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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.

Bertha Ortega | Model | Marketing Manager

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, is never to give up. Most importantly never give up on yourself. Believe and understand that it’s only temporary and you have the power to overcome anything you want with your own strengths & a positive attitude.

Jen Cho | Pre-optometry student & fashion | beauty blogger

The best advice I’d give is to take a step back and take a breather from it. Sometimes when you’re immersing yourself too much into a problem it’s hard to see any kind of solution. Taking some time away to relax and doing something for your mental health can get you facing the issue again with a fresh mindset. And if that isn’t enough, ask for help! I know I have a hard time with this, but it isn’t showing weakness to ask people to help you with a problem you can’t seem to overcome. Issues tend to feel bigger than they are when you feel like you’re doing it all alone. It’s better to surround yourself with supportive people who can literally help you or at the very least be there for emotional support.


Rachel Urban | Reinvention Advocate & Administrative Assistant

Sarah Duke Photography

Insurmountable challenges do not exist, just like the limit does not exist. Don’t lie, you just read that and said, “Okay Cady Heron, Mean Girls is like 15 years over!” Yes, true but that famous movie quote has taught me many times that the limit is only a roadblock set up by your own mind. We often forget that challenges are what make our lives less boring, give us something to talk about and invite us to problem solve, as if we were sitting in the sudoku box of life. This is a blessing in itself. The ability to communicate about difficulties that seem impossible to overcome brings us closer to whomever is listening. We are faced with the reality that without challenges we fail to grow and reinvent ourselves into the next level of our lives, which pushes us to face our problems head on. My best advice would be to embrace whatever challenge you deem insurmountable because that is going to give you the power to use critical thinking, find the resources you need and put you on the path to the people and places that are meant for you. Letting life play out in the face of a challenge is difficult, feeling down can take a toll on your mental health but what’s on the other side of hardship is the newest version of who you are. Whatever your current challenge may be, remind yourself that once all is said and done, you will have positively impacted yourself and those around whether they are close knit or merely observing. Trust me, someone is watching because to them you are a source of encouragement. So, from now on insurmountable no longer carries the same meaning for us. Now we tell ourselves, Insur-mount-able, insure me to mount this bull of a challenge because I deserve to come out of the other side as a stronger and better than I’ve been so far.


Jamie Alison | Creator

I think the best advice I could give to someone facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge is to relax into it, instead of resisting it. Success is all about reactions, when faced with a difficult situation try to see the bright side in what is happening. I have definitely been faced with some hard choices during my journey so far and I’ll be honest there were things that I could have done differently. But at the end of the day, mistakes are just opportunities to learn and grow. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my lifetime and I am so glad that I did because they all brought me to where I am today. I wholeheartedly believe that if something is meant to happen then it will happen. The only way to ensure that is to stay on your path, keep your head up, and relax. You can do this!

Stacie Lang | Sustainable Shop Owner

Try to have perspective! Remind yourself why you got into whatever you’re doing in the first place and ask yourself if the challenge at hand is really as big as you may be feeling in the moment. Looking back at some of my most stressful, overwhelming moments as a business owner, I realize how trivial the situations really were and can usually find myself either learning from it or laughing about it in the long run. 😊

Monique Perez | Wedding | Elopement Photographer

I would tell them that there is no such thing. Every goal or challenge can be met. If you’re having a hard time being able to meet it then step back, and relax. Take some time for yourself, and remember your reason. Remember your purpose. Maybe it’s the energy around you, that is stopping you to move forward. At the end of the day, this is about you. Release the bad vibes, and surround yourself with the good. I promise you, any challenge you may be facing will be an easy conquer! 🙂

Rochelle Perezchica | Bakery Owner & Sugar Artist

First, remember that things are always changing & evolving, so this challenge isn’t going to last forever in most cases; breathe. Step away from the situation & breathe some more. After you did something to feed your soul, even if it’s as simple as a bath or eating your favorite meal or going for a jog, come back around to visiting the challenge with fresh eyes & always go with your gut on whatever decision needs to be made. Your gut feeling will never steer you wrong!

Etsy: Creme de le Creme Cakes by Rochelle

Hailey Rae Thomas | Makeup Artist & Certified Tarot Reader

When facing a challenge that feels insurmountable it is important to look into your true self while also seeking a connection to the universe.

We usually already have the answers to our problems, we just have a hard time seeing the solution. Looking into yourself and finding what you value and love to do can show you insight. Get creative! I use makeup and body painting to channel my inner thoughts, wishes and problems. With tarot I seek my intuitions answers to these. Putting together a new makeup look is my form of prayer and meditation. Tarot is the divine messages to my prayers.

