Too many of us grew up only seeing one kind of boss or leader in the media. The lack of representation for other groups reinforced harmful stereotypes and acted as a self-fulfilling prophesy, but would our opinion of what a leader looks like be different if the media did a better job at representing the true diversity of leadership in America?
Women and other under-represented groups are already leading many great companies, organizations, & academic institutions; others are authoring best-sellers, building engaged audiences, leading movements and more.
We had the honor of connecting with many of the best and brightest female leaders from in and around the city 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.
We encourage you to check out the female leaders we’ve highlighted below, follow them on social media if you find their work or story interesting and most importantly do your part to #fightstereotypes
Thien Vo | Entrepreneur and Lifestyle Influencer
Everyone will tell you to plan for the future, or learn from your mistakes. While that is sound advice, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by challenges in my life, I try to remember that I can only take life one day at a time. Some days will be harder than others but you’re stronger than you realize. Take a breath, give yourself a break, but never give up.
Emily | Just a normal gal finding her way through creativity and community
Be patient, tap into your resilience, lean on the people around you, accept help & find a healthy outlet. Sometimes we have to learn how to stand in the fire gracefully in order to help the people around us and make a difference, but I promise it doesn’t last forever.
For starters I’d say that we should be okay with allowing ourselves to feel this way because it’s normal. What’s important is knowing that it’s just a feeling, and we can get out of it and push through whatever it is we are going through. No matter what the circumstances may be, our reaction will ultimately determine the final outcome. YOU are in control of your life, and if you’re willing to fight through the hardship. I guarantee you WILL get through it.
Yessenia Gramajo | Designer | Architect & Fitness Enthusiast
Resisting will only pull you further away from overcoming an obstacle. Whats the why? Sit down and evaluate WHY you think something is too challenging to overcome, WHY do you feel you cannot face it, WHY can’t you conquer it. Because in reality, there is nothing you can NOT do. There’s fear of failing that stops us, but if you fail do you give up or try again until you accomplish it? You try again and again and again. It’s so cliché but it is true – nothing comes easy. We are capable of so many things; consistency, power & knowledge will get you further than you ever thought possible. Every day, take a step closer to overcome an obstacle, no matter how big or small, until you look back and realize how far you’ve come. Celebrate the small accomplishments and be proud of the big ones.
Dominique Terry | Entrepreneur and Artist
Value yourself, believe in yourself, boss up, provide value, and focus your energy on what you want. Set boundaries, don’t absorb negative energy that’s thrown your way. Remember the bigger picture, remind yourself why you started and connect with things that remind you of why you started. Resilience and persistence are important to remember while facing challenges life throws your way. Feel your emotions, don’t get stuck in the bad ones for too long. Build positive momentum by breaking down the challenge into smaller – do-able tasks, cliche I know, but one day you’ll realize that you’re working every single day and the challenge isn’t as scary as when you first started. Try to see the situation from a comical perspective, life isn’t so serious. This is why I love being an entertainer, to remind the world to lighten up and feel cool. Life is comedy. Energy flows where attention goes, don’t focus on things you don’t want.
Alex Morehouse | CEO/Founder of TGS Collective | MORE Talent and ARCHIVE the mag. | Freelance photographer | model | wardrobe stylist | creative director | videographer and small business consultant
If you’re facing a challenge that feels insurmountable break it apart. Don’t try to eat the whole cake, cut it into slices, then take bites of it. Things always seem so much bigger and more intimidating in our minds, so write it down. Create a to-do list so you can mark things off as you go. ANYTHING is possible. Sometimes it helps having a friend or trusted colleague take a look because they’re tackling the problem form an entirely different perspective, with a different skill set, and maybe they’ve been faced the same problem in the past! Communicate, strategize, and attack!
Carlynn Chappell | Dentist
Overcoming challenges take time. Large accomplishments come from small daily steps forward. Lean on those around you for love and support, and take it one day at a time. Celebrate, enjoy, and be proud of your small achievements along the way!
Reagan Dowd | Marketing at Disney Channels Worldwide, The Walt Disney Company
As cheesy as it is, Challenges are apart of life. Each challenge that is thrown my way is almost like a lesson or stepping stone to another part of my life. My best advice is to know that every challenge that comes your way isn’t a bad thing, view it as simply a test or patience or a reason to work harder. I’ve been thrown a lot of challenges in the work place as well as in my personal life and always find that I get over these hurdles with a little self care, support from family and friends and of course a strong coffee!
Chef Chandra Meriel
A wise women once told me that often times when we are going through our biggest obstacles it’s due to us not getting our way. Its easier to say that someone other then myself is responsible for me not being at peace. Dig deep, search yourself, and most importantly find a hire power. Self work equals true peace in this world.
