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.
Jacky Inturias | Electrical Engineer & Fitness/Fashion Enthusiast
I believe that any goal you set for yourself will always come with a bunch of obstacles. Some might even seem insurmountable (as you say), but regardless how difficult it may seem, never be scared to fail. Always go head on, and give it your all. Yes you may fail but that’s not always a negative thing. See it as a positive learning/growing experience. It’s all in your perspective.
Divya Patel | Influencer
I would first advise them to look at the big picture and then break the large tasks down into smaller and more manageable pieces. Once you have accomplished those smaller steps you will be closer than when you first started. Every challenge is a learning lesson so don’t be scared to ask for help and step out of your comfort zone.
Poison Roza | Artist
I like to tell myself; there is no rainbow without the rain, therefore, There’s no happiness without the pain. Meaning, you must go through the hardships and struggles of life to get what you want.
June Shompa | Fitness Coach
Take a moment and step away from the problem. Literally give yourself even just five minutes to switch your lens and view the problem from a wider perspective, a “bird’s view”. Reminding myself that I have been through many challenges in the past allows me to see the challenge in front of me as part of my journey — not a roadblock to my desired destination or outcome. The truth is we will face many hardships in our individual journeys, however, each challenge can serve your individual growth if you allow it. So when something feels impossible, hopeless, take a step back and ask “how can this situation serve me?” “what is this situation trying to teach me?” “how can I respond to this challenge in a way that would make my future self proud?” While challenging situations are uncomfortable and overwhelming, they present us an opportunity to grow and elevate into the next best version of ourselves. We cant control what challenges we face but, we can control how we respond to those challenges and how we respond will directly shape our reality.
Estelle Cho | Model and world traveler
The best advice I can give to someone who is facing what feels like an impossible obstacle to conquer is to not be afraid to ask for help. There are some tasks that require help whether it be financial or emotional from loved ones. In the end it is still you who completed the task. Also, ask for advice from those you look up to. Always look to improve whatever it is that can be worked on. There us always something valuable to be learned.
Angelica Herrera | Lettering Artist / Letters by Gigi
Life will throw you challenges that may seem too hard to overcome, every one of those challenges holds a lesson you can learn from. When facing insurmountable odds try to think back to what motivated you to start in the first place. Avoid beating yourself down when times get tough, rather stay positive and remember everything you have already achieved and had to go through to get to where you are today.
Ruby Wang | Healthcare Investor & Part-time Blogger
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.
Sana Dee | Model & Entrepreneur
I would first advise the individual to question themselves on what their WHY in life. Your WHY should answer the goals you are accomplishing and the reasons behind it. Next, I would ask them to understand their roadblocks and write down as many solutions as possible. Lastly, I would do positive affirmations in the present tense stating how I have surpassed my obstacles. With these three steps, you allow your mind to push past your roadblocks and put you in a positive mindset to conquer anything you put your mind to!
Ruby Woo | Recording Artist
Keep going, keep believing in yourself no matter what! Your gift will make room for you!
Giselle Singer | Songwriter | Musician & Animal Lover
Nothing is too great to overcome. It may feel like it is just for a second or even for months or even a year! It may feel like the end of your world. Trust me, I’ve been through those times. But what you need to remember is this: keep pushing forward while working hard and putting your heart and soul into what you love. You can achieve anything no matter what roadblocks you may face.
Diana Jiménez | mexican model | actress and journalist
Life is a roller coaster, sometimes we feel so happy, and sometimes we’ll have moments feeling that anything is going as we want it to be so we’ll want to give up. But here is where we need to have the courage to keep going and show not to the people but to ourselves how far we can go. Because it doesn’t matter how many times we fall but how many times we stand up again. Just remember to be happy, you don’t know how much time you have left of your life, ’cause is not one more day but one day left.