The world can feel like it’s crushing in on you when you feel alone. The daunting task is always harder to face by yourself. Find a community that can help you! Take the things you have created, the thoughts you have formed, the insight you have learned and share it with the world. We are all connected. It’s just sometimes easy to forget that.


Hannah Austin | Pastry Chef & Business Owner

When you feel as though you are facing something insurmountable, my advice to you is this: go with your gut and keep on going. Just last year, I was faced with an overwhelming decision between what I knew was right, what I knew I truly wanted, and what others thought was best for me. Now, normally I’d say who cares what other people think of you or the choices you make in life, but these “others” were my parents, people I hold near and dear to me and value their opinion very much. But deep down inside of me, I knew they were wrong. It wasn’t the same as that “teenage angst” you might once have felt back when you lived under their roof, in which you thought your parents were stupid or always trying to ruin your fun. No, this was the first time in my adult life where I truly knew they were wrong, down to the core of the disagreement. So, I went with my gut. I chose my route, the path that I knew was the right call. For quite some time there, my parents and I didn’t get along. We didn’t even talk. At all. Finally, out of nowhere, my parents realized they were wrong and apologized for their transgressions. I never thought that day would come. So like I said, I went with my gut, and then I just kept going, even when it seemed impossible, even when I never thought my parents and I would have a relationship ever again. Life is made up of infinite choices, so whether you’re trying to decide where to move to, if you should marry that person or not, what college to go to, whatever it may be: just go with you gut and keep on going.

Nicole Bencivengo | CEO of KissNMakeupbynicole

The best advice I can give on my personal opinion with anyone facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is always think positive. What you speak on you bring to existence. Your thoughts, your mind set how you feel all affects  how you can handle something no matter what it is. Also know god will never give you something you can’t handle. Always stay positive.



Pauline Kibathi

Be Relentless!! Find someone/something that is your motivation! Whether it is your kids, parents, spouses, sports, whatever that maybe, commit to accomplishing your goal with your motivation in the back of your mind. If you choose something that is near and dear to your heart, no challenge should ever seem insurmountable.


Angela Treat | Owner and Designer for Hand Treated Home

My advice for facing a challenge that seems insurmountable is to just start. I’ll admit, I’m a chronic over thinker. I contemplated starting my own business for years, and finally realized there was never a perfect time and I was never going to be ready. I finally took the leap and am so glad I did, and wish I had done it sooner. You don’t have to start with a huge step, come up with one step that seems manageable that will set you on the path towards accomplishing your goal, and once you accomplish one thing, then accomplishing the next step won’t seem so scary after all.

Jazz Nejat | Holistic Pharmacist & Henna Artist

We all have moments where we wonder why some greatly challenging event is happening, why we would be given something that is too large for us to handle, too much of a load to bear. I think what has helped me get over these moments is to re-frame the whole experience – why am I seeing this as an “insurmountable challenge”? That is a title we ourselves give to a certain part of our life. I have been through things I thought I could never get through – and each time I came out stronger. Wiser. More confident. Now when I’m given a challenge I feel is too big to handle, I remember that each challenge is a test of my character and willpower. How will I react? I will put one foot in from of the other. I will take small steps to overcome. I will be compassionate with myself during the process. I will take it one day at a time, and I will re-frame the situation by accepting that life can sometimes be difficult, but I know that is how I can appreciate the beautiful and good moments more. l will be thankful for ALL experiences in my life – good or bad – because they shape me into who I am meant to be. 

Kaity Zaiser aka Kaiser | Renaissance Woman

Find what you ache for and chase after it. It’s hard to obtain your big shiny dream right away and the best thing you can do for yourself is to set goals that will allow you to be most successful. Stay humble and proud of the small accomplishments because, those are the milestones you’ll look back when you finally reach the moment where all the hard work, sweat, and tears become worth it. Remember who you are, what you stand for, and always be kind as you move forward in your endeavors. Now, let’s do the damn thing.


Alison Fanning | Princess Performer

If there’s someone who knows about insurmountable goals, it’s me. I become so focused on the end result that I forget to enjoy the journey. So, if you feel overwhelmed by a goal, just stop, look around, and breathe. Enjoy what you have done so far, because you’ve done a lot! Don’t ever forget how far you’ve come from where you started.


Ashleigh and Kathy | Happy Life Soap

Happy Life Soap

First, take a shower. Then take a step. You will never succeed if you don’t start. 

