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.
Elisa Mariel Ortega | Graphic Designer & Fitness enthusiast
I’ll tell them, it’s temporary. After the darkest hour at dawn, the sun begins to shine!
Challenge is great, frustration is amazing! Because it helps you realize who you truly are and what are you really capable of.
If you fail a hundred times, get up and try once more, the word give up does not exist! Have faith in you, have faith in God if you are a believer or in anything you want to.
And I know it’ll sound kinda cliche; always keep positive thoughts in your head and a positive attitude towards everything and everyone. “”Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations””.
Laurita Brito | artist and inspirational blogger
I have gone through moments in my life that I thought I would only see on tv. With the experience acquired after overcoming the hardships and heartbreaks that those moments have brought me, I would advice anyone as I would now advice myself. In the moment of darkness, it is not always enough to think, “it’ll pass”. Pain is like ego, it will only stop once you aknowledge its presence. Accept your feelings without judgement. You will understand once you have grown from the experiece.
Jennifer Shyu | Western, and Oriental Medicine Doctor
What I always tell my friends, family or even patients in this situation is to always be positive, to open their heart and trust that everything is going to work out exactly the way they want. Be thankful for everything that is happening because challenges always takes out the best of every human being. Trust in the process is for me the most important thing. Do what comes with love, get out from that comfort zone and work hard for that thing thats a dream in everyones mind.
Jimena Gutierrez Bisbal | Visual Artist
Sometimes our mind tries to convince us that we cant keep going. Just when you are so close to reach that goal or pass that obstacle. Trust in your heart! Try other way to face that challenge and believe that you can and you will.
Everything is part of the process, at the end when you look back its going to be this courage that motivate next time.
Giselle Schreiner | Holistic Health Coach
In the middle of Chaos sometimes its so hard to look at the bright Side. I get it. I’ve been there. But with time you realize that everything that happens to us its the universe shaking us for self grow. we have the power in that moment to decide if we are going to get stuck in this challenge or if we are going to FEEL it and learn from it. You are your own teacher and so many people need women to speak up and share their story to help 1000 of more women. You are not alone. We are in this together.
Maria | Holistic coach & Hormonal health expert & Celia | Culinary nutrition coach & yoga teacher
To be flexible in the process of finding a solution, you never know if you are open minded where the answer could be.
Take baby steps and have self-confidence in the process.
Nina Arce | Makeup Artist
The first thing I do is pray. Next, I believe in the Law of Attraction so you have to visualize yourself already accomplishing or achieving whatever it is you are facing. And believe in yourself; you can’t accomplish what the mind doesn’t think you can.
Jeannie Brandon | CEO and Founder of La Vanidosa Boutique
The best advice I could give is to stay true to yourself and never give up! Nothing in life is impossible. We all face a challenges every day. Learn and grow from them. Whatever the odds are, continue to push forward because the reward will be worth it in the end. You may not succeed at first, let’s be honest, most of us don’t. However, the lessons we gain from our mistakes make us stronger and better. Don’t pay attention to negativity or listen to what others tell you to do or be. Waking up everyday being grateful for what you have will reprogram your mind, body, and soul. Start each day focusing on your blessings and you’ll start to see doors open, challenges defeated, and new paths to success.
Sam Bee Beauty | Beauty & Lifestyle Influencer | Youtuber
Life throws you curve balls all the time especially, when you are on a new path in life or starting a new venture. It’s so easy to throw your hands up and say to yourself “”Forget it. I give up”” but always remember your purpose, your “why” as people call it. We grow up always hearing to never give up on yourself and this is the most vital piece of advice I will take with me forever, because it’s true! Never give up on yourself when you know you are destined to do more. The Universe sends us these hurtles that may get in the way of our passion and dreams for a reason – it’s to challenge ourselves to find a solution and keep thriving for more. I have had challenges and will continue to have challenges get in the way of my goals but that doesn’t mean what I want for myself is not a possibility or that it’s far fetched. Challenges are meant to test your patience and are meant to make you stronger in the long run so always remember your purpose. Easier said than done, right? Accomplishing your dreams is never easy, so always keep your head up, believe in yourself and remember your goals and dreams do not have an expiration date!