Lisa Robles Speights | LA Based Real Estate Broker | Organic Veggie Grower | Devoted Wife and Momma
#1 I go to my husband, he is a gifted problem solver. #2 Slow down your thoughts, meditate for at least 15 min and pray. Then visualize the way you’d like your situation to work out and proceed with power and fury, like there is no other way. Then I remind myself, I am capable of absolutely ANYTHING!
Jenna Nicole | Female tattoo artist here in SoCal that specializes in black and grey tattoos
Keep pushing yourself and don’t give up even if along the way situations and obstacles get more and more difficult. Always keep a positive mindset and know that everything will work itself out in time. Having a positive perspective will manifest a positive reality so don’t be so hard yourself.
Elizabeth Avanesov | Actress
Everyone at some point in their lives will face a challenge they feel is insurmountable – it’s human. However, you must keep your end goal in mind at all times. That way, whatever challenge(s) you face will feel like a step forward rather than an obstacle, that you must overcome to reach the point you want to be at.
Dallah Alrashed | Journalist | PR
As an Arab woman, I faced some obstacles pursuing my goals and dreams. However, I NEVER STOPPED believing in myself and I never listened to any negative people who tried to drag me down. Always remember that you can and you will…Persistence, passion, believing and strength!
Maria Tkachenko | Actor | artist | model
Keep fighting. What isn’t so simple, is the part where you figure out how. When we encounter things that feel almost insurmountable, we begin to question everything. We become unhappy. In those moments we are chased by the constant doubts whether we’re doing the right thing or not. Here’s a spoiler alert: obstacles are inevitable. In fact, they are the reason why we keep going. That is the nature of our lives, that’s what keeps us feeling alive. We strike to make art, develop new ways of making our lives better when our demands raise with each day, making it almost impossible to fulfill. We desire to make money because that is, apparently, the value of high-quality life and happens to be one of the biggest issues amongst millennial’s. While indulging in moments of instant gratification we miss out on real life, we isolate ourselves from the real world putting our ego first. Popular culture is trying to manipulate its public into passivity and the prime danger of culture industry is the development of false needs that allows to create “pacifiers” to fulfill those. Digital age dictates the rules of contentment making it almost impossible to be truly happy. We cry, we laugh. We love, we hate. We occupy, we leave. We build, we ruin. There is no use to find the meaning because that’s what we’re given and that is all we’ll ever have. You must keep fighting with all you got, because there is a sunny side to all of this – we live during the time of unlimited possibilities. You have to believe that overcoming any kinds of obstacles will only lead you to a better place in life. Whether you’re an accountant or an artist, whether you freelance or work a job from 9 to 5. Alan Watts once said: “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it because you can’t know. You can’t ever really know the meaning of your life and you don’t need to. Just know that it has a meaning. Don’t take it for granted but don’t take it too seriously. Don’t postpone what you want. Don’t leave anything misunderstood. Because just like that it could end”. In 2016 I’ve decided to leave my life back in Ukraine and took a leap of faith. I was only 17 when I moved to LA to pursue my dream of acting. Am I exactly where I imagined myself to be at this point of my life? No, not at all but with the help of my loved once I keep finding reasons to move forward and doing the thing I care for the most – art. I do it with all possible mediums and I believe that it will pay off. Courage is my everything, patience is my closest friend. This goes out to those like me, who sometimes feel like giving up. Enjoy it while you can. This is the life you’re given, these are the things you’re exposed to. You happened to be alive right now so don’t question it. Stock up with patience and make it happen.
Alexi | Stylist and Student
I would tell them that mentality and keeping things in perspective is everything, once you make the choice to push through mental blocks life gets a whole lot easier.
Anneliese Rodriguez | Student of Naturopathic medicine(N.D) | aspiring fluid Urban model
1. Create a Community/support system and don’t feel too vulnerable relying on them.All we need is 1-2 quality people to make a difference. They are your people for a reason. 2. Take accountability for your actions. When we find ourselves in impossible situations, it only seems insurmountable because we carry the burden alone. Don’t make yourself the victim. It’s a learned behavior but we can break that cycle by taking responsibility for our own actions. Challenges are the blocks we lay to get us closer to our success. When we go through challenges, it is important to remember to practice gratitude and to not let the heart get callused by the blows of life. Pain is hard but only temporary. Find your quality clan, take responsibility for your life and let grace guide you into the butterfly you will become.
Paola Gil | Graphic Designer | Instagram Influencer
Facing a challenge that seems impossible to overcome, is difficult, but remember, there is always light at the end of the darkness. A good place to start is to avoid being alone, and avoid keeping any negative thoughts to yourself. Seek help, be close to your community, your loved ones, your closest friends; do things that make you happy, be kind to others, and always remember that God is always with you. Any problems that come your way have a divine purpose, see them as an opportunity to renew yourself rather than an inconvenience to destroy you. You are always in the right place, at the right time because you are always growing. The art of victory is always learned through failure.
Zoe Blair-Schlagenhauf | Artist | Designer | Writer | Curator
When facing a challenge I feel is insurmountable, the first thing I do is take a step back. Of course something seems insurmountable when you’ve got your nose pressed against it and have no idea where the issue begins or end. So take a breath, put your right foot behind you, then your left foot, and repeat several times until you can see the horizon. Make a list, outline the procedure of what you need to do to solve this problem. You don’t even need a complete outline, just write down what you know you can start doing now. List making is literally how I stay sane. Force yourself to recognize that almost everything takes longer than you think it will, don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned. You are your own worst critic, but what we all really need sometimes is to be our own mom. When I am overwhelmed and afraid as I inevitably am on occasion, I treat myself like a child. I tell myself I’m doing so great in a sing-songy voice, I make sure I’m fed and hydrated, I tidy my work space, wash my sheets, and then I almost always have more will to go on afterwards. Reach! Out! To! Your! Friends! And! Family! Tell them what you’re going through. The people who love you want to be there for you, don’t be too afraid or proud to ask for help. I suppose the gist of what I’m saying is, you are not alone. We all face challenges and we all get scared. When life seems impossible, I tell myself I have come this far already and I have no reason or way to go back. Just keep pushing forward, always, even if it takes you your whole life (spoiler alert: it will).
Alondra Cuadra | aspiring model
My best advice is, to try not to overthink things, such as failing. No matter how great the situation is, to just try your best. Especially if it’s a situation where people expect you to fail, then it should motivate you to do even better. But whatever the outcome is… well hey, it is what it is and if you “Fail”, just know you’ll do better next time, all you have to do is push through and give it your all because there’s no such thing as giving up. That’s the way I roll and I’ve been doing just fine.
Courtney Ragan | Hairstylist & Aveda Color Expert
We can do anything we set our minds to, but we can’t always do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’d be surprised at the kindness of your friends or even strangers!
Bethany Wish | Writer and Flight Attendant
People always ask me, ”How does someone go about writing a novel?” The answer is: “One word at a time.” Annoyingly simple, isn’t it? This applies to anything in life that seems unattainable. Take it one moment, one day, one decision at a time. Whatever your challenge might be, break it down into what you can do right here, right now, and just do that thing to the best of your ability! When that thing’s done, do the next thing, and the next. Next thing you know- you’re 6 months sober, you’ve run that marathon, you’ve finished that trilogy of novels, you’ve built that brand from the ground up, you’ve started that successful company, you’ve saved that crumbling marriage, you’ve passed that test, climbed that mountain…you name it! Also, I pray. When things get overwhelming or I am doubting myself, (which is more often than I’d like to admit) I draw strength and encouragement from God!
Stefanie Maegan | Creator & Host of BROKE GIRL THERAPY podcast
Surround yourself with uplifting and supportive people, take care of your mental health, and keep going. It’s hard, but why play it safe?
