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Perspective & Advice for Those Facing Insurmountable Odds

Photo by: @climbersatoru

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.

Angela Petrilli – GUITARIST

Listen to your gut. Enjoy the ride and stay curious! If something crosses your path that brings the slightest bit of curiosity in your soul – follow it! You never know where it will lead you.

Laureline – Entrepreneur

When I start thinking about challenges,  I come to remember all the hard moments of my life where I had to fight for something I wanted.  But in fact life is a challenge.  The society puts us in competition since we are babies. We are compared to other children, to other generations, whether at school or when you have to start a career. The more we grow, the more this notion of challenge becomes important. Many things seem hard, complicated or even unbearable, but every mistake is a lesson, Every weakness will become a strength and every unfamiliarity will become a knowledge. Nothing is insurmountable, your only limits are those that you impose on yourself. But the main challenge in a lifetime is the challenge against yourself, do not betray your principles, your values, your morals. Stay who you are and go after your desire without ever giving up no matter what.

Kirsten Hart and Sarah Jager – Event Planner and Founders, Girl(friends) LA

Photo by: @climbersatoru

When it comes to overcoming challenges in life, the clichés are all true! You are in charge of your own destiny. Thinking negatively in the face of challenge will only make things worse. If it doesn’t work the first time, improve then try again and again. If you really want something to happen, you can’t expect it to happen on its own. Also, if you’re losing motivation or making excuses after a set back, Nike says it best, just DO it. Don’t wait for the “perfect” moment because it will never come.


Valencia Free | “A human just…being” Dancer/Model/Visual Artist

First accept ‘WHAT IS’. As humans, when something bad happens we tend to obsess over the past and what could have gone right, instead of accepting ‘what is’ and moving forward efficiently. Surrender to reality and stop the cycle of overthinking; it is hindering your growth that is taking place! Naturally, when you pursue something out of your comfort zone or reach for something higher than your current level, you WILL experience resistance. Practice mental strength exercises! Change the way you think about the situation by tuning into gratitude for what you do have currently. You have to learn to stay persistent and believe that everything will be ok. Stay in the present moment. Sometimes you will feel yourself drifting back into the past and become discouraged; allow it for a moment, but don’t let it consume you! Know that this is natural and ok. Don’t beat yourself up. You are strong and worthy! Say it out loud. Continue rising above and know that whatever you are dealing with WILL PASS! Take a deep breathe. Now let it out, slowly.The sun will always shine, and shine the brightest, after the rain.

Youtube: Valencia Free

Vanessa Contreras | Personal Stylist

The best advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to know that in order to become stronger, believe in yourself, and think positively no matter what. Your confidence in yourself will help you accomplish anything.

Adriana Jimenez | Sports reporter & tv producer

No matter how big an obstacle seems, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are capable. It’s important to take it one day at a time.


Kim Bielak | Yoga Teacher & Founder of National Fitness Day

Ask yourself: how is this going to help me grow? It’s natural to become laser-focused on the outcomes of the problems we face. But when we take a step back and redirect our definition of success toward our personal growth, we allow ourselves to take more risks, experiment, and even fail as necessary parts of the process. You can’t fail at growth. Change the goal and whatever happens, you’ll have become better for it.

Litz Vivas | NASM Personal Trainer & Yoga Instructor

I believe that challenges come into our lives to help us grow.  Trust your instincts, trust god and focus on problem solving whether that’s a tangential reality that requires physical action or achieving a higher level of instrospection to get through the challenge.

Emma Thompson | Model and Aspiring Pilot

No matter how impossible it feels, if you truly believe in yourself, it can happen. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, encourage you, and will never doubt your ability to grow. Attaining your goals and dreams is truly a mindset. I encourage you to stay positive about your path, for all is working out when you think about it in the grand scheme. Be grateful, and life will continue to bless you. Out of this state of being can you attain what you seek. All is truly well.

