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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.

Rose Valencia – aspiring model, wife, & mommy of two

Photo credit: my 2 1/2 year old son Jaden

My brother Joe unexpectedly passed away 2/19/2018. We were very close. I had a choice to either let it kill my soul, and fall into a depression or have it “make” me. I allowed myself to fully mourn for a couple months, but I forced myself to snap out of the depression. What helped the most was moving far away. I packed up, moved to a new city which started a new chapter in my life. It was a huge change with lots of positive distraction. Although I will forever mourn the passing of my dear brother, I’ve learned to use the horrible event as fuel to drive me. I look for the good in the situation. People ask me, “but Rose, how can there be anything good from losing someone?” Well, i’ve learned that life is precious..I realized that you only get ONE life. If you’re not making the absolute most of it-you’re not living. I’ve learned to live in the moment and soak in all the good life has to offer and push the bad to the side. I learned to appreciate people, and love with my whole heart.


Kirsten Korot – Intuitive Coach, Sound Alchemist & Founder of Nature Nurture Experiences™

In answer to the month’s question: I can speak to this question from personal experience. Over 15 years ago I was faced with a life-threatening illness and had to face the possibility of my own death when I was told my odds were slim that medicine would cure it and I was given a life expectancy of a few years. I had a choice in that powerful moment to either allow the challenge to overwhelm and defeat me or I could embrace the challenge and go on the journey to defeat the illness and release it from my body.. I was really in the “Unknown” at that point which can bring up a lot of fear and stress for most of us when we hit a challenge that feels insurmountable. Instead I sat with myself and my feelings about the challenge, felt into my body, got still and quiet so I could hear that little inner voice we all have “Intuition” and in that moment my inner voice said “Embrace the Unknown where Everything is Possible.” Simply by reframing how I looked at the challenge I realized I could approach from a place of fear and buy into the statistics or I could put my energy into seeing myself free of illness and follow my intuition to empower myself own self-healing. I chose to keep a positive mindset, accept the challenge and take it on one day at a time. When you are standing at the base of a mountain you can look at it as overwhelming to climb or with excitement as you take one step at a time knowing that when you reach the top and you are looking down at where you came from there will be a sense of power, peace and clarity and celebration of the journey. Since everyday we live in the unknowns as we can only know this moment now, and now, and now. If you embrace the unknowns then you have all possibilities open to you so it makes the challenge feel less insurmountable.

DEANNA – Songwriter + Recording Artist

Everything eventually gets easier or passes with time… but when you’re in the thick of it— try to reframe your thinking to find a positive lesson in the situation. There’s always, always, always at least one silver lining.

Kate Schmidt- UW Student and Personal Trainer

It would be impossible to go from the ground to the tip of a mountain in one jump, right? So how do you reach the top? Break it into steps. Set small, attainable goals that gradually progress you up that mountain. Be organized and track your progress along the way to hold yourself accountable. Soon enough, with confidence and patience, you will be at the top. Anything is possible.

Jessica Furey-Celebrity personal trainer and fitness model

No matter how bad things seem, try to find appreciation even in the smallest of things. All miracles and positive change come from having a connection to gratitude. Do your best to enjoy the journey and know that things will always work out.


Carolyne Beaulne – Mother, Wife & Realtor

In my personal opinion and experience, each time we face a challenge where we think we can’t do, we are usually very close to accomplishment and pushing our own limits, which is what life if all about. Remember, Consistency, Persistence, Dedication & Gratitudes Will Always Bring Us Closer To Our Goals And Dreams.

Margarita Nikolskaya – fashion & portrait photographer

There are no insurmountable problems. There is a way out of any situation. At least, you can just change your attitude towards it, and it will incredibly simplify life. Absolutely in every difficult situation lies a positive moment for you. When you find it – it will be an overcoming. Only from the coffin there is no escape. Everything else depends on your choice. You can everything!


Brittney Alayna Ayers- Dancer and Choreographer

Question of the Month- Always have faith and believe in yourself. Everything is temporary, and its all going to end out okay. Perceiver, don’t give up, find support from those around you, trust, and you will be able to overcome anything.


Momo Thorys – Writer

I remember this quote from somewhere and I always use it to face my problem ” the obstacle is the way”


Jessica Baltusis – Business Development Manager & Fashion Blogger

I think that it comes down to recognizing that you have gotten through everything that life has thrown at you thus far. That in itself is amazing. Whatever difficulties you’re going through right now is something that is temporary. Focus on the good, it will pass.







Arielle Miller- full time public school teacher for LAUSD and fitness instructor for Equinox

My best advice I have for someone facing something they feel is insurmountable is to take a step back, breathe, and prioritize one’s personal and professional lives. Examine areas of your life that bring you happiness and cultivate those areas. Surround yourself with people who inspire, motivate, and elevate you. Pay close attention to people and tasks and the emotions associated with these things. Do they bring you joy? And if there are things that you over-commit to, or engage in begrudgingly—immediately cease going and doing those things; they only reinforce and perpetuate negativity in your life. Clean house, literally and figuratively. Make space for things to leave as well as enter your life. Be open to new experiences, perspectives, people, and change. Embrace each, day, task, and moment as it comes and do not get caught up and surmising scenarios. Celebrate all victories, no matter their size. And above all, while facing something insurmountable; be kind to yourself. Remember you are worthy, capable, can and will overcome whatever challenge has presented itself. You will be stronger as a result of this experience because things don’t happen to you, they happen for you


Davon D. E. Hatchett — Champagne Consultant, Merriment Maker, and Trademarks & Small Business Attorney for creative entrepreneurs

The feeling that a goal is insurmountable is just that–a feeling. Feelings do not define your actual ability to succeed unless you allow them to. Instead of focusing on the overwhelm of the *big picture* goal that you think you can’t accomplish, shift your mindset and focus on the smaller tasks that you can. Once you begin to put your energy into all the things you are able to do, you’ll discover that your talents, your courage, and your growing belief in yourself will emerge, bringing providence and destiny together to create the space, bring the exact resources, and present the right opportunities you need to accomplish that goal.

Angelina Ramirez – Actress, Model, Writer & Producer

The best advice I have for someone facing a challenge is to try different ways you could get through the issue. I went through a divorce a couple years back after being with them for 10 years. I thought how am I going to make it on my own after depending on them for so long? Then I thought no, you WILL make it because you are strong. I let myself grieve. It hurt. It hurt real bad. I journaled and spoke about it with people I love and trust and pretty soon I noticed I began to laugh again. Every day a little of the pain began to disappear. It has been 3 years and I can honestly say with my whole heart that I am stronger than I ever knew I was capable of and I pushed myself to find out what that was. I love my life and found all sorts of things I love about me now. I used my experience as writing material for movies I created and articles which has been so cathartic. We are all capable of more than we know if we push and challenge ourselves to be the bosses we were meant to be! You can do it too if you belive in yourself and know this too shall pass.

Cristina Garcia, Women’s Advocate, TEDx Speaker, Justice Seeker and Founder of She Grows We Grow

The best advice I would have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to break it up into several parts. We tend to become very overwhelmed when we think of a challenge because we let the enormity of it consume us, sometimes even paralyze us. The key is to break that challenge up into several pieces so that it becomes more digestible and ultimately achievable. When I’d hear people talking about how they’d run a marathon I would always say to myself “I could never do that.” A few years later, I ran not one but three marathons! I started with one mile, then two, then three, etc. Just like most challenges, no one every tackles a marathon all at once, it is just not possible. Whether it is a physical challenge or even an emotional one, what I have learned is to take it one day at a time. Challenges can be scary because we feel we will never get there. But breaking them up and celebrating each small win along the way will get us there before we know it.

Sara Espinosa – Dancer/Choreographer/model & Creative Direction

You have a purpose bigger than that challenge in Life. Any difficulties that life brings us to get out of our comfort zone, it’s a test to your next level. It prepares you to elevate, grow and aligns you. See the positive in any situation and do your best. Great things never comes from the comfort zone 🙂


Christine Malsbary – Fashion Stylist / Brand Consultant, and Founder

And Creative Direction and Fashion Styling credit go to me, Christine Malsbary

There is no such thing as an insurmountable problem unless you decide there is. When you absolutely believe that you can do anything you set your mind to, creative solutions will flood into your mind. We have two options– to believe we can achieve anything, or to see problems. The people who see problems don’t get very far. So how do you absolutely believe? Well, the way I have done that is by getting crystal clear on my strengths and weaknesses, and putting clear objectives into place to change my weaknesses into assets. I approach what I can and cannot (currently) do with humility and clarity (ok, that sounds like I am a saint… real talk — I often am kicking and screaming but I MAKE myself face my shit), make a plan to change, and then witness myself grow over time. Having this process in place gives me the confidence that I can do absolutely anything I desire to in this lifetime. Failure is not an option. We are meant to be deliciously happy, wildly successful and at peace.

Heidi Stevens – Soulful Business Coach

Part of becoming a successful entrepreneur is taking personal responsibility around our beliefs and choices. There is always an answer. Instead of focusing on the challenge, start looking only for the solutions.

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