Ashalei Nickole | Recording Artist and Transformational Health and Life Coach
My advice for those who think their challenges are insurmountable is, number 1. To stop thinking it is insurmountable and start treating a challenge as something that is preparing you for whatever it is that you are going to achieve. The word challenge means to test ones abilities. Don’t get so caught up in the challenge, use it as a chance to show your great!
Ronavia Williams | Creative Writer
Many times in life I’ve had to undergo storms that I did not see my way out. Many times I wanted to give up, throw in the towel and say I’m not doing this anymore. Rather it’s been relationships, friendships and or a career. Life can be challenging beyond Belief when you have no support or belief system.
Growing up without a father in a single parent home. I learned how to trust God for myself. I’ve learned how to say to myself, anything that’s bigger then me and I do not have the capacity to change or influence my situation… I have to let it go. If I don’t a few things are at risk. My peace, my sanity, my emotions and possibly my health.
Nothing should have that much power over us. We have to love ourselves enough to say, this is out of my control therefore I’m taking it out of my hands and place it in God hands. Time’s when I’ve had to do this when facing difficult challenges… I’ve had to be honest with myself and ask myself questions such as, how does this situation make me feel, why does this situation make me feel this way or what can I do to assure I don’t repeat this situation. Genuine and tough questions that we don’t often challenge ourselves to do. Asking myself questions like this has help me to get clarity and made it easier to let go of anything that was bigger than me.
I have personally found safety and assurance in the fact that everything happens for a reason and God has not allowed any challenge to come my way without knowing I will come through it gracefully. Therefore, when I face anything that has come to shake my world, my prayer is always… Lord give me the strength to get through this storm. Yes, I put practical exercises in place and ask myself tough questions that gives me perspective. However, I lean, depend and trust in God to see me through ultimately.
Debbie Grossman | Artist and Art Teacher
Life has it’s twists and turns. Everyone here on Earth has challenges. That’s part of life. Know that when you are facing a challenge that it may have a lesson to teach you or a gift that can come to you. A positive attitude and gratitude can help you get through challenges that feel insurmountable and can cause stress. Creating art is an excellent tool to alleviate stress, along with long walks, journaling, meditating, and eating healthy foods. I like to step back and evaluate challenging situations, think of my options, pick the best option, then realize the solution that is best to get through the challenge. Balance is key.
Naya W. | Content Creator & Freelance Makeup Artist
When I was a kid, my favorite time of the year was when my elementary school put on its annual field day because that meant I’d get to race on the obstacle course. The thing about obstacle courses is that, even though you’re racing against the other team, the real challenge is against yourself- and that’s how I choose to look at life. Once you’re done with the course, the first thing you want to do is run through it again to see if you can do better than your last run. As you continue to race against your mental blocks, you realize that the parts that you thought were too hard to get through, really weren’t hard at all. I’ve found that with many of the challenges I’ve faced, the hardest part is taking the first leap. Once you realize that the only person that’s holding you back is yourself, the only way to go from there is up!
Shirelle Jackson | Vice Chair of the Jax Fam Foundation and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student Athlete Development at the University of Miami
For anyone who feels they are facing a challenge that seems insurmountable, I would encourage them to view that challenge as an opportunity for growth. Any opportunity for a positive change or movement of self is so important. To move from a space of hardship and fear to success and positive life choices can be liberating. Through our foundation, we want to encourage and support people who need and deserve a chance to be the best version of themselves – no one should have to grow alone.
Irene Vargas | Personal trainer & Coach Nutrition
I always tell my clients “”badly set target, failed target””
You have to focus on the process never on the end. First you have to reach short-term goals and gradually overcome them. This way we avoid frustration and gain confidence. Reaching daily challenges will lead us been ready to meet our greatest challenge. It doesn’t matter under what circumstances you are or which situation, everything you need is within you.
