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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.

Aubrey Ford | Baker at Aubrey’s Treat Lab

The best advice I could give someone facing a challenge they deem as insurmountable would be to break your solution down into at least 10 steps. Any mountain will look impossible to climb when you’re standing directly beneath it. Put some distance between you and the issue. Before you know it, you’ll have overcome your greatest obstacle!


Dion Metzger, MD | Psychiatrist | Professor and Bestselling Author

Peel one layer at a time. All challenges become more manageable once broken down into steps. Take the first step and the second will be easier than the first.


Avril Occilien-Similien | Believer| Lover of Learning | Life Coach

Have you ever seen an athlete run a hurdle race? What do they do when they face an obstacle? If you think about life as a hurdle race, you will realize that obstacles are a part of the journey. Obstacles are not there to block our progress, they are there to be overcome…and you are an over comer! Whatever goal you are pursuing, channel you inner athlete. Anticipate the obstacles, keep your eye on the finish line and show that obstacle who’s boss.


Jaclyn Fraser | Mom | Entrepreneur | Lifestyle/Beauty Blogger

Just keep going. I still struggle with this. We often find ourselves doubting how far we can go, and we forget to acknowledge how far we’ve come – all the fears we’ve faced, and the battles we’ve won. Don’t stop. You’re present situation is not your final destination. Everyone struggles, success lies with those who keep going. Get started. Learn as you go. Action creates momentum, and momentum energizes you to keep going. And it’s OKAY if you have to remind yourself of that every morning.

Meilani Edwards | ATL Makeup Artist | Entrepreneur | Singer & Model

The best advice I would give to someone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable is to keep going, no matter how hard things may seem! To ALWAYS remain positive and trust that they can do whatever they put their mind to. Anything is possible, especially if you have that mindset. I also serve God, so I’m a firm believer in “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13


When facing a challenge that seems insurmountable I pray for guidance, strength and wisdom to make the right decisions.  I create a schedule of tasks for the plan of attack. When you break a big project or goal down into bite size tasks things become more achievable. Also, delegate whenever possible. This might mean working on one section while a partner works on another or even having groceries delivered, hiring a dog walker, cleaning service, etc.
Taking time for yourself to exercise and eat well is always important.
At the end of the day remember that sometimes done is better than absolutely perfect.

Trish L. Myrick | Trish By Grace Ministries International

The best advice that I can give to someone who is facing a challenge that they feel is insurmountable is that “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,” (Romans 8:18) which means that although the challenge seems unbearable, GOD chose you to have an experience, trust GOD in His infinite wisdom, understand that their is a purpose, that will produce His glory. (“ And we know that all things work together for good of them that love GOD, to them who are called according to His purpose,” Romans 8:28) I would tell them to stay in fervent pray, read the Word of GOD and believe in faith that the WORD will not return void and and to lean on the GOD of all comfort, “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may able to comfort them which as in any trouble,  by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of GOD,” (2 Cor 1: 4) The glory that will be revealed from your trial will make your faith stronger and adequately equip you to reach back and help someone else and say, “Hey, I experienced the same thing, and look at what GOD did for me…and He can do it for you!” creating a community of over-comers and believers that help one another get through life’s challenges…which exemplifies the true glory of GOD.


Ellie Gottstein | Doctoral Student in Psychology & Pilates Instructor

We have all had those moments when we thought a challenge was too much or the mountain too steep to climb. These moments come up repeatedly in our lives if we are lucky. Each of these challenges is a moment to show what you are made of. I always think of those moments when someone told me that my goal or challenge was unattainable, and how good it feels to work so hard to prove them wrong. Whether or not overcoming the challenge happens, what really matters is that you gave it your all, in an effort to face the challenge and be the best that you can be. With each challenge we are given an opportunity to learn and to grow. This isn’t a rule to live by once in a while, it’s about living your life to your fullest potential at all times, knowing that you are doing your best. That’s all we can ask of ourselves.


