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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.

Ann Michelle Guevarra | Sales Agent

Throughout life we experience insurmountable challenges that seems we can’t go on. It happened to me 2 years ago, everything was falling apart,it  was painful but i managed to overcome my issues. The best advice i can give to someone overcoming life difficulties is to hang in there and don’t ever give up. Everything happens for a reason and we must accept the inevitable. BREATHE. Take things one step at a time and surround yourself with people who truly loves you. Change your perspective, take risks, embrace discomfort to grow stronger. I want you to help yourself, take actions and rise above your challenges because one day you’ll thank yourself for never giving up because it shaped you to be the best version of yourself. Only YOU can save yourself, so never forget your worth, be comfortable being alone and have self love. It will help you feel more positive, confident and you’ll conquer the world. P.S. Chin up girl, You can do this!


Nicholle Sanchez | Founder of Herb + Dew Apothecary & Naturopath

First you want to Pause + Take a deep belly breathe & Tap your chest while speaking what you are Feeling out loud. When we can take a moment to acknowledge our feelings as they are happening it allows us the opportunity to move past them. If we continue to suppress the emotions we may feel stuck and unable to move forward. All is well. 

Sara Ehlers | Fashion Blogger

My advice would be to take everything in a day at a time. Big dreams can feel overwhelming, but setting small but realistic goals is one way you can get another step closer to your vision. Personally, I always like to make a handwritten to-do list and cross things off as they come. Start with the easy stuff and then work your way towards the big things at your own pace.

Charlene Laurent | Influencer and Model

Whenever something “bad” happens to you, just remember to thank God. Something better and bigger is coming into your life. Trust god and you’ll never be disappointed.


Nichanh Petersen | Nichanh Nicole Photography – Wedding and Portrait Photographer and fashion blogger

The best advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable.  Honestly, everyone deals with stress or other challenges differently.  I try to remind myself and my kids that it is better to try at something and fail at it big time than to never try at all.  I never want to regret that I didn’t give it a try.  Feeling overwhelmed with something I have no control over it a wrenching feeling and stressful.  Some time I have to let it go and  realize that I have no control over anyone else’s actions or the things they do.  I can only be accountable for my own actions. 

Tia Gets Fit | Personal trainer and Fitness consultant

Advise them to actually take the time to figure out what the actual problem is how it can be fixed and/or IF it can be fixed. Once that’s done. Focus on all the positive outcomes of the situation. Keep themselves around positive energy- let go of constant negative thoughts. Surround themselves with good people from real life to social media, limit the negative people they’re bad for your health, period. If there’s a need to seek professional help do it, there is no shame in getting yourself help, if we have a tooth issue we see a dentist, it’s no different, that’s what specialist are for. Try going for a walk or doing a 15 minute H.I.I.T workout. The point is get moving and clear your head with a workout.


Mikaela Fleming | College Professor & Actor

The best advice I can give to someone who is facing a challenge that feels insurmountable….. You are more than your challenges. These roadblocks in your life do not define you. Each mountain that we climb allows us to grow stronger. We take what we have learned from our challenges, and we can use it to inspire others around us. What we learn during the most difficult moments in our lives, reveal to us our true character. Once you know who you are, you know the best way to not only survive through life’s challenges, but you learn how to thrive. The world can try to knock you down, but every time you fall, you get back up and know that there will never be a punch strong enough to knock you down forever. So, I say, tell the world to BRING IT ON. This world can be terrifying and ugly. So, you be the beauty. Be your own inspiration. 