Victoria Chang | Social Media Specialist | Performer
When facing something that seems impossible, confidence begins to wane, and the only way to get it back is to find ways to mentally, emotionally and physically regain the courage to keep going and succeed; Take a deep breath, a step back and recite whatever positive mantra works for you. Recite it until you start to believe the only person whose words matter: yours. Then take that challenge head on and show it who’s boss.
Jessica Mahnke | Prop Stylist and Production Designer
For me, facing the seemingly insurmountable has always meant thinking back and then looking forward. No matter how easy any task is for you now, take a minute to appreciate that there was a time that it was huge and scary and inconceivable to have even attempted it. There was a point in your life you didn’t know how to walk, run, read, write…. You learned by just trying what little you knew to do first- until you eventually got your bearings- until one day you didn’t even have to think about the how of doing it: it had become muscle memory somewhere along the way. Recognize your endless capacity to face the unknown, to learn, to grow, to adapt, to absolutely thrive and then add up all the different ways you have already done that throughout the course of your life. Staring at the sum of all those lessons- all that growth- is wildly empowering and suddenly you realize nothing feels outside of your capacity. It’s just a matter of taking the first step in the right direction. That is when you look forward and envision what success in the situation looks like. You may not see the whole picture yet (and with the most rewarding things in my life, I have found that I could not have pictured from the start just how good it could be because I had more growing to do to even understand the opportunity or my potential in it.) BUT! Your knowledge and your instincts are certainly pointing you in the general direction of what feels right. Don’t overthink it. Trust your instincts. Just take the first right step in that direction. Taking that one small step will help you learn something and give you a new perspective so you can look around and then decide the next right step to take… and then the next. Nothing is beyond your capacity to learn your way through it.
Natalie Baidiuk | Wedding and family photographer
I was facing many difficult situations in my life and here is what I would say. 1. Everything just makes you stronger. Life is about ups and downs, happiness and sadness, tears and laugh… Everything is coming and going. If any situation feels insurmountable now, it’s just now but you will found the way or the answer later and it will makes you stronger, wiser, experienced. Nothing is insurmountable. 2. Be mindful to enjoy your journey more. You have just one Life and it is beautiful, unique and short. 3. Stop feeling like a victim. Take full control and responsibility for your life. Remember where you are today is because of the choices you made before, and where you will be tomorrow is because of the choices you make today. 4. Practice your gratitude. The moments you grateful you full.
Yoori Park | Real Estate Agent
Trust. Believe in yourself. I always say where there’s a will there is always a way. If you know this is where you’re supposed to be then these challenges are something that is going to mold you and make you better. I always think challenges hones your craft too. Not everything in life is easy. Be proud of yourself when you accomplish it. It’s taking you to the next level. If this is what you’re called to do or you know this is what you need to do then DON’T GIVE UP, and focus. Take it one at a time. Keep going, even if you fail and make mistakes it teaches you, and it always leads somewhere so don’t lose faith. Even if you feel like you can’t do it. Trust me, you can.
Morgan Lee | International model & Business Owner
I have thought about this countless times, and the best advice I’d give someone is; “Where there’s will, there a way” ! This is a Motto that I live by and remind myself of daily! Never take “no” for an answer, and follow your heart! The mind is a powerful tool, use it!!! In my life, I have been faced with traumatic experiences, some, even life threatening. As a result, I now live with PTSD. Even through the daily challenges, I have I never let PTSD be the defining factor of who I am. I am an international Model and Holistic Business owner. I’ve been told millions of times that these two industries will never go hand and hand, and people often question how I do both. Some fail to realize that when you are passionate about something, you have no choice but to succeed! I know that I have the will, and the heart, to make it work! I have come to realize that, people will laugh at your ideas and thoughts only because they didn’t think of them first! Believe in YOU! Be your own audience and clap for yourself!! Because as long as you know that where there is a will, there is a way, you are pretty much UNSTOPPABLE, AND SIMPLY UNDERRATED.