Bree Mignano | Model, Actress, Singer

Give it time! Most things worth doing take a lot of hard work and time and I think that most people make the mistake of giving up too soon. Don’t be afraid to fail many times, but always get back up again because that’s how you’re going to grow.

Paizley Bishop | Real Estate Agent

Nothing in life is insurmountable, know that in your heart and have unwavering faith that you will accomplish whatever you set out to do. The universe will carve a path for you, all you have to do is continue to work towards it. Don’t be too hard on yourself during the process. We live in a time where we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others it’s easy to become discouraged or feel that you aren’t doing enough. When in reality there’s no “it” to be or “right time” for anything to happen. Trust yourself, take care of yourself, and do all things from a place of love.


Sydney Viengluang | Actor, Producer, Filmmaker

Photography: JSquared Photography Hair: Jaycee Mnirajd Make-up: Aly Barr Styling: Sky JT Naval

I truly feel that if you can change your mind and your way of thinking and perspective on things, you can change your life. If you can take a step back and look deep within yourself and find your true intention, then you can find a way, the motivation and energy to make things happen, no matter what challenges you may face. If you have a goal that aligns with your intentions, it’s amazing what happens when you have an energy shift that can manifest and overcome any difficulties. It’s also important to break your big goals up into smaller goals and to celebrate small wins because life is about the journey, not the destination.


Rachel Dellefield | Yoga Instructor, Holistic Yoga Flow

I find that with challenges or tasks that feel huge or unattainable, I respond best when I come up with 3 small things that I can accomplish in a day or in a week that will work towards that goal or help make that challenge feel a little less daunting. The act of crossing something off my list makes me feel empowered and like I’m making progress. It also helps make that challenge feel a little smaller. That, and BREATHE. Taking 5 minutes out of my day to slow down, breathe, and remind myself that everything is temporary helps put things into perspective.

Julia Motta | Actress

I have found most things feel impossible until you have to do them. You’d be surprised at how much you can do when you are forced to face certain challenges. Keep going, you got this! And in the end you’ll have grown and learned so much about yourself 🙂


Richele Reyes | Fashion Ecom Buyer & Digital Merchandiser

For anyone going through a difficult challenge in their life, they should see it as an opportunity. Perspective and the way we perceive life’s challenges are so key to living a happier and more fulfilled life. We just have to remember that life is a balance of good and bad, it will never stay one way or the other. Ride it out and take it moment by moment. While it’s happening we should see these challenges as an opportunity to learn, to grow,  and to become a stronger and better version of ourselves no matter how bad the growing pains. I also firmly believe that if we continue to have a positive outlook even when things are hard, then we’ll attract more positivity and good opportunities into our life. Just keep living life and stay in your magic.


Natalie Torres | fashion/ beauty blogger and student

No mountain is too high! In the end you WILL be okay.  Although struggles sometimes feel as if they will never end, there is a light at the end of the tunnel you just have to keep on going, while believing in yourself, without worry of what anyone else has to say.

Natalie Goenaga | Actress/Journalist/Influencer

The best advice, as cliché as it sounds, is to stay positive and determined. I truly feel that your mindset is everything. Envisioning you overcoming your obstacles and staying optimistic can truly change the outcome of any situation you are in. I also am a HUGE believer in journaling. I wish I were the type of person that could meditate when I’m struggling or have too much on my mind, but writing things down is a form of release for me. It’s my favorite type of therapy and I use it daily from to do lists to poems to scribbling down random thoughts when I’m having a bad day or have too much on my mind. Write that stuff down!


Imani Smith | Model and Make Up Artist

I would say I think the fear of failure is what overwhelms us when we’re faced with a real challenge. We all have to learn at some point that If we live in fear of never achieving our goals, we’ll never actually achieve them. No real goal comes easy, and the challenges we face that make us feel like their insurmountable are the most important ones. You have to lean in to them and give them the time and effort they require with the understanding that you might not get it right the first time. And if you don’t get it right the first time, you give it your all again and again until you do because those challenges are the only things that stand in between who we are now and who we want to be.


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