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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.

Ms. Tanya Mason The New Millennium Madaam C.J. Walker, a Master Holistic Textured Hair Specialist and Educator

Believe in yourself. Nobody else will until you do!
Google, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as Tanya Does Hair, LLC

Amber Lia, Best-Selling Co-Author of Triggers and Parenting Scripts

I don’t believe that any challenge we face is pointless. There is always a new direction to take, a lesson to learn, or something to improve upon if we see obstacles as opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally. Think outside the box, stay hungry but humble, and keep doing the next right thing until that challenge in front of you has become a mere stepping stone.

Tatum Mounteer – Nursing Student + Entrepreneur

I would encourage others to never give up, as cliche as those three words are, it’s the honest truth. You will never know just how strong you are and how much you can handle, until you try and challenge yourself. One of my favorite sayings is “You we’re given this life because you are strong enough to get through it!” You will struggle, you will get knocked down, but you can conquer whatever you set your mind to!


Bree Reiser – Consultant & Owner of DS & O Studio (Design, Style & Organize)

Fear holds us back from so many amazing experiences and journeys in life. My best advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to move toward the fear. The only way for us to grow and learn is to get out of our comfort zones and dive into what challenges us most. Taking the risk on ourselves is the most rewarding.


Jaci Jirik – Esthetician and Dermalogica Expert at Ulta in Gilbert AZ

Baby steps. We all have a comfort zone, and if we take just a baby step outside our comfort zone to achieve our goal, that step alone is a big step. Instead of fearing failure be excited about succeeding.

Facebook – “SKIN CARE BY JACI”

Vanessa Maskcara Makeup Artist

Whenever I am faced with a difficult challenge, it’s simple- don’t overthink it. Breathe deeply and remain positive and determined. Remain positive and determined because you are the only key to your success so if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will either.

Katie Benford Bartender & Blogger

My answer is to be grateful for what you have in the present moment and be as positive as possible. Keep pushing through to be the best possible version of yourself and the universe will always provide!


Lisa Sanchez- Massage therapist & makeup lover

This too shall pass, always try to look at the positive in any situation. It can always be worse.

Lexie Price- Labor and Delivery Photographer

I would encourage someone who is facing a challenge they feel is almost too hard to bear, to not be ashamed to reach for help and to allow yourself to feel for an appropriate time.  Naturally, as humans, we want to tell people “no” when they ask what can be done for us to make hard times easier. The key is to stop saying no, and start letting people be there for you. We can’t make it through hard times alone!   Let yourself feel every emotion for a set amount of time, and then be done with it. I went through a divorce at the young age of 20 and it felt insurmountable. I had a therapist tell me to not suppress any feelings that keep coming up, and to allow myself to give my feelings their time. If I was sad, I’d give myself the time to cry. After I was done crying, I’d treat myself to something that made me happy or spend time with friends that loved me, and not dwell on that thought any longer. This was incredibly healing in my journey.

Tricia Riggio Hairstylist & Self Worth Promoter

I think challenges mold us. Especially the really hard ones. There are many things to remember. Especially in a digital social media world. EVERYONE has a weakness. Everyone has something they are trying to overcome. Whether or not you actually see it is not important. We compare ourselves to the little squares we are addicted to scrolling through and it is damaging. We start to compare ourselves. We tell ourselves we aren’t good enough. We tell ourselves that we must be the only one going through something hard. We have a choice here. We can bury ourselves in our trials or we can climb through them. When we choose to climb through them we immediately become better than the trial and become humble and shapeable. We are admitting to ourselves that “okay, this is not ideal but I got this and I am going to do this”. When we look for ways to get through things we are thinking positively and positive thoughts grow. Negative thoughts keep you stuck and in the past. Looking behind. When we move forward, we look for ways to make it better whether it is through self help, medication, finding joy in a hobby, talking to someone. It allows us to become our best self. It allows us to be aware of others when they are struggling. It allows us to show kindness. It allows us to be discerning of other emotional and physical needs. One of the reasons I became a hair dresser is so I could do my part in promoting self love. Does having good hair fix everything?  Nope. But does it give a gentle push to someone who struggles with finding themselves beautiful by making them feel like royalty when they are in my chair?  Most definitely. It allows me to choose who I share my talent with free of charge whether they are going through a rough financial patch or a physical crisis. Our face and our hair are how people identify us. That is how we are described to people. So if you don’t like what you see, It can be hard to look past that. The conversations I get to have with my guests are very important to me. It is my job to not only help them look good but also let them know that they can do anything that they put their mind to and there are always people there to cheer them on and help them up when they fall. Even if it is over and over again.