Lundyn Majstorovic | Social Media Manager

Without getting too detailed, I can tell you that I have been there. I have faced many challenges I thought I wouldn’t get through. I think it is a normal feeling everyone gets when earth-shattering events occur. Luckily I was able to go through those challenges and learn something from each one. It allows me to sit in front of you today and tell you how to face a challenge yourself that feels insurmountable. Are you ready to hear my coping strategy?​ ​Any time I face a challenge that triggers the thought, “I will not come out of this okay,” I stop.​ ​Dead in my tracks​. ​I close my eyes and take 10 deep breaths through my nose; exhaling slowly through my mouth.​ ​Now that I have calmed my breathing, I remind myself of what I have gone through already. I pump myself up! Yes, I pep-talk myself and express a strong sense of self-love. I don’t deny the seriousness of the issue, or how serious the issue is to me. I just tell myself that I can make it through and the best strategy to get through it is calmly. There is something in the power of breathing and talking to yourself lovingly that prevents emotion from conquering logic. So I challenge you, the next time you reach a situation that seems insurmountable, you take these steps. Do it over and over until you have control over your emotions. Then use what you have learned and keep pressing forward.

Gina Dattolo | Fashion Blogger & Content Creator

Nothing in this life is impossible. My biggest piece of advice is to have confidence in yourself and a drive to overcome the challenge. Don’t worry about outside factors and simply believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says about your dreams, they are your dreams and as long as you believe in yourself, you will make it happen. Stay confident.


Rachel Gates | Content Creator

Focus on your purpose and not your problem. You may not be able to control the obstacle you are facing, but you can control your emotions. I’ve learned that It’s okay to take a break, and to take a moment for yourself. Sometimes you truly need those breaks to re spark your own happiness and to recharge. I also try to use these type of situations as a growing experience, and constantly remind myself that I am capable, beautiful, and worthy.


Amber Douglas | Passionista, Blogger & Lifestyler

After a fiery divorce, transitioning into single motherhood, being accepted into a grueling accelerated graduate program, and balancing two full-time positions (Mama CEO and an 8-3)… I can 1000% relate to feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and on some occasions, defeated. How do I find refuge in the rain and continue chasing life’s rainbows? I take things one day at a time. Chunking my to-do list and goals into manageable parts, realizing that accepting help from others does not make me a failure, rewiring my perspective by acknowledging there are a million ways it could be worse, having an attitude of gratitude, being my own friend by enforcing self-care timeouts, practicing patience, and never giving up when I stumble. I know cliche phrases never help in the moment, they may actually annoy the heck out of you, but find strength in knowing the turbulence doesn’t last forever.

Rosie Robledo | Lifestyle and Fashion Influencer

It is okay to not feel okay. It’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to ask for help. You are not alone. Sometimes we have no answers for why things are not going as planned, but that does not mean you’ve lost. Everyone’s journey is different. Stay positive. You are stronger than you think. Whatever that challenge may be, you can overcome it. It’s very important to practice self love in the process. Believe in yourself and be patient with yourself. Give yourself credit every day for the progress you’re making. Soon, things will fall into place.


Michelle Dalisay | Human Resources Business Partner

Take a step back, reflect and breathe. Take time to reflect on what is important to you and how this will affect you in the future. Is this challenge that impossible? Or am I the one making it out to be that way? Challenges are inevitable and often times a good lesson. They push us to really look at who we are as a person, how we react emotionally and what actions we take. If you feel in the moment it’s impossible, find aspects that you can complete one step at a time. If that means first taking a break, listening to music, or talking to a friend first and then diving in, that’s okay too. Everyone deals with challenges in different ways and it’s okay to take some time for yourself to reflect and just take a breath before you face the challenge straight on. Just don’t lose sight of yourself and the good that can come out of it once you make it to the finish line!


Thiela Sugiarto | Real Estate Agent | Foodie-Restaurant Review and Marketing | Social Media Marketing

This is a chance to learn something new. Without it you will never learn it for yourself. Other people can tell you about it, but you will never fully understand it. Break it down and see how did you get there, and do research on how you can solve it. Do the best you can. You will come out more knowledgeable and stronger.