Natalee J Bagramyan | Beauty and fashion blogger
Always break it down and take it step by step to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Each step will bring you closer to your goals. And never give up.
Tiffany Torossian | Fashion Stylist & Wardrobe Consultant
You should never give up on yourself and keep pushing through no matter how hard it is because at that moment it might seem impossible, but it will always get better. As long as you keep a positive attitude and envision yourself on the brighter side of the situation, you will reach your goals of happiness.
SAYA MIYAHARA | Exporter | Translator and Yogi
Your ceiling is higher than you think. You don’t know the limits of your own potential yet.
Calli Martin | Fashion Stylist
Positivity! I’m always going to think the best of every situation. No challenge is insurmountable to me because everything is figure-outable. I give myself time to freak out a little bit and then I suck it up and start finding a solution.
Amanda Lacey | Beauty and Lifestyle Blogger
If anyone out there is facing a challenge that feels insurmountable, my absolute best advice for you is to start changing the way you think about it. Most importantly, change the way you think of yourself. Recognize that you already have the power inside of you to overcome any obstacles that head your way. You hold your power in your thoughts and with the ways that you speak. You can create your own miracles instead of wishing for them if you truly believe in yourself.
Eliza C Gray | Stylist & Photographer
The only way you handle any big task is one step at a time. Take it piece by piece and have patience with yourself. The only way it won’t get done is if you give up, so don’t.
Madison Evans | Photographer | Actress | Traveler
At the risk of sounding cliche, I’d love to say: give it all you’ve got, nothing is impossible. No challenge is ever as big as it seems to be, and no situation is forever. I’m often reminded of The Head and The Heart lyrics “there will always be better days”. Always. So even though you may be facing a challenge that seems “insurmountable”, it’s not forever. You need to push and give it everything you have right now, but you can’t put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t let the anxiety of this situation overtake you because there will soon be a day when this “insurmountable challenge” that you thought was everything, is only a memory.
Jennifer Jacobs | Content Creator | Talent | Realtor
Mindset. It all comes down to mindset. Our mind is such a powerful tool. You have to feed it the right thoughts if you want to conquer any challenges. Think positive affirmations and actually take actions towards your goals. I know it’s easier said than done, I would be lying if I say I don’t struggle with this myself every now and then. But there is definitely truth to the saying, “think positive!”
Sarah Tilghman | Artist | Songwriter
All of us are faced with challenges in our lives that can seem so impossible to get through. I know I’ve had my fair share of them, and each time I’m faced with those insurmountable challenges in life, it’s my hope that I can walk through it with more wisdom, more positivity, and more strength than before. It’s always easier said than done, but it’s completely possible! I’m still learning this in my own process each day but if I could give any advice to someone who is facing a difficult challenge in life I would advise them to take the time to remember who you are. Remember where you’ve come from, how far you have come, and think about the things that make you come alive. We, humans, have this tendency to think that life just happens to us and we have no control over anything. Though we cannot always control what’s going on around us, we can have control of our minds and our hearts. I have let life happen to me before, it usually left me feeling helpless and stuck. That’s a feeling I do not enjoy. When I am facing great challenges, I try to get my heart and mind in a place of gratitude and positivity. I begin thinking back to how far I have come, and I think about the things in my life that truly give me life! Things like songwriting/music, my husband, family, friends, etc…it’s basically just meditating on all that is good and beautiful in life. As I think about all of this, I am renewed in my purpose. With purpose and love leading the way, challenges aren’t so scary anymore. It doesn’t mean that they will get easy all of a sudden, but the burden doesn’t feel so weighty. If you need help, reach out to someone! We’re never in this alone, there is love and support always surrounding you. When you’re anxious and stuck in negative thoughts, you can’t really think straight or make clear decisions/take actions. It is so imperative in these times to take a couple of moments to slow down, get centered, get help if you need it, and realize that you are so strong! You are capable, and you are made to overcome any seemingly impossible challenge that you may face in life!
Rachel Angelica | Youtuber | Influencer and Model
Nothing is impossible or insurmountable if you truly believe in yourself and your purpose in this life! To get there however requires you knowing yourself; and that’s not just knowing your name, where you’re from and what race or nationality you are. Its about knowing your purpose and the impact you are intended to make on this Earth. The struggles you go through to reach your intended purpose are not just for you to learn but to potentially inspire others you may not even know are watching. Always remember another day on this Earth is another opportunity to do change your circumstance and do great things! So live everyday with the idea that someone who needs you to make it through whatever struggle you’re going through is closely watching. Just with knowing that, you’ll make it through any struggle no matter how big or small!
