When people meet me, they expect me to have the kind of bravado that is portrayed by FBI agents on TV and in movies-confident with no signs of weakness or vulnerability. Nothing could be further from the truth!

It’s true that the most successful agents I worked alongside were brave, but it wasn’t the bluster that shoves people out of their way or abuses power. Nor was it the detachment that keeps emotions on a tight leash.

The best leaders are those who have the courage to be themselves. They have the courage to be transparent and vulnerable. To many…

2020 was about staying alive. Everything else was fluff.

This summed up an email I received from one of my readers. She still has her job but it feels like hell because so many of her friends lost their job. She’s healthy but that feels like crap, too, because she’s lost two family members to COVID.

On the plus side, no one has broken her heart because she’s no longer looking for love. She’s saving money because there’s no reason to buy anything except food and other essentials. …

One of the first things my firearms instructor at the FBI Academy told me that the best shooters are those who can stomp out the noise-both external and internal distractions-so they can focus on the scene in front of them. All I needed to do was relax, breathe, and focus.

I thought that was a rather milquetoast response. I wanted specific, detailed instructions on how to get a perfect score!

I immediately engaged in a continuous internal dialogue about the instructor’s wimpy advice as I felt the stress to qualify in firearms. From the 60 yard line, I shot 12…

My grandmother was a tough old bird. She lived in a time and place where she needed to be resilient if she expected to survive tough winters on a Wyoming cattle ranch. If I moped around while doing chores she would yell, “Get the lead out of your ass and start moving!”

She learned at an early age to value her skills and talents because she knew she’d need them again. Most likely in the near future. Taking personal responsibility for her contributions was not boasting. Instead, it was learning how to survive and be resilient.

Resilience is a component…

image by Istock

There’s a lot of crap going on in the world and it’s tempting to throw tantrums and dissolve into a puddle of self-pity. It feels like the right thing to do because other people need to know how unfair life is, right? Like when we were in second grade and cried until we were red in the face because it got people’s attention, right?

Only you’re not in second grade anymore and it’s highly debatable whether your tantrums ever worked on anyone except your parents, and they’re the ones who trained you to use tantrums to get their attention in…

IStock photo

It’s hard to make sense of the world right now; we’re in the middle of a pandemic, racial strife, and a political divide in America that looks more like Dante’s version of hell every day.

We’re bombarded with social media, camera phones, and a 24/7 news cycle. We’ve relied on our “feel-good at all cost” philosophy for so long that we no longer even know how to process the negative events that we’ve experienced in a helpful way.

Current events have left us humbled and uprooted from our routine. Nothing seems certain anymore. As the great philosopher Socrates would say…

It’s no secret that we’re faced with a growing mental health crisis right now and many of us are experiencing incredible amounts of pain and suffering.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll reported that nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health. It’s predicted that “deaths of despair”, mostly through suicide and substance use, will add to increased mortality and reduced life expectancy of Americans during, and after, the COVID pandemic.

It should be no surprise that sales of self-help books, articles, and apps for our mobile devices have skyrocketed. …

As a female FBI agent, there weren’t always a lot of women in my office or in the building, for that matter. The closest thing to a mentor I had was my male training agent, who viewed me as more of a burden than an opportunity.

But it had been to my advantage to be raised on a cattle ranch in the middle of Wyoming. It was a tough environment-fast food was hitting a deer at 60 miles an hour. My grandmother wrote down ammo for her Christmas list. …

FBI agents who investigate knotty and complex cases-such as terrorism, cybercrime, and counterintelligence-need to develop a strong mind if they want to be successful.

Investigations like these don’t show up on an agent’s desk with directions on how to solve them. Instead, the investigation usually takes on more of a Hansel and Gretel approach-follow a string of crumbs that may, or may not, lead to another puny string of crumbs with lots of gaps from bird pickings along the way.

This sounds a bit like life itself-as the world has become more complex it’s become harder and harder to be…

Many of us know exactly what to do with the news reported in 2020 and we’re busy lining our bird cages with it so nature can take its course. We are slowly emerging from the Trump-Woke Progressives-Twitter trifecta that’s left us feeling depressed, anxious, and lonely.

Something is amiss these days, something primal and at the heart of being human. People are social animals-we’ve evolved to live in tribes and rely upon one another, both physically and emotionally as well.

The COVID pandemic brought health manuals the size of a Buick, sheltering-in-place restrictions, and prolonged periods of isolation. We’ve known…

LaRae Quy

Former counterintelligence FBI agent | Mental Toughness Center | Consultant | Speaker | Author: Secrets of A Strong Mind, & Mental Toughness for Women Leaders

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