Amber Kowalik – Aspiring Novelist

The reality of life is that challenges arise when we’re least expecting them or when we feel unprepared. That’s when you drop your fear and go for it. Channel strength and courage to take leaps of faith towards whatever you’re working towards, I promise you’ll regret it if you don’t.

Megan Schaff – R+F Independant Consultant

Ask yourself what happens if I don’t overcome this, what happens if I do?  Any challenge is a challenge for a reason.  Weigh out your options and if one thing doesn’t work, try something different.  It’s all going to be a learning experience, even if you fail a couple of times.  You will GROW!  And through it all, keep in mind how incredible you will feel once you accomplish what you once thought was insurmountable.

Dani Kahn – Artist & Digital Designer


When you feel like everything is stacked against you, that you’ve been fighting so hard and nothing seems to be working, remember to take a nap. Just kidding (but naps are important)! Remember when you’re facing a large challenge or task: break it down into manageable chunks. When we compound everything that is when we feel overwhelmed and paralyzed. If you take it one baby step at a time you’ll find you’ll complete your task sooner than you know it.


Carley Be- Beauty/Fashion Blogger

Lean on those people in your life that you trust the most, and look for their guidance. Sometimes a new perspective can change your outlook on a situation.

Norine Borys – Creative and Teacher

Try to accept what you have no control over, but never quit trying to knock down the walls that stand in the way of your own happiness and satisfaction.

Sarah Pilger – Herbalife Personal Nutrition Coach & Business Mentor

Decide what overcoming this challenge really means to you…is it really worth it to you? If it is you will find a way to make it happen, if not you’ll find an excuse. You are sooo much strong then you realize and deserve to have EVERYTHING you want for your life!

Megan Hauersperger  Freelance Hairstylist

Hair: Hairbeautybymae Make up: @shibbyitskhaya Photographer: @susannahlynnphotography

You have to know your worth and don’t let anyone or anything take that away. If you feel like you need more, take more classes, get more education and just keep putting yourself out there. Stay consistent! You may hear a lot of no’s but one will turn out to be a yes, and that one yes may turn into becoming a huge turning point in your career!


Priscilla Castellanos – Arizona Realtor (#MissRealtorOfaz)

If there is a will, There is a Way!  Nothing is Insurmountable if you Never Give Up.

Brittany Kohnke, Strength/Powerlifting Coach in Phoenix AZ

Keep going.  Small steps forward will yield better results than stagnant or backward steps.  We will all face challenges at some point in our lives.  Some of these will seem small, others will be so incredible they change us to our core.  I have found through these challenges we are faced with an opportunity for growth, but only if we keep going.  This question reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill “if you’re going through hell, keep going”.


Rachelle Friedman LCSW- EMDR Therapist

The best advice that I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to take time for yourself to be mindful when you are working through the problem. Take time to be good to yourself and collect your energy so that you can work through the challenge in the most effective way that you can. Some problems are long term, work with it one step at a time, and allow yourself time and space to reflect on how you are working through the problem. Additionally, take time to disconnect from the challenge, if you can. This time can help to give you a new perspective on what is happening in working through the challenge. If you can not take time to disconnect, be mindful, and gentle with yourself. When we feel that a problem is too big, then we can quickly become overwhelmed. Lastly, if you think that this challenge is too overwhelming and you can not work through it alone, look to others for support. Human beings are social animals, and there is nothing wrong with reaching out and asking for help.

Heather Cox – Online Nutrition & Fitness Coach/Entrepreneur

Right now, your mind may be giving you all the reasons in the world of why you can’t overcome this challenge. Maybe it’s time, money or another resource, but I ask that you find just one reason of why you WILL do this and hold onto that tightly. Remind yourself of that reason every single day, pin it up on a board, write it on your mirror, but make sure you look at that reason of why you’re going to overcome this challenge constantly.   Your subconscious mind is protecting you from doing something that might make you uncomfortable or holding you back from something it sees as the potential for failure. It’s why you’re telling yourself the same story; that it’s not possible for you. But is truly not possible or are you afraid of the outcome?  You never fail to overcome a challenge, you simply learn from it or experience success. Every circumstance we go through in life is a lesson & while it may be hard to see that right now, this challenge is only going to make you stronger in the end.


Cecilia Berkley  Holistic Aesthetician   Founder/Ceo Corazon Organic Beauty

Dream Big! Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great, amazing things. Believe that no mountain is so high that you cannot climb it. Believe that no storm is so great that you cannot weather it. Believe in Yourself!       


  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

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