Malvika Sheth | Digital Content Creator & Influencer
There really isn’t any challenge that is entirely impossible to overcome. This may sound cliche, but it’s true—the word itself says I’m possible! I’ve realized that more often than not, our biggest challenges occur because of our mindset—either it’s narrow, anxious, overly stressed, or confused. If this is the case, then one can benefit from taking a step back from whatever it is they are doing, and either meditate, go on a long walk, or simply take part in a new leisure activity to clear their mind space. Personally, after yoga sessions or massages, I get a lot of answers and creative ideas on how to deal with my struggles.
Victoria | Fashion Blogger
Every challenge that you face is an opportunity for you to shoot for the stars and become something even greater than before. The most important thing that you can do for yourself is to face whatever you can head on while being in the moment.
Jasmine Touché | personal chef to cater all your needs including gluten free options
We are not given tasks we can not overcome. It’s all in our heads. Write down a plan and work towards that vision every single day. It’ll be hard, trust me: it’s challenging being an entrepreneur but it comes with a greater reward. The best thing to do is keep your faith, don’t get comfortable and do the unexpected. Always do more than asked, it’ll all pay off. Don’t give up on YOUR dreams. Only time you fail is if you don’t try.
Kim Grimmett | Plant Based Chef & Meal Delivery
Welcome challenges! Never doubt yourself. You are as powerful as your mind allows you to be. I run my own plant based meal service. I’ve traveled all over the world studying food. I’ve put myself in many challenging situations, but I’ve come to learn that there is no challenge that I can’t handle. Don’t be afraid to fail. Challenges force us to grow beyond what we believe we are capable of. There is no failure. Things always move forward regardless of the outcome.
Gabi Sedano | Crochet/Knit Creator
The universe will never throw you into something that you can’t handle. You’ve survived 100% of the things the universe threw at you so far, and this will just be added to your list of accomplishments. Whatever weighing challenge you are facing, just know that you’re meant to come out of it with a lesson learned. Remember that you are a loved, magical being and you’ll be just fine.
Julie Tran | Marketing Strategist | Lifestyle Blogger
There are certain mantras that help me reset myself when I’m feeling challenged or defeated. #1 “Fake it until you make it”, but most importantly believe in yourself and believe that you can. This concept has less to do with how people perceive you and more to do with how you perceive yourself. I’m a big believer that if you can envision yourself achieving a goal, you will more likely be on that positive track to get there. Many times, our own self-doubt can be really debilitating. Negative thoughts can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from making progress. Try to think positively and see yourself overcoming your obstacles. #2 “You are stronger and more capable than you think.” I’ve seen myself take on more than I could ever imagine every year, which is a sign of growth. Those victories are reminders that I can overcome challenges with hard work, dedication, practice and/or mental strength. #3 “Stay laser focused” on the end goal. Instead of dwelling on the “what if’s” or “what could have been” or “why me” situations, create a plan of action to get yourself closer to your goal. Take the time to feel what you need to feel and do what you need to do to accept the situation, then move on. Focus on what factors you can control. Identify what steps need to be taken and conquer those activities one at a time. #4″Trust yourself.” No one knows you better than yourself. Follow your gut and listen to your feelings with a clear mind. You are your best advocate. Lastly, #5 “You are not alone”.There are resources and support systems that can help you. From family to friends to mentors, experts or strangers, you can talk to someone. You never know when someone may have information or know someone that can help. Reach out. These are just some reminders that have helped me stay on a positive trajectory when I feel discouraged or helpless.
Christina Galindo | Photographer & Mother
Remind yourself that you will get through it maybe not today but you will. You are who you are from what you go through. Life teaches us things in our own individual way. Take everything as a lesson and do better.
Maureen Liu | Social Media Content Creator | Part-time Video Editor | Renewable Energy Analyst
No one but you can overcome obstacles for you. You may get the strength and help from others. Probably that is the reason why also no one but you, only you, can really enjoy the pleasure of success afterwards. Others may share the happiness with you but can never take your joy away.
Nancy Rodriguez | Public Relations & Community Affairs
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. In life, we will never know what we are capable of until we take that risk and overcome the fear of the unknown. So when you feel you can’t, it’s the beginning of ‘I can’, the hardest part is taking that first step. Remember, this life is your movie, and you are the director, make it a good one!
Amor | LA Arts Advocate | Dancer | Event Producer | Real Estate Trainee
You didn’t come this far only to come this far. Remember the reasons why you started and focus on the end goal. The in-between is your secret sauce to success; sweet, bitter, sweaty and magical all at the same time! Trust your judgement and the process.
Maya Perry | Writer & L.A. Foodie
Every problem has a solution. If you feel overwhelmed, write out a plan, step by step. Breaking it down can help you realize that there is a way out. It won’t seem so impossible or scary. You got this!