Kemi Bennings | Renaissance Woman + Creative Badass

Random Parisian

What I am learning is that being in the business of trusting your vision, heart’s desires, purpose or mission in life requires challenge.  Though quite uncomfortable (sometimes very uncomfortable), somehow, it seems that challenge is a kinda weird requirement that shapes us, sharpens the saw, boosts our courage, tests our drive and thickens our skin, as women, to balance our place in the world.  Perhaps there are things that we can only learn through challenge; things we need to go through or let go of in becoming our own bonafide “Lady Boss.”   And, most often, on the other side of challenge, we find ourselves stronger, wiser and lighter.  I believe we actually attract these said, “uncomfortable” experiences, called “challenges”, as an opportunity to grow, learn more about ourselves and fortify our vision in bringing our dreams into fruition.  That said, challenge is only an opportunity.  The notion of the challenge feeling “insurmountable”, I feel, is indeed a powerful opportunity to shift and catapult ourselves towards something greater.  My advice is to first find a comfortable place and be still.  Insert tears as you feel the need.  Know that whatever the challenge, it’s happening for a reason; that there is a calm after the storm.  The important thing is that we get the lesson so that we don’t have to repeat the same “challenge”, packaged in a different form.  Honor the fact that perhaps it’s the journey we’ve attracted and chosen (for whatever reason! LOL side note: that was for me – I’ll tell you a story sometime 🙂 in order to make a powerful impact in the world and in the lives of others.  Take whatever time you need to honor your emotions.  Honestly, share with yourself how you are truly feeling.  Ask yourself, what this experience is showing me about myself?  Dig deep.  Seek the lesson and recognize the challenge as only a blessing on the way to becoming the greatest version of you.  Get up, dust yourself of and KEEP IT MOVING! Make sure to share your story, because when we do, other Lady Bosses don’t feel so alone and as a result are inspired through shared stories. Trust your vision and your intuition fellow “lady bosses!”

Gina G | Free Spirit

Take a breath, step back, and stay calm. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Segment your tasks into smaller wins;  take it step by step rather than  overwhelming yourself. You’ll see that the bigger picture will come together when you  take it easy.


Briana Astorga | Fitness Enthusiast & Physical Therapist Assistant

We all face challenges that feel insurmountable at some point in our lives. The best advice I can give comes from my own personal experiences and the three key elements I use when facing a challenge. First, remember to breath and find stillness within; within your stillness is your strength! No matter how many times you falter, remember your “”why””, focus on your goal, and keep fighting for success. Life’s only real failure is not realizing how close you were to success when you gave up. When you take a moment to breath and be still you become more at peace with yourself, you become more resilient and stronger than before.
Secondly, you must believe in yourself! Self belief is everything, it’s the key to opening the next chapter in you life. An important part of self belief comes from knowing your weaknesses and being relaxed about them. That means taking a chance without knowing where you might land. This gives you a sense of freedom and the ability to cope with temporary setbacks.
Thirdly, be aware of your thoughts and feed your mind positive affirmations daily. Envision what overcoming your challenges and accomplishing your goals will look like and feel like. You have to imagine yourself crossing that finish line everyday. The mind is powerful and once you conquer your mind nothing is insurmountable! Take it day by day, learn to be present throughout the process and appreciate everything that comes along with the journey. I believe if you give it your all and put in the work, God will handle the rest!


Jasmine T. Boykins  | founder/owner of Jazz Hair Creation, LLC

The best advice I could give someone facing an insurmountable challenge is to remain focus and consistent towards your goal. Everything wont happen overnight nor will it be perfect. Remain focused! 

Tracie J Hill | artist | Fashion Model

Whenever a challenge feels to big to overcome, think about the last time you faced major adversity ,and remember that you came out on the other side. Use this as a reference to fuel your fire and give you the courage to keep going. Keep a determined spirit and be intentional in every thing you do. Nothing is impossible you just haven’t learned how to do it yet. Be kind and patient with your self. Keep a good support system around ,people who uplift and encourage you. Keep moving forward and never give up!❤️


Diana Adelberg | taxidermy movie prop maker


I reach out to my mentors or ask for advice & guidance from friends and professionals. They always have a solutions or options to help me with my challenges.



