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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 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 individuals in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

Rachel Albrecht | wedding photographer

“Just keep swimming.”

Instagram: @rachelnoelphoto

Victoria Garcia | Barbertologist

Be patient and be open minded. You have to be patient when it comes to the educational process because once you finish beauty school you can only go up from there. You don’t know everything there is to know because there’s so much in the industry to do. Therefore the continued education is huge, there are so many other classes offered outside of beauty school to attend to be so much better. There’s also the part of being patient with your clients to achieve a look. Many people don’t know exactly what they’re desired look is because they use pictures of other people who do not look anything like them or their hair texture isn’t the same or even the color isn’t achievable. As for being open minded, be creative. You are allowed to be experimental within the means of your client and skill level. There are so many different techniques you can use to achieve an end look. With anything you do, the more you do it the better you get.

Instagram: @_vbeautyyy

Ashley Warrick w/ Ahsoka Tano| Dog Mom and Local Craft Enthusiast

My advice for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds would be to SLOW DOWN and take a moment to look around you. See all the beauty with life. Think positively. Right at that moment whatever you are facing might be too big but look at all the people who have overcame their odds. You will realize your mountain is just a mole hill. Push yourself for greatness because it can be achieved!

Instagram: @buggwithabeer


This is such a heavy topic for me because I’ve literally spent My whole life doubting my skills and abilities to achieve a greater success in anything I did. When I was 16 I was a big time skateboarder got sponsored traveled to different skate competitions and demos, signed autographs did it all! But deep down inside I didn’t feel like I was good enough. In 2010 I was a junior at South Mountain High School I joined the wrestling team for the first time. Excelled In all my matches even qualified for state Had a great year. Senior year came along and was voted to be team captain…. but yet I still did not feel like I was good enough, I had such a low self of steam and alot of self doubt that its been tough to succeed! UP UNTIL NOW! I woke up one morning and was sick and tired of these Negative thoughts and degrading myself for absolutely no reason So I told myself that

So thats what I did and I wake up with that same mindset every single day! Even if Im sick, heart broken, exhausted, weak, you name it! I still wake up and Get IT DONE!

So that being said I feel the best way to overcome insurmountable odds or any self doubt is to build your self appreciation and self confidence and really strive to do your very best at all times and I guarantee you that those doubt and those thoughts of you never overcoming anything will turn into check marks on your TODO LISTS!!! 🙏


Ashley Rostro | Nanny & full time momma

To someone facing insurmountable odds I would first tell them to you are not the first to feel the world is against you, you are not the first to feel like everything is going wrong. Also unfortunately it won’t be the last time you feel that way. You need to clear your mind of all the negative trash and filling it back up with optimism. Life will always bring the good and the bad, and when you feel it’s only bringing the bad you need to take a step back appreciate who you are and the things you have accomplished. Try to not let the negativity of the situation or the world bring you down. Relax, take a deep breath, celebrate who you are and just do the next right thing.

Instagram: @hooping_siren_

Kevin Nielsen | IT Professional | Actor | Entrepreneur

Be careful of the story you tell yourself ABOUT yourself. It’s not what other people say that matters, it’s what you say about you that threatens your destiny! If you want something, you have to tell yourself it’s achievable. If you don’t have that belief, find someone who can believe in you until you have enough belief in yourself. When I first decided I wanted to become an IT professional, I had no college degree, I just got fired from a job in customer service, and I used my tax return to pay bills for a couple months so I could learn to code. No one supported that decision, my parents we’re telling me to get a job because they were scared, my girlfriend and I broke up, and I had no social life for 3 months. Now, over 2 years later I make 4 times the salary of my customer service job and can afford to pursue my dream to become an actor. My story is unique to me, but sometimes taking the same path as everyone else isn’t what YOU need to do either. Get creative, ask for help, and believe everything will work out in the end; You got this!!!

Instagram: @nielseninternational

Ryan McGinnis | Brand Ambassador

Ryan McGinnis

Take a deep breath, and break the issue down into smaller, obtainable objectives…

Instagram: @ODVimports


Medicated Chef

Success comes in steps. Shortcuts lead to failures. Put the work in to make it work. Do what you are passionate about and make money while you do it. Show your worth so people know what your worth.

Instagram: @medicatedchef


Vince Larue | Pen & ink artist and ultrarunner from France

Don’t put yourself at the center of the story, breath, slow down, keep moving/going!

Facebook: The Art of Vince Larue
Instagram: @theartofvincelarue

Neekta Hamidi | environmentalist and WEF Global Shaper

Communication is key. Learn to articulate your needs, and share them in an authentic and honest way. Communicate with those around you, and with those from different backgrounds, and built relationships early so you can seek support when you need it.

