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.
McKenzie Coyle – Fine Art Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer
I think it comes down to the fact that every day is a choice! We have to take each day for what it is & make it the best we’re capable of. We all have the power to focus on the positives, even if we don’t see or feel them in the moment. When a challenge feels insurmountable, listing gratitudes has always been huge for me! I always realize I have so much to be thankful for & it instantly changes my perspective. My faith has played a huge part in my life as well, & is always something I rely on in times of challenge & unknown. Aside from gratitude & faith, I’ve also sought professional help for anxiety in the past. Therapy played a huge role in giving me tools to cope & eventually overcome something that was an insurmountable challenge in my life. When challenges are overwhelming, I have to remind myself I don’t have to have it all figured out right now! The bottom line is all we can do is take each day at a time, time really does heal most things & it’s always ok to seek help!
Katie Elizabeth Kemp- Writer, Speaker, Poet & Guide
What if this is for you? In every hero’s journey there is a point where they feel as though the insurmountable challenge will surely take them out. But in every good story this is EXACTLY the place the hero BECOMES a truer version of themself. The beauty that can come from a trial is that it can strip us from the false narratives we may have believed about ourselves and remind us of who we were always meant to become.
So if you’re in a place where it feels too big, too complicated, too painful. Gently ask your soul; “How might this be for me? What do I need to see differently?” And wait. It is in the stillness and silence a new perspective will arise and you’ll remember just how resilient and radiant you are. Because hero, this is part of YOUR courageous journey.
Tam John, Author of A Fresh Wellness Mindset and Founder of the EatRight-LiveWell™ integrative and functional system to smarter self care.
“Quiet your mind. Bit by bit learn to listen to your heart, for the answers you seek live here.” Tam John
Chelsea Lewinski – Visual Artist
Be humble. I think we can sometimes get so wrapped up in lifes challenges that we fail to realize the progress we have made or fail to celebrate the small wins. It’s so important to appreciate where we are in life at this moment. There are so many people out there who are worse off than you and would love to have your set of problems or challenges, so be humble. Stay true to yourself, true to your values and find the good in every situation.
Kaylee Marone- High School Student, Suicide Survivor, & Future Special Education Teacher
The best advice that I have for anyone facing a challenge is that every day is a brand new day. Always look for something that makes you excited. Whether that is listening to your favorite song in the car, getting dressed in the morning. The best way to get through life and challenges is to remember that every day is a fresh start. The best way to face a challenge as well, is to talk to someone about it. Life is hard, you should never have to face a challenge on your own. You are loved and valuable on this earth, and no challenge deserves to take that away.
Lisa Doane – Portrait, Wedding, and Event Photographer
I sure can relate to difficult challenges and getting over those hurdles.
I think the best advice I can offer is to have an open mind and a growth mind set. Don’t be afraid to fail. Take failure and make it a learning opportunity. Set realistic expectations and achievable goals for yourself to reach your end goal. Success is a process and doesn’t happen overnight. Most importantly, never give up, even when the odds don’t seem stacked against you, persevere.
Ashley Adams- Quilter and Sewist
My advice would to someone facing a challenge they felt was insurmountable would be to take on the challenge head on and give it all you’ve got! Perseverance often leads to results.
Mary Silver MSW – Business and Success Coach
The best thing to do when facing a challenge that feels insurmountable would be to get support from people who can help you navigate the issue. Overwhelm and stress are feedback that you need a helping hand. Your support person can be a mentor that has been through it before and successfully made it out of the challenge, a paid and trusted advisor that has knowledge around dealing with the challenge successfully, a supportive friend, supportive family members, and a supportive community of people who have had similar issues and had success dealing with the challenge and now want to help others.
Megan Dodds – Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
When faced with challenges that appear insurmountable, I have found that reducing the overarching goal into smaller, more tangible goals helps in minimizing the overwhelm. Take time to breakdown and organize priorities one by one, create a list, and simply make the next best choice available to you. Consistent small steps will add up and over time you will look back and realize that you are well on your way to conquering the seemingly insurmountable challenge. It is equally important to manage your inner-voice during these times, as harsh self-criticism is at risk. Small steps, patience, and self-compassion is a surefire remedy to conquering your mountains.
Jessica Woodward- Yoga Instructor, Student, & Healer
Reaching out to someone with more life experience to understand that life and everything will be okay has always been one of my answers for over coming challenges. For years, I’ve reached out to my parents for advice on getting through such a huge variety of challenges. Going through a break up, staying committed and strong throughout college, putting myself out there to teach my first yoga class when my worst fear was teaching in front of a crowd; my parents have always been quick to offer me a sort of comforting advice that only life-experience can provide.
Another piece of invaluable advice that I’ve been given my life: Never. Stop. Trying. We are only on this earth for such a finite period of time, so why give up after one failure, one shortcoming? We will all face challenges throughout life, and if you we get can through them, it shows our capacity to adapt. I believe this trait is essential to our existence, and is so representative of our strength as human beings.
One final method that I use to overcome challenges: Intuition. When something seems hard or impossible, I’ve learned to trust go with my gut on the right way to approach things. Sometimes, when all of the analysis and advice in the world still refuses to offer me a clear path, I dig deep in myself and seek the answer there. This type of trust in your own intuition can really deepen your trust and relationship with yourself, and often turns out to be the right answer you needed!