JaCera Francois | Visual Artist

You are not alone. We face different challenges that we may not understand why we are going through them, but we also have to know that there is a deeper reason why we are experiencing them. When we are facing challenges we are becoming stronger and preparing for a blessing that we don’t see coming. I’m speaking to myself as I am giving this advice, but I do believe in God and I know that he doesn’t put us through more than what we can handle. If we feel that we are giving a challenge that seems insurmountable, that just means that the we along with our blessings are going to be indestructible. Challenges aren’t meant to break us down, they are meant to build us up and to prepare us for something greater. The more difficult the challenge is, the more powerful we become. Steps that I believe help with defeating challenges are staying consistent, keep ourselves busy focusing on goals that we have set to accomplish,writing our thoughts and/or plans in a journal to physically see them, praying, and even giving ourselves credit for the challenges that we have already overcame. Most importantly, we need to believe in ourselves. Having just a little bit of faith will get us further than what we may think, as well as, take us further than where we think we can go. 

Jasmine Symone | Blogger | Creative Entrepreneur

Your challenges aren’t insurmountable, you’re just uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. Surely I’m not the first, and probably won’t be the last, to tell you that the challenges we face are a necessary part of our lives. Without them, we won’t be able to know the depths of who we truly are and what we’re capable of doing. Remember the first time you learned how to ride a bike? Think about it. I’m sure you fell down a couple of times and probably busted your knee caps. However, you didn’t stop and you kept pedaling. Every time you rode your bike, it got easier. And then eventually, you mastered it. But in order to learn, you had to fall down, you had to get frustrated, you had to cry, you had to experience pain…you HAD to be uncomfortable. Until we learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, we will always perceive our challenges to be too great to conquer. One of my favorite thought leaders, Marie Forleo, coined the phrase “everything is figureouttable”. If we can figure out how to launch rockets into outer-space, then we can figure out how to create a profitable business. If we can figure out how to sail a 150,000 ton cruise ship across the ocean, then we can figure out how to move on from a failed relationship. If you’re able to adopt the belief that “everything is figureouttable”, then you’re already one step closer to overcoming that challenge and moving on to the other beautiful parts of your life.


Whitney Durham | Interior Decorator & Design Enthusiast

To anyone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable, I would encourage them to keep on pursuing that challenge! We learn so much from our personal mistakes and failures. They contribute to the people we are today. No one is perfect and everyone fails. I believe we are never presented with an obstacle we can’t overcome! Whether it’s a personal or professional oppositional situation to overcome, one must have GRIT to achieve. One must have firmness in mind and spirit; unyielding courage in the face of hardship. You must have passion and conscientiousness of being thorough, careful and vigilant.
Here a few good supporting quotes….
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles Swindoll


Kei Moore | artist | director | ambassador

There’s always the possibility that you will conquer all odds. We keep pushing through because of the energy and belief that something greater is guiding us. That energy will continue to guide us in the direction that we are bound to go. We’re willing towards our greatest self. When we stop willing towards our goals, we lose to our lesser self. Play the game of life with yourself for love, and greatness, and don’t stop until you win.


Corliss Hambrick also known as LyriQ | entrepreneur | Poet | Singer | Actress | Dancer | CEO/Founder of LyriQ4E Health, Beauty and Fitness | co-producer of upcoming television series “Gemini” on XOD Network

Never give up on your goals. Take every experience in life good or bad, as a stepping stone to get to your destiny and help others by being compassionate because you have experienced similar situations and overcome them. Do not let negative opinions destroy your inner peace or spiritually drain you. Give your testimony through your gifts. Make sure you keep positive energy in and around you because what you give out is what you get back. NO DISTRACTIONS, the sky is the limit!


Shakina Garnes (DJ Kina Keen) | Female DJ & Advertising Sales Professional

The best advice I can give to someone facing challenges is to stop for a moment, think things through then just do it. So often we allow our thoughts to over power problems at hand that we end up spending more time stressing than doing what is needed. Challenges are going to come, but we have the choice to decide how we are going to pull through! I spend lots of time thinking things through, asking myself difficult questions and brainstorming and my solutions are case by case.
Sometimes it’s speaking up and just going after what you want; Sometimes it’s being slow to talk and quick to listen; and sometimes its screaming to the top of my lungs to release some steam then rolling up my sleeves and putting your head back in the game. The bottom line is to FOCUS and keep your eyes glued to what you are going after, that will make these challenges/removable obstacles much easier to get through. By doing so, this will allow you to tell yourself that “This is temporary! It will only strengthen me and make me appreciate the success that’s to come.”


