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.
Aylia Zaidi | Adventurer & Techie
I always believe that the universe is on my side and that hurdles that we face are an opportunity for growth.Whenever I am facing a challenge that seems too big, I remember this quote which I try to live by:”If I were to go back in time, I would tell myself not to worry too much. Trust. Go through life as if it were rigged in your favor.” -Arianna Huffington
Kelly Dzioba | Satirical Motherhood Blogger, Sales & Marketing Specialist
As people, we feel the need to be strong in the face of a major life obstacle. I, myself, had the hardest year of my life in 2017, when my husband, Mike, battled cancer while I was pregnant. I felt like I had to be brave and bury my feelings in order to give him the support he needed. I didn’t take care of myself and as a result suffered emotionally in postpartum. I learned from the experience that it’s ok to let your guard down sometimes and be human. “Self care” is receiving a lot of attention these days because so many of us neglect it, especially in the face of an insurmountable challenge. Mike beat cancer and recovered beautifully, we have an incredible one-year-old baby girl, and are stronger than ever today.
Mariana Montero | Yoga Instructor E-RYT 200 RYT 500
Every day is a challenge and in order to overcome these challenges we must embrace them one day at a time. Embrace the day with self love and compassion towards ourselves, with the certainty that all things shall pass.
Isabella Hinds | Business Student & Accountant
Keep your head high at all times, don’t give up and work hard to achieve your goals. Know that you are not alone and don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance. Do the things you love to do and surround yourself with people that makes you happy.
Sandrine Kamhi | Yoga teacher and Founder of State of Yoga
In the darkest moments of our lives, we have to remember to keep on having faith and trust the process of life itself. Every challenge, no matter how difficult, is a key for self transformation and sometimes, we can be shaken to be awakened to a new life… the life that’s waiting for us. We don’t need to understand the bigger plan or control everything, but instead to take time to reflect and to make space for it all to unfold.
Emily Godoy | Style Blogger
My best advice for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to take a deep breath and take a step back from the situation. Often times we get so caught up in the limiting thoughts in our minds, that we don’t realize how truly capable we are. Ask for help and support from family and friends, have faith in whatever you believe in that this is going to work out in your favor and believe that you can overcome this challenge. Think back to any other challenge you’d faced in your life. You’re still alive, right? Everything will be okay!
Emelie Sveed | Model
You don’t grow when you’re comfortable, so embrace it and figure out what skillset you need to get better at for it to not be a challenge anymore.
Mika Stoitchkov | Mother, Influencer, Foodie
Never lose faith. If you strongly want it and believe it, you will always achieve it!
Sara Birriel | Personal Trainer & Mother
Keep your mind away from all of the possible negative outcomes, and brainstorm the steps you can take to get past this. Trust the process and don’t forget to make time for little things that keep you happy and energized— like maybe your favorite yoga class. A positive perspective and healthy mindset can make all the difference between a moment of turmoil and an opportunity to grow with grace.
America Manzano | Writer, blogger and published author / a plus size model and a nano influencer on Instagram
I was a high school teacher for 12 years. When I had my son, my husband and I decided I would stay home with him. It sounded like an easy task, but it turns out that the raging hormones coupled with my new task and extra time plunged me into depression and anxiety. I think my biggest motivator was focusing on doing rather than wallowing. I noticed that the days I felt sorry for myself, I did less. I would move around the house on those days and not get anything done. So I forced myself to start something. I tried being more active (going on walls at first) and then dressing for the role. I realized I was feeling ugly because I had let myself go. So I would dress up even to stay home and at least slap on mascara and lip gloss. This began to set the mood for me in many ways. I not only got out of the slum, but I was able to start doing things I loved like social media marketing and modeling. The hardest part was believing I could… now, it’s keeping up! I’ve become so busy trying to stay busy that some days I kind of want a break. But the no-time-to-feel-sorry-for-myself-method worked! And here I am, almost a year later wearing so many hats that I don’t care to name them all. But I’m happy and healthy, and that’s all that matters!
Sessy Hernandez | Retail Marketing Assistant & Social Media Manager
Almost every challenge we face in life may feel insurmountable. It is KEY to stay strong and continue to fight forward. Things will start to slowly progress as long as the effort is given. Sometimes it is too easy to fall into self-denial (myself included) always give that 110% in everything you do. Wake up every morning and say “today will be a great day!” get yourself some coffee, put on your favorite lipstick, and hit it girlboss!
Jessica Menendez | Lifestyle Blogger & Theme Park Enthusiast
At some point in life, we all struggle. How you react to hardships – how you handle them and overcome them, will ultimately shape the person you become. Life throws us a lot of curveballs that we cannot control; however, we CAN control our attitude and how we respond to those curveballs. Perspective is everything, and I challenge you to find the joy in even the darkest of situations. Push through, rise above it and take every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Ariel Rose | Singer & Songwriter
Keep going & don’t give up. We all go through hardships and have obstacles that get in our way. But you will get through it. One of my new original singles that I will be releasing in the near future is about this very topic. What always helped me was keeping in mind that no matter how hard things get, there is someone out there who cares and “Somebody Loves You.”
Fedra Prado | Lifestyle model, Blogger and Teacher
The advice I have for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to breath and try to meditate on the magnitude of the situation. Sometimes its our own fears that play against us and make us feel like we can’t do x,y or z or we’re not good enough to face what’s in front of us. When in reality, as long as we’re alive there’s nothing we cannot make better. Having a positive attitude is the first step to face any challenge. And if you really feel overwhelmed and that you can’t do it alone, reach out for help in a friend, a loved one or a family member. Remember you deserve to be happy and at peace.
Nisha Symone | Non-Profit Consultant & Digital Marketer
Stay positive in every situation and know that the good will come. We may not have control over time itself, but we do have the wisdom to know that time heals and grows things. Grow through the challenges!
Danielle Reyes | Realtor, Designer, Influencer & Marketing Professional
Don’t stand at the bottom looking up at the top of the mountain, keep your eyes on what’s in front of you, and keep moving. Basically, don’t wait until you have it all figured out to get started, just break it down into bite-sized pieces, and START. If that means you only accomplish one small part of your overall goal each day or week, well then, it’s still progress. Also, give yourself some credit, odds are, you’ve done this before, or overcame another hurdle that you weren’t sure of at the start, so remind yourself of those moments, and trust that you can make it happen. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions or look to someone with experience for help. Someone out there has been through what you’re going through, so don’t be shy, ask them how they did it.
Carol Urdaneta | Business Development & Sales at World Truck Parts (Family Business) & Founder and CEO of COAVELLA (Women’s Fashion Brand)
Life is about doing what you love so be passionate about what drives you and always bring your best-self. It’s easy to get caught in details but always take a step back to focus on the big picture, the needle movers, and don’t let insignificant things distract you. No one has ever done it all on their own so never be scared to ask. Always be confident, but not tone deaf, and don’t take no for an answer, be persistent. It always helps to know your audience and be able to read the room. Advocate for yourself, don’t underestimate your worth and never tolerate abuse. Nothing fulfilling comes easy and success takes hard work to get to where you want to be. Dream big, start small focusing on your daily tasks and this will help you to grow fast and see great results.
Yolanda Vega | Latina Blogger & Retail Expert
I think it’s about taking the challenge head on, stay focused, think creatively and work very hard to conquer it. But if you don’t conquer it, understand that we are not defined by our failure, we are defined by the way we use our learnings.