Kimberley Cullumber-Alexander (on right) Residential & Commercial General Contractor & Twilight Modern Artist with long-time friend Michelle Smith (on left)

First and mostly importantly, I try to stay grounded in my faith because that it is where my strength comes from.

I get crystal clear on the outcome I want, visualize it happening every day and act “as if” it already happened (soooo powerful)!
I map out the major steps I need to take and I do something, however small, every single day to move the needle.

I remind myself that life’s journey is full of obstacles and setbacks and that it’s while working through these things that I reveal who I am and who I’m going to be.

I stay open to the lessons and/or blessings that inevitably and unexpectedly come out of these things. Also, I stay open to the fact that help most often comes from people and situations that God puts in my life during these times.

I think of all the great overcomers I’ve known and read about, and had any one of them given up too early, their stories would be vastly different. If you just keep getting up, you’ll cross the finish line eventually.

And lastly, use your experiences to help and bless others!

Instagram: @Buildn.Art.Etc 
Facebook: @KimberleyArt29

Renzo Curay | Entrepreneur & Engineer

Alexis Curay – @DolcenaBeauty

For someone to overcome their challenges they must look at their progress and goal every single day. Climbing Mt. Everest is not a one day trip. It take years of training, preparation, and dedication. When climbing on your Mt. Everest be quick to remind yourself what the goal is and how much progress you have made. Remind yourself that it is okay to take a break, that failure is inevitable. But it’s not whether you can avoid failure but how one overcomes failure. Do not give up, you are almost there.

Website: ZionBrothers.Com

Prasanna Jennae Polite | Fitness Instructor | Influencer | Professional Dancer, and Choreographer

Dave Harden

The best advice I can give to someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds is to surround yourself with like minded friends, family, and support. Odds will forever be against you no matter how well known you are or the amount of money you may have. You have to keep pushing and remind yourself that this obstacle you’re facing is minor and can be accomplished!

Instagram: @bodybyjennae

Jonathan Yazzie | Photographer

Featured in photo is @_kristyrose Clothing/Stylist @stillshelives

The best advice I could give someone who is facing insurmountable odds is to breathe and tell yourself everything will be okay, it always will be.

Instagram: @immortalpone

Len DeCarmine | Certified Business Coach with ActionCOACH & Co-host and Creator of The Extraordinary Being Movement Podcast

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my journey is leaving the past behind!

We all in one way or another still harbor past experiences of situations that still hold us back today from finding the love of our life, being successful, trusting others, and even finding happiness. Holding on to these past experiences drains us of our true potential, it wastes our energy and serves no purpose in creating a future we deserve.

For years, I was a hostage to these emotional experiences and stories which I created about myself and others. Living in the past continuously caused me depression, fear, and anxiety. I never felt I was good enough which lead me to financial hardship, loss of friends, and people I loved.

Realizing this unhealthy way of living, I decided I would no longer allow the past to bind me. I made a choice to take action by stopping my negative way of thinking and being. I began to acknowledge my failures as learning experiences and that it was good to make mistakes. I accepted who I am, not allowing the judgments of myself and others to hold me back from loving myself.

Then I took the biggest step forward, I released the pain of the past. I reached out to friends and family to open the doors of communication to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Many were open to this idea others were still holding on to their way of being and their past.

Today I am at peace, the clearing of the past has opened new doors, new opportunities, and new relationships which I never thought would be possible. I stay focused on today, the present, for it keeps me grounded with realistic steps towards creating the life and future I’ve always desired. The thoughts of the past may still creep in but I take ownership and responsibility of my part and reflect on the lessons which I learned.

I currently have a successful coaching business and I am the co-host and creator of a podcast and online radio station call the Extraordinary Being Movement. Where we discuss various topics on personal development to help people release the chains of the past and be the extraordinary individuals they are meant to be!

Instagram: @lendecarminecoach
Instagram: @extraordinarybeingmovement

Alexandra Markiewicz | Wedding and Family Photographer

It was in recent years that I’ve changed my perspective on situations that had failure and rejection. I used to take it personally when my life didn’t go as I initially planned it, but I learned most about myself through the times that I’ve struggled. Be prepared for these difficulties because they help us to gauge the successes and have a deeper appreciation when that success does come around. When you feel up against insurmountable odds, don’t quit. Keep pushing forward. Don’t be afraid to lean on others when you need it, and be kind and help others because you don’t know who else is going through their own insurmountable odds – people can be really good at hiding their struggles. Lastly, do not be afraid of change. Who I am ten years, five years, even five months ago isn’t the same. I’m constantly growing and trying to better myself. It’s so important to remain humble, but hungry as you face the different pathways of life.

