LaRae Quy is a powerful speaker who uses her FBI stories to illustrate how to develop the mental toughness to break through self-limiting barriers and overcome obstacles. As a former FBI counterintelligence and undercover agent, she will show you that mental toughness is not something you’re born with; it is a quality you can develop with experience.

LaRae speaks on topics such as:

➤ Flexible and Agile Thinking Is Essential In Challenging Times

TakeAway: In her first undercover operation, things did not go according to plan. She needed to be flexible in her thinking so she could pivot quickly and get out of her situation unharmed.

We can plod along with our same old goals, but when faced with an obstacle, the path ahead doesn’t always look like it once did. The sooner we pivot and move in another direction, the more likely we’ll land on our feet when confronted with the unknown.

  • When we’re no longer able to change our situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
  • A strong mind is rooted in results and an “I can” philosophy.
  • Stubbornness is rooted in ego and an “I’m right” philosophy

➤ Learn How To Hunt The Good Stuff

Takeaway: As part of a training exercise at the FBI Academy, LaRae needed to jump into a pool of water with an M16 and swim to the other side with the weapon. She had two problems: she couldn’t swim and she was afraid of heights.

Our mindset determines how we look at our obstacles. Everyone has crap show up in their life. It’s the human condition. But it’s our choice to either wimp out and blame others, or take the bull by the horn and forge our way through. A strong mind has a positive mindset, challenges and obstacles that show up every day in some form or another.

  • Pause for several seconds and look at one negative emotion, event or thought at a time.
  • Acknowledge the situation for what it really is, not what you want it to be.
  • Find 5 positive things to counter each negative emotion, event, or thought. Maintain a 5:1 ratio whenever a negative emotion pops up.

➤ Grit Under Pressure

Takeaway: LaRae shares her first arrest experience where determination and grit were essential when an unexpected obstacle reared its ugly head.

If something is important to us, we’ll have the grit to follow through on what we’ve started. To have grit, we must believe in what we’re doing. Otherwise, we’ll give up when the going gets rough. Science is actually proving that grit is a far more reliable predictor of success than intelligence. If you have grit, you’re brave and strong enough to do what it takes to succeed in business and life. It’s a powerful force that allows you to stand out from the crowd even though your skills may not be exceptional.

  • Grit requires us to connect with our higher purpose.
  • Passion asks what can the world give to you? Purpose asks what can you do for the world? In other words, our values. What is truly important to us?
  • When we connect to our values when we’re in an unpredictable situation or in challenging times, it does two things:

Values give us a reason to keep going.
Values give us a direction to keep going.

➤ Why You Need Resilience When Life Sucks

Takeaway: LaRae talks about the most important failure in her life, the one that shaped the way she thinks about obstacles.

Resilience is the process of how we adapt in the face of adversity, trauma, and stress. So it’s not only how we move through hardship; it’s also why we come out stronger, wiser, and ultimately a better person.

  • We can either meet our adversity like a champion or whine like a wimp.
  • Trauma, adversity, and challenges by themselves don’t strengthen us. Resilience is more than the ability to suck up all kinds of punches in life.
  • It’s what we learn from those experiences.

LaRae Quy is an engaging speaker who draws from her experiences as an FBI agent for twenty-four years. Her stories and examples help her audience understand how they can be mentally tough and create a resilient mindset, something everyone needs right now.

Samantha Parish

Principle, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP