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
Tiffany Borland | Blogger and CEO of True Brilliance
Break every challenge down to pieces. Sometimes looking at a big project can be overwhelming but if you divide them into smaller tasks, it’s much easier to tackle. & remember, even if you make some mistakes, you’ll be okay. If Ronald Wayne can sell his Apple shares for $800 and be okay, then so will you.
Dr. Brittany Price | Nurse Practitioner | CEO of Dr. Nurses | Lifestyle Blogger
“Small things to a giant” is the first thing I think to myself whenever I face challenges. This small quote will instantly remind you that you are a BOSS and you’re bigger than any obstacle you must face! The road to success is not an easy one, there will be several obstacles that seem insurmountable, but you must always keep in mind that nothing worth having comes easily. Also, if you ever feel that a challenge is insurmountable it means you need to focus on your outlook/mindset. The phrase “small things to a giant” is so influential because it has the power to instantly change your mindset and will empower you to push forward and focus on a solution as only a boss would do rather than focusing on the problem. Don’t waste time worrying and complaining because after wasting energy on the negativity, the challenge will still be there. Instead, focus your energy on finding a solution! Next, it is also helpful to regroup when you feel defeated so that you can approach the challenge with a clear head. In order to accomplish this, you should find at least one coping strategy that calms you. What takes you to your happy place? What helps you to clear your head? Some common strategies are prayer, meditation, yoga, exercise, and journaling. One of my favorites is relaxing by the water (ocean, pond, pool etc) Get me near some H20 and positive thoughts flow like water (pun intended). Naps are my own personal reset button for sure; Move over toddlers! Massages and weekend getaways are also amazing whenever time and budget permits. Finally, focus on your “why”. Why are you even doing this? What is your motivation? This will give you the strength you need to overcome any challenge you face. If you don’t have a why then you have an even bigger problem…get one! Without a vision, without a purpose, without your “why”, you will lose sight of your goals and become distracted by the challenges that come with every day life. Your “why” is your ammunition needed to push you over those obstacles. You follow these steps and “insurmountable challenges” will become a thing of the past. Good luck! And remember… “Small things to a Giant”
Tracy Ramos | Hairstylist and Education Specialist
Find a great support system. Whether it be family, friends or coworkers; the community you surround yourself with will play a huge role in overcoming obstacles and challenges.
Karishma Patel | Body positivity & health
There are times where we feel like we can’t overcome obstacles that are tough, but no matter what in life our only competition is ourself. We don’t try to worry about others but we end up comparing ourselves to everyone but everyone’s journey is different and that’s what we need to understand and engrave in our minds. You just have to put the opinions of others to the side and keep on going because that’s the only way you can achieve what you want!
Gigi Gumrika | LA Blogger and Influencer
As we all know life isn’t perfect. No ones is. And it’s important for everyone to remember that because reality is we all have struggles and challenges we go through at some point in life and the best advice I’ve gotten and I’ve used to help others is take a moment to realign yourself. Stick through whatever you’re going through with a positive mindset. Even if the changes you see are minimal, remember baby steps eventually turn into giant leaps.
Gigi May | Digital Creator
It’s so important to speak life over yourself and whatever you’re facing. It’s so easy to dwell on the ominous- even obsess over it. If you are speaking out fear, that’s what you will feel and receive. It’s time to speak life into our impossible situations! To speak life over ourselves. ‘This too shall pass.’ Say it until you mean it! Say it out loud! ”
Jules Gomez | Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
My advice would be to take a moment to pause and ground yourself in the present moment. Sometimes we get so caught up in the stress and heaviness of challenges or big responsibilities that we can get buried in the chaos. When we take time to meditate and center ourselves, we can find clarity, then move forward one step at a time. I think it is also important to look back at times in the past when you have conquered similar challenges. Reminding ourselves that we have gotten through similar situations can give us a sense of confidence and determination to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Sarah Kim | International concert cellist
Firstly, take a step back and remove yourself from the situation. Go to the beach, for a run, to the movies – whatever you choose, the most important thing is to do it without guilt or panic! Enjoy the moment and try to be fully present in whatever you decide to do. Then, come back to the task and approach it as if you were teaching it. Not only does this completely change your perspective of the task at hand, but it helps us to treat ourselves with the same compassion and patience that we’d have for others. We’re often much more open-minded and proactive when it comes to solving other people’s problems and so blinded by our own. Finally, if all else fails, ask for help!! There is no shame in asking, rather it displays courage and a desire to improve and grow which is admirable and respectable, whatever the outcome.
Leah Jimenez | Lifestyle and Fashion Blogger
I pondered on this question for awhile; because when giving someone advice I never want to seem calloused about what kind of pain or issue they are walking through. We are all different, come from different backgrounds, and have different stories. So I could never assume I know exactly what kind of problem someone is dealing with. With that being said; here are a few practical things I try to do when faced with an unsolvable or insurmountable problem. First, I remind myself that I am stronger than I think. Sometimes in the middle of difficult times, we start to believe that we are weak, or that we can’t handle it. This is simply not true. There’s a warrior, a champion inside of each one of us who has fought and won many difficult battles before this one. We need to remind ourselves of this! If you are stuck in a hard place, remind yourself that you are a fighter, and you will soon overcome this challenge! Next: I don’t quit. I know it sounds obvious, but sometimes you need that kind of determination. For me there is no option but to keep moving forward; to keep trying, until I find a solution. Time is wasted when we dwell on the past; we must keep moving forward. Lastly: maybe the most important step is to ask for help. I’m not sure what it is, but as humans we don’t like to ask for help. I’m not sure if it’s pride or feeling embarrassed, but we can get stuck in our own heads instead of reaching out to those around us. Here’s the truth: there are always genuine and loving people out there who want to help, and everyone needs help at one point or another. I have asked for help so many times and have been overwhelmed by how caring people can be. Maybe you have reminded yourself how strong you are and made a determination not to quit, but you are still stuck… Ask for help! Your answer or that last push you need could be inside of a friend or a family member. This step has helped me time and time again, and it’s really made me closer to the ones I love. Whatever situation you are facing today, I believe you will soon overcome it! So don’t quit! Remember you are stronger than you think, and that those who truly care about you will have your back every step of the way.
Michelle Taylor | Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Nature Therapist
“Just breathe!” Best advice I was ever given was from my mom the hours after my first knee surgery 15 years ago. I was in so much pain crying, and I got a card from her saying, “Just breathe”. In the midst of the pain, I took some deep breaths, and I calmed my mind down. This advice was so simple at the time, yet I have spent the last 10 years studying the effects of breathing and mental health. My mom knew this without knowing the science behind it! This advice has taken even a further step in my life when I saw the quote, “If you’re breathing, there’s more right with you than wrong”. There is so much truth to this. When faced with something insurmountable, remember you are alive and breathing, and it is all going to be okay. It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger.
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.