Instagram: @alexandramarksphotography
Facebook: @alexandramarksphotography

Briana Valladares

Always keep a smile and don’t give up. Everything in life happens for a reason, you just gotta stay positive. Look at your tough times as an opportunity to learn, grow and become a better person.

Gina Marie Valentino | Gina’s Cheesecakes | Desserts, and More

Gina Marie Valentino

When the odds are stacked against you you feel like the mountain is too high to climb. Everyone is trying to make their mark in the world and all you want is a little piece to be happy so you keep trying. Your passion has to far exceeded your fear. It took me a long time to figure out what my passion is. Every time I would get excited about something there was somebody else right in front of me who had the same idea. I stepped aside because “who am I”. I gave up so many times. I tried so many things. All of my hobbies were suddenly laced with” how can I make money with this” And completely took the joy out of everything.

But I continued to cook and bake. Two years ago I suddenly lost my smell and taste And have developed severe allergies too many foods. That did not fare very well with me at all as a baker and home chef.  I found that I could not taste actual flavors but I can sense sweet and salty things. I am so grateful that I have the mental memory of flavors so that I can associate it to things that I am eating.

Being in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship for many years my confidence level was next to nothing. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be successful.  I may have even made up my own obstacles because then It wouldn’t be my fault if I failed. I have a new outlook now and My recent separation has pushed me to aggressively pursue my dream of selling cheesecakes and bakery items. I do deserve success. Why cheesecakes? Because they are good and I can make them on my own schedule and take breaks when Needed. I use an award-winning cheesecake recipe from the 1970s that was given to me by my stepmother who recently passed away. I alter it and customize as needed. I make 6,8,9,and 10 inch cheesecakes, Italian specialty cookies, breads, and take out dinners for 1-4 people. I do most of my baking in the evening because that is when I feel best.

Yes at 58, with fibromyalgia and lupus and many many injuries there are physical challenges I deal with on a daily basis, I’m as financially unstable as you can get at this point in my life, I’m suddenly alone, and unable to work full time due to my health. But I still want to make people happy with my cheesecakes and desserts and try to pay my rent.

I do whatever I can to sell my product. I utilize the next door app in our neighborhood as a way to reach people near me. I go to bakeries, I go to office buildings, banks. I post pictures of all my goods. The first time someone called me up and said that they saw my picture and wanted to buy a cheesecake I cried. My picture enticed them to buy a cheesecake!!!!! I was so happy.

There will always be a lot of obstacles in the way but I also realize in my own journey that there’s always a way around them to get where you need to go. Sometimes you Need help and that’s Ok. TAKE IT!!!!! Take It! Don’t be too proud. Don’t be too stubborn and always ALWAYS Be grateful.

I have to keep telling myself. Is the obstacle bigger than you? No it is not!

You either get over it or go around it. It has taken me a long time to think like this.

I’m not all the way there yet but I’m working on it.

Instagram: @tuttogina_miacucina
Facebook: Gina’s Cheesecakes, Desserts, and More.

Andrea Lin | Incoming Medical Student

Andrea Lin

I’m a pretty goal-oriented person, so I try to break large and looming ideas into smaller goals. This way I can be realistic with what I want and can actually achieve within a certain timeline. By giving myself structure, I feel less overwhelmed, since I only have to tackle one thing at a time. Also having a strong support system like friends and family to encourage you when you feel down is great. But I think the first step is coming to grips with reality yourself and pushing through when the going gets tough!

Instagram: @andrea1in

Sarita L. Walker | Creative Writer & Entrepreneur

Jeffrey Leon Davis

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey is “don’t be pushed by your problems, but be led by your dreams.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever noticed that when you run from things or you do things out of fear or to get rid of your problems so quickly, you become consumed, anxious, worried, discombobulated and you just want it to all be over? But when you follow your dreams and focus on following those dreams one day at a time, and let God or the universe or whoever you believe in handle your problems, things are so much more quieter? Its easy. Flowing. Life doesn’t give you a headache. And then out of nowhere you are getting opportunities and money is flowing from places you didn’t think would come? Like this piece I am now apart of. I am very thankful to be apart of it and it’s just one piece of the journey of my life. Who knows what opportunities that will come from this and all I did was start a business watching dogs because I love animals. So have patience and continue to be led by your dreams, everything else will come to pass as the Universe sees fit.

Personal Instagram: @miss_ritariiii
Health Coach Instagram:  @tea_2_life
Pet Sitting Instagram: @missritas_petsitting
Blog Instagram: @diaryofritamisses
Author Instagram: @author_slwalker_official
Personal Facebook Page: @sarita.laurin

Experimental Chef | making healthier versions of everything I love and crave

The best advice I could give someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds is to suggest what works for me. I have to get outside myself and try to look at whatever the situation is from all angles. I am a big list maker so I would say write it down and read it back as if it is something your best friend is going through and then try to respond as you would to them- and take your own advice – It’s just what works for me- And if I am still unable to sort it out, step back, relax, gain a clear head/vision and go 100% all in on what you think will help- and pray….. it’s easier said than done but put it in his hands.

