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.
Mary Cameron Vivio – Newly Minted Kennesaw State University Marketing and Sales Graduate + Lifestyle Newbie Blogger
Know that nothing is put in your life that you cannot overcome, and don’t ever doubt yourself. Slow down and take a breath. Break down the challenge into smaller steps, and celebrate each small step like a small victory to build momentum.
Jonnise Macomson – Aspiring model and scientist
When you feel that a challenge is insurmountable you should always break down what you are trying to achieve in smaller steps. It is okay to take everything one day at a time, with diligence of course. Everything becomes significantly easier when you move at your own pace and minimize distractions. Self-awareness is also key because too many people fail to see that in one way or another they are holding themselves back. At the end of the day, even if you do not reach your goal, every challenge provides wisdom and it is up to YOU how you move on from that experience.
Jamie Gober: Dance Artist, Model & Entrepreneur
The advice I would give is don’t give up, don’t stop believing that you’re enough and don’t let people tell you what is right for you. It is a beautiful thing when you can just trust in yourself and go off of how you feel; rather then basing things off of pleasing others or their opinion. Everybody is always going to have something to say about what you’re doing, saying, wearing, eating, etc. When you realize that you will never be able to please everybody but YOU CAN absolutely please yourself! All will begin to fall into place when you begin your path of self-love! Also, sometimes you will face challenges you feel that are too great to overcome and that’s okay, that’s a part life! You can do anything you set your mind too. Action is what makes things happen; sitting around complaining, wishing, and comparing your life to someone else’s isn’t going to make anything happen. Go out there, make moves, take risks, network, be assertive and respectful all while having an open mind is KEY!!! Opportunities are everywhere it’s just up to you to see that. You can have whatever you want, stop being scared of XYZ, and just go for it. If it doesn’t work out take it as a lesson and try again differently, never give up. You will then begin to paint your life how you want it to be. I’ll close this out by asking you this; What are the things that excite you to take on the day? Make a list of simple things even if it’s having your morning coffee. Look at all you wrote down. Add that into your everyday routine and if you aren’t excited for your day figure out why and make your changes accordingly whether they are big or small. Make a to-do list. Write down EVERYTHING that you would like to do or achieve; even if there is a whole bunch. Complete and cross things out everyday to get that much closer to your goals as well motivate yourself that you are getting things done! You then have a guideline of what you need to do, what you want and then you can start the little steps to achieving your short and long term goals. The problems that seem insurmountable won’t seem as impossible to overcome anymore. Remember we all have to go through the tough times to see the light and fail in order to learn. It’s with persistence and believing in yourself when times get tough that will help you make it through! You will come out stronger and wiser then you were before.
Anna Victoria Moore – Model and Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling) Advocate
The patience and courage you possess is what carries you through the situations that seem unending and impossible. Face each hour, each day, and each week as an individual goal. Treat yourself with positive rewards. Love yourself unconditionally. You are worth it all!
Remember that you’ve made it to this point in life, so every other obstacle thus far has been overcome. We’re all capable of more than we can fathom, and that thought should comfort you. You can, and will do it. This too shall pass.
Elizabeth Morrison, Founder of The Fit Atlanta
I’m taking an entrepreneurial challenge spin on this. When every I feel like I have a big challenge or a lot to get done, my dad has always said “How do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time”. I remind myself of that phrase and it helps me to slow down and remember any big goal or challenge is a process. For a tactical tip, I HAVE to have a to-do list—I have a planner, notebook, and google sheets galore to keep track to specifics i need to do and keep track of status. I’ve become quite a google sheets snob, ha! And I try to do complete 5 tasks a day minimum—even if it’s as simple as responding to an email I haven’t taken care of yet or planning social posts. i highly suggest itemizing the things you need to do to conquer your challenge in a google sheet—keep track of due dates, people to contact, their contact info, status, date of followup, etc. then color code that item in a fun color (I use bright green or hot pink) when you’ve completed it!
Celine Park – Experience Designer, Executive Director, and Wellness Blogger
Stay positive and take the first step! Even if it’s just getting out of bed one day or purchasing a beginner kit. Try and enjoy even the smallest of victories. That positivity will take you miles away and you’ll look back without regrets.