Luisana Nuñez | Digital strategist
One of the characteristics of any entrepreneur is to be a lover of challenges and adventures. The challenges in addition to leaving us the satisfaction of overcoming also gives us many lessons regardless of whether the goal was reached or not.
When a challenge was not reached, you have the opportunity to evaluate what you did wrong and this will help you not to repeat it in future opportunities. But when you feel that this challenge is insurmountable, it is time to see it from another perspective and rethink the plan you are executing at this time to achieve what you want. Once I read a phrase that I liked a lot and that helps me when I feel stuck and says “Do not expect to achieve different results always doing the same”
An advice for people who feel that it is very difficult, is to start with small goals in small time frames. Motivation is essential to find the way to success and those small doses of satisfaction when you reach those goals will help you to find the solution for what you feel difficult.
However, it is important that you keep in mind that the persistence is the key for success. Sooner or later you will achieve what you long for as long as stay focused. Keep working and never give up!
Stephanie | Health Coach and Trainer
The best advice I can give for someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to stop and take 3 deep breaths and get in the right mindset first. Hold your hand over your heart and remind yourself that there is no challenge you can’t overcome and that challenges appear in our lives to help us grow and become more skillful. Take a few moments to imagine how it would feel to overcome the obstacle successfully and how proud of yourself you will be. You can even write a list of 10 things that you’ve accomplished in your lift to remind yourself that you have all the power within yourself to overcome this new challenge! Our mindset determines the experiences we have in life so take care to use a powerful mindset!
Lisa Jeane | The Lawyer’s Success Coach | Re-Invented Lawyer
Remove the word TRY from your vocabulary. You are either going to commit to reaching a goal or you are not. When you say you’re going to “try” to do something, you give yourself an excuse to quit when the going gets tough. Commit fully to reaching your goal, at your own pace. Always remember, 90% of success comes from just showing up and doing the work, even when you don’t want too. And with enough grit and perseverance you can achieve anything you put your mind too!
Jemonique Barnabie | Artist
My advice to anyone facing a challenge that seems impossible to overcome, is to view it as life’s way of testing you. Will you fight the good fight and give it all you’ve got? Will you succumb under the pressure? Or will you change your perspective and try a different route and/or approach. At the end of the day, it’s important to understand that there is always a way to overcome any situation. Also, find comfort in knowing that your victories, no matter how minuscule, build your strength in order to prepare you to fight and overcome bigger battles.
Katherine Hartley, M.S. | Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Specialist
As women, we expect much of ourselves and this should never stop – especially as entrepreneurs, fitness enthusiasts, and businesswomen. My work and my goal is to encourage each woman to see their health and mind-set as the foundation to each of these demands. The nutrients we put in our body defines the outcomes of our physical and, largely, mental performance. The things we tell ourselves, define our mental state, our ambition and our devotion to everything within our lives – including the gym and our careers. Each day, we have the capacity to perform at our best by controlling the things we allow to influence our lives. For me, this starts with a morning mind-set. Each day, I wake up and read a meditation on being a better Stoic. Though Stoicism is not required for anyone to follow, it works best for me. When I set my day for greatness at the start of my day, the outcomes of my actions are measurably more positive. We often simply move and wonder why outcomes wane. We must have vigor and enthusiasm for what we are called to do – no, this doesn’t mean having a smile on our faces 24/7 this simply means we feel centered and can perform optimally without allowing dramas to cause an emotional upheaval. The reason I love health and fitness is because this is the foundation of performance. If I eat sausage and chips all day, I will have difficulty setting my mindset due to a feeling of general lethargy. If I sleep less than 5 hours, I will likely miss a detail with work or provide little passion for what I’m doing. The best advice I can give, if you want to “be better” – change what you’re doing day-to-day. I tell my clients to see their health as an “experience” of learning the self. Be open to always understanding what helps you perform and feel better, regardless of what so-and-so on IG is doing. Your actions day-to-day ultimately defines what you will see day-to-day a year from now. Can you drink coffee on Tuesday morning and see the same boost of energy on Wednesday?
Lucy Ruiz | Event Manager & Educator
I would say, to sit down with yourself, be true to your feelings, create a realistic goal, plan for it, take a bath, spray your favorite perfume, and move only but forward, this always helps. Try it!
Ehimy Carrizo | Ketogenic Blogger & Recipe Developer
Never give up! It doesn’t matter how impossible it may seem, or how many people tell you it can’t no be done. You are capable of amazing things, and at the end of the day, this journey is YOUR. You have the power to overcome anything. So don’t stop working for your dreams.
Maya Vander | Luxury Realtor and cast member of Selling Sunset
Never give up – there is always a solution – you just have to find it! When I immigrated to the U.S. 16 years ago English was not my first language and living in LA was not easy. I had many challenges that seemed insurmountable at the time, and no matter how hard they were, I was determined to not give up and knew there was a always a solution to everything.
Luisa Delgado | fitness coach
Every challenge has its end, It doesn’t matter if it’s a good one or a bad one, it becomes an experience! That’s why second chances are the best❤️
LaLa | Founder of KnowLoveArt Female visual artist
Nothing easy is worth it, so make sure you constantly challenge yourself to attain the best goals. Got to believe in yourself when no one else will!
Brendaliz Pagan | Beauty Specialist & Hair Salon Owner
Life is a constant challenge but perseverance accompanied by fear is what drives us to overcome every obstacle we find ourselves on the path of life. When something gets very difficult and our positive attitude is no longer enough, take a deep breath, look carefully at the whole panorama, reflect, create new alternatives, and increase your attitude and continuing head on, fighting for the goal. There will never be a single way to get there and that is what makes us grow.
Zyana Trillz | Singer | Songwriter
The best advice I can give to someone who is facing a challenge they feel is insurmountable is to have faith and most importantly trust the process. The hardest thing about pursuing a goal or a dream is the inability to see the outcome but there is so much power in the unknown. Feed off the possibility of what could be, sometimes all you need is the power to believe wholeheartedly that everything will work. Your faith is the fuel that keeps the universe opening their doors for your process to fully flourish.
Katherine Flores Valdes | Nurse in training | skincare enthusiast & biological science graduate
Life is going to be full of challenges, but with self-confidence and belief in oneself, you can conquer whatever comes your way. I myself have faced multiple challenges throughout my life, but I honestly believe they have toughened me up and made me the person I am today. One of the hardest teachers in life are disappointments but they can also be the best kind. It is through difficult times when we see exactly what we’re made of and realize we can conquer more than what we think we are capable of.
Petra Madisa | Transformational Catalyst & Reiki Master
When a challenge feels insurmountable, we are most likely in an overwhelmed state and acting from a place of doubt, fear, or limiting beliefs about our own greatness. When operating from the mind, we can’t hear our inner guidance, our heart, our intuition.
In this state, it is time to get really really quiet and use mindfulness tools, such as meditation, journaling or reiki. Doing whatever it takes to drop into our wildly wicked amazing hearts.
When in our heart, it shines a bright light on what truly goes on around and inside of us. We start seeing fear for what it is; False Evidence Appearing Real…
From this loving and beautiful space, we can make conscious and courageous choices, understanding we aren’t meant to be perfect but creative.
I genuinely believe we can be a hot mess and still be widely successful in our gift that we bring into the world. We make up the rules!
Michelle’s Treasure Trove, Helping all Diva’s stay on Budget
Challenges are a part of life. Some are harder than others, But when we give in to the difficulties they will over come us. Just as we take life one day at a time, we should face challenges one piece at a time. By this I mean look at the big picture and then rip it apart. Prioritize it Place the big pieces at the top and work your way down. By the time you are half way through it doesn’t seem so huge anymore. Also Always remember that everyone face challenges, so whenever you can remember to lift up someone else, kind words and nice gestures can go a long way in
the life of another.