Instagram: @themunchkintree

Jill Green | Owner of Sweet Life Garden Backyard Farm and Orchard Organizer/Creator of Arcadia Edible Garden Tour

 I would say go inside yourself and connect to The Devine Healer. Try to surrender all of your fears and gather strength from knowing that all things are in the hands of a Greater Power than you! Its not easy. And, gather family and friends around you.

Instagram: @Sweetlifegarden



Priscilla Marshall | Photographer

 Breath. Take things one step at a time. It sounds cliché but this advice serves well when facing difficulties. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s hard to make clear and concise decisions. If you take your time, think things through and don’t let the immense weight come down on you, you’ll be able to accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Instagram: @priscillamarshallphotography

Patty Wilson | Personal Trainer & Transformational Coach specializng in Body Love & Intuituve Eating

The advice I would give and that I live by is to take it one day at a time and one breath at a time. Stay present and do your best to look at the positive in the situation. Listen to you intuition, that gut feeling because its always right!! Stop second-guessing yourself and listening to what others tell you to do. Your inner wisdom is providing guidance; you just have to listen. And ALWAYS continue your self-care…. be it a workout, massage, running, hiking, meditation, etc

You CAN & WILL overcome anything because you are so Poweful!!!

Instagram: @pattywilson_healthcoach

Carron Schmick | Innkeeper @ Ho’Omaha Huna, A Romantic, Ocean-front Getaway in Maui

 Anyone can be successful. It is our kindness and generosity towards that distinguishes us from others.

Instagram: @hoomahahuna
Web address:

Matthew Bracamonte| co-founder of High End Dabzation

It actually took me a couple of days to answer this question after I first initially read it but after looking within myself I think i’ve finally been able to pull out an answer. The most important lessons I’ve learned so far are the importance of self-discipline and the relentless believing your dreams will come true.

Without self-discipline becoming an entrepreneur is absolutely impossible or really accomplishing anything significant in life. Day-in and day-out, good days, bad days, tired days, energetic days, sad days, happy days, all of the days…you need to have that inner voice positively talking inside your head telling you to wake up and seize the day, to put any sort of tiredness or distractions aside, and to focus on the day ahead. The ability to act on that inner voice that knows so vividly the dreams you want to bring to fruition is your biggest asset. Your business can have all the money in the world but if you begin to lose focus, become lazy, and stagnate you won’t have a business for very much longer. Everyday just has to be a Day 1 mentality. Always push yourself past your potential. I’m also a whole lot happier and in a better mood when I’m more self-disciplined too.

Secondly, the importance of just believing. Especially in the beginning. I’ve been running High End Dabzation since March 2019 but before this I was a college dropout with dreams to create mobile apps who then taught himself how to code, moved to Chicago, landed a software engineering job at, got fired, moved back home, worked at Snooze (the brunch spot perfect job for aspiring entrepreneurs), flipped furniture on OfferUp (I started before Garyvee told everyone lol), and now I’m sitting in my office next to a passionate team of six writing this up.

Five months into our business journey right when we were really starting to scale and hit stride the ‘Vapegate’ occurred and nearly an entire population became scared to use the very products that we were manufacturing, and rightly so. States even began to impose immediate vape laws that banned the sales of certain products. For two weeks in September we watched our sales slow and most entrepreneurs might have started thinking of a complete shutdown or pivot to a different service/product. But my strong belief in what we are building and the industry as a whole has kept me optimistic and experimenting. Amidst the vape scare we manufactured the industry’s first near lead free ceramic cartridge which has enabled us to drastically differentiate ourselves from our competitors and show our customers that we care deeply about their health and well being first and foremost.

Every step of my life has been built on the power of belief. Believing that these dreams and goals of mine have been placed inside my head for a reason and sure they may seem far off right now with a lot of hard work, persistence, and perseverance I will live them. On this journey mindset is everything.

Instagram: @matthewbraca, @hedcarts

Tyler Tang | Photographer & Videographer

 Take some time to analyze yourself before facing such odds. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to doubt yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s not okay to give up easily. If all else fails, give it your best effort. In the end, you’ll be a better person when you overcome.


Instagram: @ttaaang




Mel Rzeznik | Certified Yoga Teacher

 The way you speak to yourself matters. Treat all with compassion, including yourself. Remember you are worthy and capable. For me, negative thoughts have this tendency to spiral into more negative thoughts. I need to catch them before they spiral out of control. Find the pause inbetween the thoughts, and decide where you want to direct those thoughts. Take over the reigns instead of having those thoughts and reactions control you. I have learned that, like yoga, it’s all practice. Just show up and keep practicing.



