challenge that comes your way!


Magaly G. Gonzalez – Rocket Scientist & Certified John Maxwell Coach

The best advice I can give someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is the one thing I concluded: “Difficult circumstances do not have to last forever. ” “Hardships do not have to last forever.” “Pain does not have to last forever.” However,  while in the process of feeling that you are in a situation that is insurmountable, there are a few things I recommend someone does.  1. Pray and Meditate: Seek spiritual guidance 2. Journal Every Day: Find the time to deal with the feelings and emotions, understand why you feel this way  3. Have a Support System: Talk to close friends and family who can empathize but also who can be honest with you. 4.  Give Yourself Time to Grieve 5. Cry and Cry again, sleep, but tomorrow wash your face and stand up tall because you are headed into a new journey. 6. Be Hopeful: Expect that tomorrow will be better than today 7. Mindset is Everything: As you begin a new day, start the day by acknowledging the positive qualities you have. Make a list of 10 positive qualities about you print it, hang it on your wall, and read it every morning. “We are “diamonds in the rough.” Growth is not easy and can be painful at the time, but look at the process of making a diamond.  These diamonds are just rocks which go through an arduous process to become beautiful, shiny, and desired by most people. We are like those diamonds, and we undergo extreme pressure and extreme heat. Then the most painful part happens, we are cut into the perfect shape which results in the best quality diamonds. You are a diamond. I too experienced situations that I thought were insurmountable, but I overcame it so you can do it also. I reached my dream to become a rocket scientist, and along the way, I discovered another passion for empowering others to succeed through development and coaching.  I always say: “Control what you can and leave the rest to God to handle.”

Tatiana Britton- Fitness & Nutrition Coach

I’d say the best advice I have is to plan and prepare. I always say failing to plan is planning to fail. You might still fail (that’s part of the process sometimes) when attempting your challenge, but atleast you took all the steps necessary and did your best! I can promise you’re not alone, people don’t share their failures as often as they share their successes!


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