Kelsey Hunter | Registered Nurse | Personal Trainer | Fitness Nutrition Specialist

When you are facing a challenge that feels to great to overcome, I want you to start by knowing how strong you are for simply making it to this point in your life. Then, I want you to think back to all of the struggles you overcame in the past and know that the challenges you’re facing now will one day join them. Take it one day at a time, celebrate the small victories and keep people around you that will remind you of the warrior you are. Know that you are capable of overcoming anything put before you.


Andria Battle | Mechanical Engineer

McCulley Imagery

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to take a step back and think rationally about the situation and the possible ways to overcome the challenge. There is no challenge too great to overcome, being patient is extremely important for most times things will work themselves out.


Emily Lopez | Make Up Aficionada | Dog Lover and Skin Care Enthusiast

What you throw into the universe, is what you will receive in return. That’s something I remind myself when I wake up for a brand new day. Coming from a Latin background I always tend to remember, si se puede, translation anything is possible. Moving on as an adult I finally realize what that means… just do as what makes you happy and it will get you where you need to be. Get out there and do what needs to be done whether it’s being social, traveling, going back to school, working your heart out at work, etc. As Shia LaBeouf once said, “just do it!” is truly the key in life. Strive for what you believe in and don’t look back. The world is full of opportunities and you have to go search for them, they won’t just fall into your lap. When opportunities present themselves, DO IT! Life is full of struggles but just remember YOU are always able to overcome any obstacle that comes your way. Life wouldn’t be beautiful without the ugly and that’s something we need to remember when something feels insurmountable. Over all my advice is, believe in yourself and run with it, porque SI SE PUEDE!


Sharayah Dow | Health, Fitness & Suck It Up Buttercup Coach

Sharon Blasdell

Simple FIGHT. And, Suck It Up Buttercup!

Oh, I guess it’s not that easy. HAHA!

You probably wanna know how right?

Fight 4 YOUR Life. Fight like your FUCKING life depends on it. Because, darling it does. I’ve been reached out to a lot by people asking almost the same question. Either dealing with depression or pain or accidents or recovering from injuries. All these if you knew a lil more about how extensive or extreme these cases were you’d probably say OH SHIT… get help. Or, I don’t know what to tell you. Literally, went to a mentor and he said, “Damn homey that’s some serious shit I’m not sure what to say.” Here’s the thing I with my 3 years of college and a MASTERS degree from SUCK  IT UP BUTTERCUP UNIVERSITY… well I do.

I have spent 8 years facing different insurmountable odds since my accident. And, years of dealing with them before. So I want to tell you this & it may sound harsh but, then I will lay out details. SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE! Stare at yourself in the mirror & say “I got this, I’m stronger than anything that life throws at me.” REPEAT that till you believe it. DANCE IN THE KITCHEN. SCREAM, YELL, KNELL & PRAY! LEAN into the adversity that life has thrown at you. Quit cowering in the corner. Quit running from the situation. What the hell are you doing?!?! Are you in pain? Are you depressed? Are you facing eviction? Are you homeless in your 20’s? Have you just gone through a nasty divorce? Is your father an ass? Does your family not support you? Have they told you, “You are a burden” “ You’d be better off in the wheelchair”? Are you building a new business from the ground up, in a city where you know NOBODY? Are you rebuilding your health? Have you turned to doctors and found no answers? Have you turned to a Mega Hospital and only gotten worse? Have you flunked out of college and need to figure out what’s next? Are you an alcoholic?

Are you detoxing from opioids? Are you detoxing from Narcotics? Are you detoxing from both COLD TURKEY? Are you doing it with no help?

Are you trying to lose weight?

Are you trying to gain weight?

Are you trying to walk again?

Are you trying to get off a walker?

Are you trying to get out of a wheelchair?

Maybe you’re trying to #DitchTheStick?

All of those applied to me within the past 10-15 years. The divorce part no but, I watched it and mediated it myself at 15.

So now are you ready to listen, if your back is against a wall. Then listen to me imagine that that wall is the ropes to a ring. Now…You have 2 options. You can let life knock you around cower in the corner and BEAT YOU DOWN! (Which to me isn’t an option)


You can FIGHT 4 YOUR LIFE! Your quality of life. Your happiness in life. Your joy in life.

So how? 1. Turn on some music. For me Fighter(Gym Class Heros) or Mama Said Knock You Out(LL Cool J) Never Give Up(Cardi B) – Now dance, sing those lyrics like they were written for you. Go for a drive and do carpool karaoke.