Marianne R. Strauman, FNP-C, Nurse Practitioner Aesthetic Injector
My advice is to listen to what your true self is telling you. You always have the answer within, but it can be a challenge at times to not let other people’s opinions or what you THINK other people expect of you sway your decision and get in your way of your dreams. You can conquer so much more than you think, but you have to set outside expectations aside and listen to what your intuition is telling you, and the rest will fall into place. You are where you are supposed to be, well because that is where you are in this moment. Every moment is a stepping stone to your full potential.
Rachel Lubchansky, Founder + CEO of REL Impact and Sheer Impact
ONE STEP AT A TIME. It’s simple, yet true. We can only tackle one thing at a time, and it’s each step that gets us closer to the other side of a challenge.
Leigh West – Songwriter, Music Producer & Marketing Manager
Take a nap. haha. Divide the challenge into small pieces and turn them into steps (I like to make a list). Once you start accomplishing the first couple, you’ll get into a flow. When you accomplish 5, take a break and celebrate. Go have some fun, life is meant to be enjoyed even through the hard times! Oh yeah, and add my songs to your spotify playlist. I got some remixes coming out this year that will get you pumped.
Yamilex Catano – Hair Care Consultant & Influencer
Be brave and choose you today. You can rise up from anything. You can completely recreate yourself. Nothing is permanent. You’re not stuck. You have choices. You can think new thoughts. You can learn something new. You can create new habits. All that matters is that you decide today and never look back.
Maureen Phifer – Nutritionist and Herbalist
My best advice to someone feeling overwhelmed is that God is large and in charge, he can heal anything. Please let me know if there is anything else I can be helpful with. Have a great day.
Facebook – Natural Health and Wellness
Rachel Miera Holistic Esthetician
I think when we are facing a difficult challenge our mind tries to protect us by bringing up everything that could go wrong. For me it’s important to acknowledge this but not dwell on it and let it consume me with worry, fear and doubt. Part of this journey to self love is learning to trust yourself and your path. Trusting that you already have the strength and truth at your core being and everything will always work out for your highest good regardless of the outcome.
Michelle Mras, Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Speaker/Mindset Coach, Talk Show Host and Author
There are only three types of control: mine, yours and the universe. You can only control yourself – how you react and the choices you make. Let everything else go. (adapted from The Work by Byron Katie)
Malachi Davis- Content Creator
I feel like many people often face what is called “imposter syndrome” a feeling of being a fraud or doubting your own accomplishments. This often leads us to challenges that we may feel are insurmountable because we doubt what we have accomplished and what we can accomplish. My advice would be to go for it, to trust that what you have worked towards and what you have accomplished has prepared you to overcome any of the challenges that you face! Give it a try the worst that can happen is that it may not workout this time, but guess what? It definitely won’t work out if you never try!
Hannah Gay – Social Impact Strategy and Lifestyle Consultant & Coach
Baby steps, iterative design, failing forward . . . I don’t care what we we call it, but we have to start really small and ask for help when we’re feeling overwhelmed! That way, we can find out relatively quickly if something is working or gut checks positively, or if it totally face plants or just feels off – and have a partner in crime to sanity check us. I would love to say I take my own advice because I’m definitely someone who gets really big ideas and is ignited by challenge, but 100% of the time when I try to tackle everything in one chunk on my own I end up driving myself crazy or just miserably getting way off base. Also, be ok with things not working out sometimes. Insurmountable challenges don’t always get totally overcome. That’s normal. It’s hard, and it can be lonely, but if we’re prepared for that emotionally and strategically ahead of time, it’s way easier to change course or move on afterwards.
Kara Armstrong, MPH- Clean Living Consultant & Future Store Owner
What small steps can you take to overcome your challenge. We live in an all or nothing society- but a little progress can go along way. Progress over perfection!
Ella Neal- Model & a Linguistics Major
The best advice that I can give about adversity is to not run from it, challenge it right back! Don’t let the fear of failure be the thing holding you back.
Samara Gonzales-CakePOP Designer-Owner of POPsuxbySamara
Everyday is a challenge, from the moment we wake to the moment we fall asleep. No one ever said this would be easy, no one ever said….if we all worry about what is or could be, we may never make it happen. Your life, you gotta make it happen.
I started this business because it made my child happy and it kept me busy. As I continued, it continued to make others happy and I find my happiness in others smiles. I love every moment of this, being apart of the beginning, from births, to moments, to events and so much more.
Having a dream, doesn’t require income, having a vision does not require sight. There are never any boundaries for growth, don’t lose sight of it and always reach for your goals.
I work from home, I run my business from start to finish. Whether an order is placed on the phone or via online, every step I am there making it happen. But, in any home business or business, you will need help. I struggle daily with asking for help. I think so many of us who are trying to PROVE ourselves, trying to “make it happen” can lose sight of our end goal. Our goal in any industry is to succeed. I am successful because of my help. My husband is my business partner, he is there to help, to be my sound board, to be my parking lot, to be my finish my sentence guy. I could not do this without him, trust me i have tried. At the end of the day, no one person can succeed on their own. You need help, from continuing education or skills, labor or technology, we all need something or someone to help us succeed. So in the end, never be afraid to ask for help. Perfect your craft by perfecting you and your business, always ask for help.