Nick Vance | Lifeguard & private pilot

 If you ever feel like you have a task too difficult to overcome, take a step back and do the research, or put in the work to get it done. We all face that moment of procrastination, but putting something off because you can do it later or because it’s too difficult isn’t good enough. Procrastination is a mindset that you have to set yourself free of and just put in the work in too get it done. The stress you may feel from the task given will all be relieved when you have the satisfaction of getting the work done.

Instagram: @killin_it_kelz
Salon: Mane Attraction Salon


Kelly Kain | Hair stylist / Salon educator

When you find yourself at your lowest point or say “rock bottom” it can be really hard to identify what to do or how to surpass such an obstacle. However time is more than past, present, or future. Time has a way of bringing clarity to us to see what is suitable for specific situations. Life’s events will continue to spin you off your cycle and you will continue to gain knowledge with each hurdle. You have to believe in yourself that you can take this challenge that life has given you to grow, learn and surpass them to be a better you. Someday you going through this hardship will teach you to help someone near you, who also is hitting the lowest point in their life. Now that you have the knowledge and guidance of what got you through your struggles, you can significantly change someone’s life. We are all in search of “the good life” but don’t look at what it took to be there. Be patient, be good to yourself and always remember it’s just a moment in time.

Also read some great books and fuel your mind with great knowledge.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.”
-Carl Rodgers

Instagram: @photography_amateur___

Sam Quintanilla | Roscoe, IL Designer

“Find a way” and “Trust the process”

I’ve learned a lot in the last ten years and some of the most important lessons were disguised in adversity and struggle. I graduated high school in 2010, enrolled in three different schools over the next three years, and ultimately dropped out. After moving home I started a sanitation position at a cracker factory and I quickly realized how important a college education was. I would spend my breaks drawing as a mental escape and from rock bottom I chose to follow my interests and pursue a career in shoe design.

From that point on I started my redemption tour and decided nothing was going to get in my way. Fueled by passion I would view new adversity as a challenge to improve myself. I knew that if I were going to chase a dream this big I would have to go all in and find a way to make it happen.

Once I finally returned to school in 2016 I started to climb my way out of an academic hole. I knew I was essentially starting over but my belief in the pursuit kept me locked in. I stayed focused, worked as hard as I could, and trusted the efforts I was putting in. Right now I’m currently a junior at Arizona State studying industrial design and soon I will have my degree. Once again I will find myself facing a fresh start with new challenges but I’ve learned to believe in the hard work, enjoy the grind, and trust the process.

Instagram: @s.quint

 “Soul” Soulinhthone Khaivilay Chanthontip – Public Figure & Photojournalist

 Live life to the fullest. Don’t let anything stop you from living life. Life is beautiful. Especially when you have a second, third or more of life to live. Keep your family close. They are your main support at the end of the day. If your plans don’t go as plan just go with the flow of reality. Do things the right way. Trust your instincts. Don’t second guest so much. Just remember cannot, impossible, no’s, thoughts and negativity are all temporary. You can do this! If you love it! Your happy! Screw what society thinks or sees you as. Your perfect the way you want to be! Be yourself! Anything is possible!

Instagram: @SwaveySouls



Matthew Cates | Owner & Founder of Rebel Reaper Clothing Company

 I would say keep pushing. There’s plenty of times we all face more than once adversity and when all seems hopeless – my best advice is to keep pushing forward no matter what. Make moves. No matter how big or small, do at least one thing productive each day to get you into the right direction of where and who you ultimately want to be and eventually it WILL happen.

Instagram: @rebelreaperclothing
Warehouse/Shop Address: 15863 N Greenway Hayden Loop #116, Scottsdale AZ 85260 , Photographer Instagram: @wasaliveonce

Bob Wallace, MBA – Entrepreneur, Author & Auto Enthusiast

 All too often, the biggest obstacles that are preventing us from moving forward exist between our own ears – in our own head. Maybe you have a scarcity mindset or have a negative relationship with money, relationships, success, you name it. Maybe you think you’re not smart enough or that you lack the education or experience necessary to overcome the odds and challenges that lie before you. Or maybe the problem is that you’re scared of success, or you don’t think you deserve it.

When facing insurmountable odds, when things seem like there is no way out or nothing you can do, or that something seems impossible, the best advice is to get out of your own way. We truly are our own worst enemy. You may have heard the term “stinking thinking” and this is precisely what we all do in these situations. We get inside our own heads and overthink things, think of the worst possible outcomes, and feel both confused, helpless, and not deserving.