Michelle Pan | Personal Trainer | Group Fitness Instructor | Yoga Teacher | Reiki Practitioner | Fascial Stretch and soon to be Massage Therapist

I worked in Digital Media Sales for almost 9 years and had no plans to join the wellness industry professionally. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 13 and that diagnoses turned into my story.  The story that there was something wrong with me, the story that then led me down a rabbit hold of thoughts that would replay for years to come.  The story that kept me from seeing what was real and would eventually turn into another story that turned into Bulimia.  Today, after seeking help, healing, and community; I am in a completely different place and if I could go back to rewrite my story, even in all those years of suffering, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  The best advice I can give to someone facing a challenge that is insurmountable is to never stop seeking and that often times when things are happening “to you” that they’re happening “for you”.  It’s so hard to see what is coming and you don’t know what you know until you know.  I get to help people because I can see the reflection of myself in their eyes.  I get to remind people that life is hard and that growth doesn’t stop until the day we leave this planet.  It would be great to know what’s to come, to have it all finally figured out.  It’s the hardest and most wonderful thing about being alive.  That no matter how much we learn, grow, or change, that we’re never done.

Meghan Mahowald | Singer/Songwriter | Comedian | Actress

I think everyone deals with hardship differently, but I’ll tell you what has worked for me in the past. Ask for help and surround yourself with those who love you unconditionally and want the best for you. They can help lead you in the right direction as well as make you feel safe and supported through it. That being said, PLEASE please make time to be with yourself alone and give yourself a chance to hear what your heart and your gut are telling you. I like to clear my head when I’m dealing with shit like that by going on a morning run or taking myself on a long drive with the windows down and the music blasting. If all else fails, smoke a joint and order a pizza – that helps too.


Stacia Karcher | YouTuber | Lifestyle Blogger

The best advise that I could give someone that feels like they are going through something that is insurmountable is to put your faith in God. Keep a positive mindset and know that everything will pass with time. When you are in the middle of the storm it feels like you will never make it out but if you stay positive, keep your faith him God and know this will pass hopefully you will be able to get over it. When I am in this position I seek out professional help that will allow me to vent and get better advise than going to a friend of family member. Not all our friends and family’s have been through what we are going through so to get some unbiased advise if very refreshing.


Isabel Marker Smith | Content Creator | Stylist and Influencer

Personally whenever I am feeling challenged or like I can no longer accomplish my goals or am discouraged, I tend to take a step back and breathe. This is something that I have learned over the years has helped me tremendously. I tend to get anxiety when under pressure to finish a task or creativity stuck, breathing is a tool that I use to help refocus all my effort towards my goal. Another tip is writing down a list, I personally do this every morning, which helps me feel as if I have already carved out my steps for the day, now all I have to do is finish them one by one. This sounds like a silly thing, but it really does help me focus all my attention at the tasks at hand.


Lauren Pak | Content creator | blogger & social media storyteller

At one point, every challenge has probably seemed like an impossible task. When I’m faced with a challenge, I focus on  keeping a clear head so I can decide what my next steps are and how to make the best decision possible. Depending on  what the challenge is, it might be worth exploring advice from family and friends you trust, finding resources online that  you can  relate to, and taking some time to digest and clarify. Something cliche (but true for a reason) is that the anything  good is worth fighting for, and the best things in life take hard work. Keep your chin up, stay strong, and set your sights on  your main goal so you can keep moving forward.


Melissa Babaei | Fashion Model and aspiring TV host

I think that a challenge should be looked at in a positive way! We come across them all the time because nothing comes easy in life. And for that reason you have to just work hard on what you want, push trough and go for it even if you’re scared and come across difficulties.  Follow your dreams, embrace your passions in life and go for them, life is way too short to dwell on the “what if’s?” If ever you fail at least you know you tried. That’s my way of looking at it 🙂


Kira Omans | Actor & Martial Artist

When life throws you a challenge that feels insurmountable, the only way to truly fail is to to give up. Acknowledge your fear. Think about how far you have come. And keep your eye on the prize. You already have the inner strength to conquer.