Mary Amato: Actor, Esthetician & Painter
The best thing I could tell someone is that everything is going to happen in its own time, so take a deep breath and remove yourself from the situation. Focus on something you enjoy, an outlet, for a short time to gain perspective so you don’t spin into the abyss of “what ifs”. You will be able to dive back in with focus and clarity. LISTEN to those close to you who are supporting you, they are the first ones to see your light/gift/potential outside of yourself.
Hannah Washington – Personal Stylist and Clothing Designer
I would first counter your question with another question, why do you feel it is insurmountable? Sometimes asking ourselves can reveal answers we already have. To answer it, my best advice is take the “big picture” you see as unattainable and break it up into smaller segments. Work on one piece at a time, accomplish one small thing, until you look back and realize you’ve completed the whole thing. I believe it’s all mental. Mind power can be the difference between boldness and passivity. Keeping in mind that taking one step towards your goal is progress in the right direction. One step is still a win. At the end of the day, we can’t let ourselves feel failure just because we weren’t able to reach our goal 100%. I also think remembering your “why” along the way. What wakes you up in the morning and keeps you up at night? Our purpose will drive our passions. Without a purpose, our passions will fall by the wayside. My advice: find your purpose.
Monique Billings – WNBA Basketball Player
I would advise that person to embrace being forced out of their comfort zone, because true growth is cultivated from uncomfortability. The goal is to always bust through barriers and break glass ceilings, so when a challenge is thrown your way take it one step at a time with the mindset to conquer it while giving your very best effort.
Whitney Rooker- jewelry designer and Delta flight attendant
If God brings it to you, God will bring you through it.
Jade Bozeman- entrepreneur
The best advice I would give someone who is facing challenges is always to just be positive. I know it’s easier said than done but positivity can bring a lot of great things to someone’s life and challenges. Having great positive energy around them and cleaning out the negative energy around them rather it be friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, or family, protecting your energy is way more important to live a positive lifestyle. By being optimistic your challenges will be easier to overcome if you’re always thinking of the better option rather than what could happen negatively.
Chanelle Barnes, Founder of VenChi, Real Estate Broker & Blogger
Well that’s easy, it IS about how someone feels. I encourage people who confide in me to digest and exert the following: “It exists because I put it there.” And that goes for anything if you think about it. Fear, love, happiness, career failures & successes. If you put it in your mind for it to go bad, and put forth little or no effort, there’s a good chance things can go bad. BUT if you put it in your mind that things will work out AND you’re willing to put the time and effort into it, it can most definitely happen.
Mallory Strange – Marketing Specialist and NFL Cheerleader
You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce. If she can do it, you can get through it. Really though, if you’re faced with a huge challenge, break it down into smaller steps and celebrate the small wins you make while overcoming the larger challenge.
Sophie Loghman – social media expert and digital marketing strategist
Keep trying, don’t give up and never be afraid to ask for help.
Chelsea Graves :New Home Specialist. Specializing in Dekalb County’s very own Lithonia/ Stonecrest Ga!
#1: Stay loyal to your beliefs, to your dreams,and to you goals! No matter how long it takes, no matter how many doors get slammed in your face, no matter how many opinions you get that are not supportive to all your efforts and visions of success..STAY DOWN! All 10 toes! It will happen! #2: When you reach your goal don’t get comfortable! Don’t forget your (WHY). That’s what will set you apart from the 95% of the world. Strive for the 5%.
Julia McDermott – Novelist & Nonfiction Author
Start by not asking why you are facing such a challenge. Don’t waste any of your energy or strength on that question. Use all of it instead to fight your battle, no matter how daunting, and don’t look to cast blame. Second, be patient, and keep going. Focus on the small steps ahead of you, develop a grateful spirit, and look for the beauty in life. Finally, in the words of my son, whose journey with cancer is chronicled in my nonfiction book All the Above, “Just try (step by step, not all at once) to have hope. Resiliency is a wonderful thing. Sometimes something great happens when all feels lost.”