My advice, try the following:

Know that insurmountable odds are sometimes inevitable – No matter how well you plan and how well you execute your plan, you are bound to meet with disappointment, setbacks, and failure along the way to your ultimate triumph. Sometimes, you will encounter what seem like overwhelming odds.
Talk to people who have walked the path before you – Every challenge you encounter on your journey has already been experienced – and overcome – by countless others before you. Do your research and find out who these people are. Talk to them one-on-one if you can and ask them what they did to overcome that problem.
Break things down into achievable short-term goals – When you’re faced with big challenges, seemingly insurmountable odds, the best way to deal with it is to break them down into simple, achievable steps. This is true for any goal you want to achieve, really – by breaking it down into a series of smaller tasks, and accomplishing them one at a time. Be sure to set measurable goals with specific deadlines and then determine all of the individual action steps you will need to take to accomplish your goal.
Come up with 3 possible solutions for every problem – When you run into an obstacle or roadblock, a great way to resolve it faster and with less hassle is to brainstorm three possible solutions to it. There’s always more than one way to solve any problem, and in order to find the one that will work best for you, it’s smart to give yourself some options.
5. Set goals that help you stay focused on the big picture – When you’re scaling a mountain, it’s the breathtaking views from the peak—and the triumph you know you’ll feel once you’ve reached the summit – that keep you climbing toward the top. Don’t get stuck thinking only about your next few steps. Remember the ultimate reason why you’re doing this.
6. Be willing to pay the price – Achieving your biggest goals and dreams will require some level of sacrifice. It might mean putting other things in your life on hold while you devote your evenings and weekends toward your dreams. Or it might mean investing some of your savings or giving up a few hours of sleep each night for months on end. Are you willing to make that effort?
7. Never give up / Never Surrender – If the price is something you are willing to pay, commit yourself to achieving your dream – no matter what it takes. The willingness to do whatever is required is the magic ingredient that helps you persevere in the face of challenges, setbacks, pain and even personal injury. I once heard from a long time sports psychiatrist that in assessing sports teams and individual players that consistently win, they have one thing in common – they all wanted to win more than the other team or athletes. This holds true in our personal lives as well.
8. Keep things in perspective – Try to remain focused, driven, positive and “keep things in perspective” meaning to look at the whole “picture”, seeing things in their proper relation/proportion to everything else. The idea is something like stepping back from the things you are most concerned about so you can see other things too that are key pieces to resolving issues and overcoming the seemingly insurmountable odds.

TNB Luxury Car Rentals:
The Velvet Handcuffs Book:

Michael Ross | Area Sales Manager for BTL Industries

 Each of us, at one time or another, has faced what we thought were insurmountable odds and perhaps thought of giving up. However every day and all around us are ordinary people that, through extraordinary faith and determination, are able to tame the insurmountable into something surmountable and demonstrate we can always overcome.

Instagram: @mikeross_btl_aesthetics

Mike Newcomb, Executive Director and Food Sharing Facilitator

 My advice to someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds is to reach out to their community for help. Start with knowing and believing there is an abundance of community resources available to us all in times of need. Reach out for help. Please don’t deny the many open-hearted people and organizations in your community the privilege of being of assistance to you.




Catherine Hildenbrand, jewelry designer and mineral collector

 When I’m faced with a big challenge, it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed. I’m fiercely independent and have difficulty asking for help, so even though I’m always up for helping others, it’s so hard to allow them to reciprocate! When I feel the stress, I need to break everything down onto a paper list. The series of steps make it feel less overwhelming in my head and I can tackle them one by one. I know that I have family and friends who love and support me to lean on. I also remind myself that I’ve faced some incredibly scary things and I can do it again, with more skill, more vulnerability and more love.

Instagram: @desertmoongem


Cameron Horton |Social media influencer

The best advice I have for someone who is facing insurmountable odds is, no matter what everything happens for a reason, so keep your head high, work hard and never be afraid to ask for help!

Instagram: @hyper_horton


Dana Gibbons Photography | Personal Brand Marketing Photographer

 For me, the most important lesson that I have learned throughout the years is connection. Without connecting personally with my clients and other local photographers, my career would be at a stand still…and it was for a few years at the beginning. It was only when I started reaching out to fellow photographers and community vendors that changed it all. I was starting to get recognized within the community because I made every effort to be seen and make a personal connection with everyone I met. There is a saying in our community of entrepreneurs: “Community over Competition”. When you start to create lasting relationships with your clients, it show. And through these connections not only will your business grow, but you’ll find lasting relationships and friendship.

Instagram: @dgphotoaz

Jonel Filsaime | Graphic Designer & Hiker

 First take a breather outside and give you problems a second thought. Things can look really bad right now but eventually it you’ll have to accept it (if that is the only option) and be able to learn from it because as humans we learn to adapt to things in order to move on.