Michelle Sun | Lifestyle Blogger & Photographer

There’s two ways to look at this scenario – the challenge is either a goal you want to achieve, or a problem you want to solve. If it’s a goal you want to achieve, be sure to break everything down into baby steps or else it will be easy to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated to surpass the insurmountable challenge that is in front of you. When you are able to visualize HOW you will get to your goal from Step A to Step Z, you will feel this huge adrenaline rush to get to where you want to be, knowing that you have acknowledged all of the steps that it takes to get to your goal! Personally, I love to write down steps or create a “spiderweb” or “road map” diagram to show me how I will get to my destination.​ ​If it’s a problem you want to solve, do try your very best to come up with a few potential solutions that could change your current situation all the while staying calm and grounded. After all, it never hurts to think outside-of-the-box and realize that in some cases, there are multiple ways to fix an issue.​ ​Additionally, it is best to approach a problem when you think logically instead of emotionally. If you’re feeling a bit emotional at the moment, do what you can to cool off before approaching the problem once more. With a more refreshed mindset and a calmer attitude, trust me when I say that you will naturally gravitate towards a wiser decision.


Melissa Martinez | Astrologer & Oracle Card Creator

What is the best advice i can share with someone regarding challenges they feel are insurmountable is, to realize they only think this moment in insurmountable because they are choosing to not accept it.​ ​Acceptance is KEY to move forward. As an astrologer everyone inquires about their future, so I really encourage clients to accept there present first.  The future is their “Ego and is attaching to an outcome” and as we know the attachment to ending always creates disappointment.​ I​ try to help them realize that their choices in the present create their future and try to help empower their choices of today. Be kind to themselves, and tune into self love as much as possible as they go thru this transition, and step into greater awareness of themselves and their place in their universe.

Olya Helga | photographer

Don’t give up. Stay positive and know that everything could be done probably you have to try from another side. Think out of the box and be honest with yourself.

Katarina Kearns | photographer & environmentalist photographer & environmentalist

Life can definitely be challenging; we all face many different challenges every single day. Just remember, whatever you’re going through, it could almost always be worse. Remember to be grateful for everything that you do have, some people wish they had what you have. Everything happens for a reason and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Even if you can’t understand that now, it will make sense later on. Everything in life is a lesson, it’s just your choice to realize what the lesson is.


Addie Knight | Student

Even when it feels like your world is crashing down, it’s important to remember that things do get better with time. Finding something that brings you joy no matter how hectic life gets is key. I’ve learned to channel my negative energy into cooking a healthy meal for myself- spend time finding what makes you smile.


Chenni Wen | Photographer

I feel the best way to deal with a hard challenge is to step back and see the problem in all directions and come up with a plan. And stay positive. It doesn’t help to solve something when you feel defeated before really getting started.

Shay J | Canadian Triple Threat Artist

The best advice for someone facing an insurmountable challenge would be to remember nothing is permanent and for every negative try to find the positives within it because life is about experience, learning and growth. When you can see the bright side, you’re already acknowledging what good has come out of it and will therefor create more good in your life. Energy is everything and thoughts become things.. our energetic frequencies attract or repel certain experiences or circumstances. We have the power to create our own realities.. stay away from a victim mentality, practice gratitude  and always ask yourself what can “I do” to change my habits, thought patterns, energy and live a better life.


Emily Yuan | Los Angeles Real Estate Expert | REALTOR®

The best advice I can give someone when overcoming an insurmountable challenge is remembering your intention or setting one. This has helped me through the tough times as a real estate agent.  If you know the destination of where you are going, how you will get there will manifest itself. These obstacles are placed in our lives, most of the time, to teach us something. We learn, we grow, and we level up! Who you are today is incredible and the wonderful qualities you have to offer to the world is uniquely yours. When you set your mind to reach and live out your potential, you will see that your God given gifts are no coincidence! YOU are meant to be here, YOU are amazing, and YOU got this! 

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