Kneel scream,cuss(if that’s your style it’s mine), ask-beg plead for HELP, question WHY? (It’s okay? I promise), and say thank you for getting you this far, ask Him to GIVE you strength to fight against whatever.
YouTube- Find a Church Sermon that speaks to you. Currently Transformation Church has been my jam & this past Winter/ Spring there serious “Planted Not Buried” got me through •Also, find motivational podcasts or YouTube videos I love Eric Thomas & Tony Robbins &
Now GO WORKOUT! BECAUSE, YOU GOTTA FIGHT!—— FIght for your life. Fight for your family. Fight to prove your family wrong. Fight for the future you want.
Now SUCK IT UP! Because, YOU are the only one capable of changing your life. YOU are the only one who can see your dreams. YOU are the only onen who can fight for them. YOU want change SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! And, FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE! Because, its yours.

Nobody had the ability to get me out of my chair but, me. Nobody had the ability to have me fight to start a business that was dedicated to helping others FIGHT for a COMEBACK but, me.

They say true strength is when you’ve been knocked down and in the process of getting up. You reach out and bring someone else up with you. I’m reaching out I’m here are you willing to FIGHT, to SUCK IT UP? Because if so, YOU CAN reach and achieve your dreams. NOW, I DARE you 2 DREAM again.

Vanessa Holden | Human

As cliche as it sounds, ‘impossible’ really means “I’m possible.” When you feel a challenge is insurmountable, break it down into smaller challenges… steps that you can take one by one until you’ve achieved your goal. If you need some help along the way, don’t be too proud or too shy to ask for it. Persist until you make it through and never stop telling yourself that it is possible. I promise you’ll come out stronger on the other side!


Alondra Rodriguez | Pro Makeup Artist | CEO & founder of ANX Cosmetix

MUA – Alondra Rodriguez MUA Photographer- Brandon B-Lo Fields

The only difference about being successful and failing is choosing to give up when things get hard or finding another way to make it possible.


Dona Diamond | Mom & Lifestyle Blogger

Eloisa and Dona spa day at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa

I would tell them to forgive the past because they cant change it. I would tell them whenever they feel that the problems they are facing now, will they matter 5 years from now. Ultimately, happiness is a choice. When faced with issues, you cant change, change how you choose to react to them. Dissect it like a project, and deal with it one at a time. Be your own best friend, the world treats you the way you treat yourself. So love yourself the best. Most important love I give to myself is slowing down, focus, read because wisdom is power. And keep going, good things come to those who don’t quit and work hard. That’s the best love, self-love. 

Shayla Mccoy | Makeup Artist & Work at home mom

Remind yourself that you have overcome every struggle you have faced in the past and although it may seem impossible you will overcome this soon too. Most importantly, always ask for help from your tribe. They are always more willing to help than we realize.

Yurikka Vasquez | Certified Makeup Artist & Esthetician

The best advice I could give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to JUST PUSH THROUGH! So often more times than not I feel like we as people never take the time to think about the fact that before this challenge that we are currently facing at the moment there was another challenge that we were just facing that we thought we couldn’t get past, yet we did. Pushing through & never giving up is the key to life & it’s something that I’m always telling myself daily. You can’t give up.


Ramona Amante | Designer & Makeup artist

Take your time. Everybody moves at their own pace- and if the work is put in, inevitably, you can accomplish anything.



Mae E. Nevarez | Master Teacher & Blogger

Mae Nevarez

If a challenge feels insurmountable, my advice would be to visualize yourself after you have conquered challenge. How do you feel? What are you doing? Be detailed with your visual, so that as you tackle the challenge you have this image in your head to keep you moving forward. 

Echo Williams | Nutritionist | Dancer | Yogi | Model

I think that if you are finding a challenge insurmountable, then you may not be in the right mindset to work on overcoming that challenge. When we are able to look at things rationally and focus on the smaller things that are within our power to do, then we can get more done – even if we inch our way there.   An inch of progress is better than a standstill, or worse: a setback. Checking something small off of your list is also very gratifying and will motivate you to continue working on what is challenging you.   Don’t let a perceived obstacle hinder you from keeping your priorities straight and maintaining balance in your life. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a breath, take a walk, or take a drink of water. It’s corny, but helpful. Give yourself a break, and remember: baby steps. The little things do indeed add up!


Kim DeVries | Owner | Soap Artist at Makayla River Soaps

First and foremost, believe in yourself. You are unique and capable. There is something only you will be able to accomplish only if you push forward. Fear is natural but fear is also what will keep us in line with the rest. Perspective is key. Look for the good in every situation and always keep a stock of good wine and chocolates on hand to help you through life’s hiccups. 

Nitrah Neon | model | musician | entrepreneur

My best advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to use a white board to write down everything you need to do to overcome said challenge and then do one thing at a time.


1 Comment

  1. Josh

    March 2, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Olivia Mcgee dropping some wisdom!!! Awesome stuff.

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