Instagram: @jonelucf



Brandon Floyd | Father, Owner, Pizzaiolo, Veteran

The most important lesson I have learned along my journey is remembering to make time for myself and my family. Balancing a perfect work/home life is difficult for anyone. When you own a small family restaurant you are the core of the business. Hiring and training the right staff to be able to entrust my business with has been key. Leaving a few hours early or taking a couple of days off helps tremendously not only to give me more time with my family but to recharge my mind and body.

Instagram: @floydandcompany


Brianna Buttaro

Since leaving my comfort zone of the East Coast, 5 years ago I’ve learned to become the person and the listener that i’ve always needed. Since the cross country move, I’ve gotten so curious about other people and their stories. I ask so many questions people think I’m crazy sometimes. I do this with not only my loved ones, but complete strangers too. That’s my favorite, actually. Don’t be afraid to ask the guy next to you how his day was. Celebrate your friends and family. And the guy you heard on the phone tell his brother he got the job while in line at the grocery store? Celebrate with him too. Add a beer to your cart, leave it behind and let the cashier know to give it to him. Be open and stay curious. I promise you’ll hear some wild stories, meet the best humans, and create the strongest bonds.

Instagram: @notbriannabuttaro


Justin Allen and Jeff Becker Roles| Co-Founders of Passion4ball Peak Performance Coaching

 Before I would give them any advice, I would try to get them to shift their perspective from the idea that what they are facing is insurmountable and start believing that what they are facing is something they will achieve. Everything happens twice in our life, once in our minds and once in our reality; so it is imperative to help them create a vision for success in the situation. If they don’t believe they can achieve it, they never will. If they believe it is insurmountable, then it will be insurmountable. I would try and help them paint a picture in their mind of them overcoming the situation. How does it feel? What actions are they taking? What are the thinking? Who is giving them support? What are the challenges? How are they showing up to be successful? By creating this vision in their mind, they can shift their belief that it is insurmountable, and create a vision of how they will overcome. Through this process we would also create some ideas for what they need to do to achieve success in this difficult situation.

Secondly, What makes them feel like it is insurmountable? Is it fear? Is it a lack of confidence? If we can address the cause of their belief, we can address the root cause and start shifting their thoughts and beliefs from the core and Take action to remove the fear, take action to gain confidence, etc.

Third, I would try and help them explore a time in their life they did something or overcame something they didn’t believe they could. If they can’t think of anything, then I would try and help them explore someone they knew that achieved something beyond the odds. This is a great way to showcase that the impossible and miracles happen all the time. It is also a great place to dig and say “how did you/they do that?” This way they can collect some ideas of how they or someone else achieved something difficult and explore how they can utilize this information in their current situation.

Fourth, I would address the potential challenges in their way (real and unreal). What is in their control and what is out of their control? In the end they can only really control their own thoughts and actions and trying to control the uncontrollable will only cause pain, anxiety, and fear when they are attempting something difficult. I would help them let go of what they can’t control, identify what they can control and then gain clarity on how they can show up more bold, courageous, etc to successful take action on the things in their control.

Next, I would help them create necessity for why they must take action. Why is it so important for them to achieve or overcome the insurmountable? What will happen if they don’t achieve or overcome? Without necessity, it is too easy to back down, make excuses, and not take big bold action in the face of challenge. With necessity they are more likely to take on a challenge and act with courage.

Lastly, They will need to create a strategy. What is the game plan to overcome or achieve in this difficult situation. What action steps are they going to take? What are their priorities? When will they take action? Where will they get support! “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Website:  www.passion4ball.orgsion4ball_
Instagram: @justinthomasallen,

Amanda Smith | Licensed Massage Therapist & Energy Healer

 Well, when we are facing anything “insurmountable” the energetic framework begins to spiral into something like tunnel vision. Energy is either expanding or contracting. So, when we are in an experience of contraction, we are presented an opportunity to review what it is we are seeking. That is to ask ourselves, “Why is there so much resistance along this path? Is there any other way to seek a slightly different outcome, with fewer obstacles?” My best advice is to eliminate frustration around the blockages, and to begin curating a new path in a gentle manner. The ever so repeated quote “energy flows where attention goes,” is really quite valid in these moments. Recognize that trying to bulldoze through a brick wall is a dense experience, and that surrendering to that density often softens and presents possibilities for solutions. Reclaim your power, your sovereignty and your ability to choose. You are a limitless expression of the universe and have the capacity to recreate yourself in every moment. So I guess, in my life, if anything feels “insurmountable,” I will bow to the greater expression, surrender, and find a new way. Often, holding the mantra of “ease and grace,” as I recreate my route. Blessed be.