Melinda Davis | Media Company Executive (Film,TV & Entertainment) | Motivational Speaker & Canine Mom

“Be the author of your own story.”  I believe that when we allow others to tell our story we begin to try to measure up to what others think of us, good or bad, happy or sad.  Owning your truth and being authentic is the only way to “freedom” from the pressures of fear, doubt, confusion and other emotions that can cloud our judgement in facing challenges and making them feel insurmountable. I have learned through my life challenges, failures, successes, professionally and personally that you first and foremost have to believe in yourself.  Challenges make you stronger and are authentic chapters in your story.


Jennifer Vu | Realtor

As cliche as it sounds, “this too shall pass” has been my motto the last few years while building my business and juggling everything life throws at you. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the challenges, but having a “why” helps keep you focused…and also wine, wine helps A LOT!



Carlecia Hunter | Entrepreneur,  Cravings by Carr |  Rising junior at TSU  | Enjoy networking, helping and mentoring others

My advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to dig deep inside of you and identify your purpose in life. Once you connect your mindset on something that you want to accomplish or eventually overcome you will then feel important and have more confidence in surpassing any hardships that come your way. Standing strong on your faith, rewarding yourself for every ounce of growth you endure and accepting the reality of not controlling what’s behind you is a great start to facing any challenges.

Binkey Lew | Actress | Model | Home Stager/Decorator

My advice for those going towards their dreams who come across challenges, is to never give up. I have had multiple moments in my life where I thought I wasn’t good enough or my business was not worth it. I went into a deep depression and had closed my staging/interior decorating business down for almost two years. I had a wake up call through my acting journey, when I landed my first lead role it opened up something inside me and I started processing all the things I could have accomplished. Reopening up my business was one of those things I processed and I got started on rebranding. I studied hard, self teaching myself things and heavy research about my craft. I wrote up all my documentation and redid My own marketing material even redid my website. When I was finished I finally took that leap of faith and said DO IT! I reopened my business and pushed forward. It’s a slow start but you can’t lose focus. If you want to be a entrepreneur, a actress, a model, a doctor, a lawyer, or whatever just don’t give up. Remember we are our own worst enemy and I was mine for  long time until I told myself no more. You got this once you make the first step just keep going!


Jaseña S’vani | Blogger | Artist & Author

To the person that feels like they can’t overcome an insurmountable challenge, just remember that you are capable of achieving ONLY what you believe. What you think is what you become so don’t get trapped into the cage of your mind! Speak to the mountain in your life and remember that you’re an over comer!

Katina Nish | Visionary & Hope Advocate

Sidney Conley

Some of the most amazing people that you adore come from the most disastrous situations and backgrounds, but they made a conscious decision to turn their pain into power! There is an unexplainable joy that exist in the heart and mind of a person who know there’s always an option. You’re limitless, there’s always something you can do!



Crystal Kelly Smith | Lash Artist + Mompreneur

When I feel challenged, I think of this:  I imagine a seed being planted. The roots grow downward into the soil where it gains nutrients.  This happens before the plant ever grows above ground.  If and when you are buried by life or circumstances, this is your time to take root, gain from the Source, obtain knowledge, & grow character.  So that when the time comes to finally sprout (above ground) you will not be easily uprooted. No matter, light winds or heavy rain. You will stand firm!

Adora Horton | Artist & Broker

To someone who feels like a challenge is insurmountable… many things appear impossible, but appearances are often illusions. A beach may appear to be one large mass of land, but it’s really made of many small grains of sand. Challenges should be taken this way, grain by grain, step by step.

Isa | Artist

Photo credit: @toujoursenfrance Styling credit: @carolinebentleynoble

You can speak anything into existence, stay positive about your situation and don’t take things too seriously.


Shamanda Burston | Licensed Addictions Specialist | Mental Health Counselor | Author | Exec. Producer


My advice to anyone facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to remember what you’re made of! You’ve survived past challenges and you can and will survive this too. Remember your “why” or reason to push forward and keep pushing…never lose focus. Release your inner warrior and survivor spirit.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa Latimer

    February 11, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Amazing + Inspirational. Love this and love the features of
    All these lovely Ladies! Life at times will let us down – My way is Never give up! After being in business for 6 years w two businesses and working to open a Day Spa … set backs can be frustrating and make you want to pull your hair out plus many other things… Your DREAMS have to be bigger than us to keep driving towards your success!

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