Instagram: @element.tree

Sari Custer | Chief Science and Curiosity Officer for Arizona Science Center

 With all the scientific revelations paleontologists have learned from our current exhibition, Victoria the T. rex – an exhibition showcasing one of the most significant T. rex finds in recent history – I am reminded that, in science and in life, there’s always more to discover. So, my most important lesson in my journey is to never stop wondering and never stop imagining!

Instagram: @azsciencecenter, @SariOnScience

Beth Williams | Marketing Manager for Volterra

  It would be easy to say “just stick it out, persevere, etc.”, but frankly when people can’t afford to put food on the table, they’re not building or remodeling their homes, so dedication and commitment to our business would never have been enough. We had to streamline our product line to include only the most profitable items that were still selling. Even as our business is thriving today, I’ll still give any business owner the same advice: Stick with what you’re good at and crush it! At various points over the years, we tried to expand our product line to include veneer stone and some other things, but had to stop production because the competition for those products was overwhelming. We own the faux beam market today because we capitalized on a niche market and focused a majority of our energy being the best at those products.

Instagram: @volterra_products

Michael Browder | Makeup Artist, Drag Queen, female Impersonator

The best advice I can give to someone is the advice I would give myself which is first to not worry, there is nothing in the world that you can’t overcome, you can do whatever and anything you set your mind too.

Instagram: @Mikeyb810
Facebook: Aubrey Ghalichi


Hunter Holquin aka Shayroc | Artist & entrepreneur

The most important lesson that I have learned thus far is that patience is key, and studying your craft is inevitable if you are serious about it.

Instagram: @shayroc

Lana | Jewelry Maker

 Everyone always told me it was impossible to be an artiste when I grew up so I wanted to prove myself right! The most important lesson that I’ve learned so far is to never give up on something you are passionate about. It’s passion; not patience. I’ve had an entire case or minerals and jewlrey stolen from me 2 years into my craft. I was devastated and lost over a few thousand dollars in materials and art alone. It turned into situation that became a blessing. Itonly made me wanna get back in the game and go bigger and be better than I was. Dont give up on your passions.

Instagram: @Fractalwires
Facebook: alana salamone


Wilberto Sierra | Photographer & IT Security Administrator

 Throughout my life journey, I’ve accomplished many goals, but through the path, I’ve encountered obstacles that prevented me to reach them. However, I am the type of person that I like to be challenged and never give up. Also, I have a great support channel or a group of individuals that supports, motivates and inspires me. My support group was critical during my quest because they were the ones that pushed me to be the best, to keep trying and never give up. Sometimes when we are facing obstacles that we might think is the end, we should take a step back, think outside the box, and ask for help. In end, we should never give up, sometimes taking a break helps, but always have your eyes set on the goal.

Instagram: @wsierraphotography

Compel Church | Bringing Hope & Healing to the West Valley

As a church, our vision is to bring hope and healing to our community. Hope is an essential part of overcoming insurmountable odds. Being a church, we believe there is always a God factor to examine when facing insurmountable odds, something we would call a miracle. However, miracles aren’t magical or mystical, rather, they are a partnership with the supernatural.

Before a miracle ever takes place, we often are met with an unforeseen or seemingly impossible circumstance that requires faith to move beyond. Faith is more than a belief in something, in fact, the Bible says that true faith produces action – and action is a necessary component for anyone facing insurmountable odds. It is the belief that the obstacle ahead of us is not for our demise, but for our development. That the pain of the moment will not paralyze us, but propel us forward. In this environment, our faith deepens and gives us strength to face future impossible situations with greater faith and courage.

Lastly, we encourage people to find a community that will both cheer them on and champion their development. We need people who will believe in us before we sometimes believe in ourselves. We also need people who can share hard truths when we are heading the wrong direction. Very few things, if any, will shape us more than the people we hang around with. If you’re facing insurmountable odds, find the right people to help carry you to the other side.

If you’re facing insurmountable odds, know that you can make it and you’re not alone!

Instagram: @CompelChurch


  1. Melissa Epps/This Brunette Blogs

    January 16, 2019 at 6:04 am

    Thank you so much for including me.
    It’s great to see great advice from local ladies!

    • Breazy

      February 10, 2019 at 12:19 am

      Thanks so much! It is nice to read the other ladies sage advice.

  2. Samantha Murray

    February 9, 2019 at 4:17 am

    Thank you for inviting me to share with other Phoenix boss ladies!

  3. Crystal Alegria

    March 7, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    So glad and proud too be sharing the platform with such amazing ladies🙌🏻 Thank you @voyagephoenix for creating an awesome magazine and website and giving us some spotlight ✨ #Womenempowerment

  4. Renee Rodriguez

    July 3, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Thank you so much for letting me be featured with all these amazing women! 😍❤️

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