I’m Tired of Being Scared

This entry is part 16 of 22 in the series: Inspired Intelligence with Michele Rigby Assad

Have you ever said that to yourself?  Admitted that you were exhausted by your own combative thoughts that have consistently held you back?

Felt worn down by your need to think through all of the possibilities before you act?  Enough is enough.  You have to stop being your own worst enemy, and do the things that your heart, your imagination, and your true self are screaming out to do.

It’s time to stop all that negativity.

Put your normal cautiousness aside, and give yourself a chance—finally—to truly live.

Here’s what I know:

  • When we stop pushing the boundaries of what we are capable of, we stop living.
  • Our purpose is in our DNA, and if we are not on track—our DNA will tell us so.  Expressions of discontent, unhappiness, and an unsteady spirit (the deepest part of who we are) will keep bubbling out of our consciousness and give us a continual kick-in-the-butt until we move ourselves in the right direction.
  • God rarely calls people to sit in a cave and meditate on their own.  Usually, he moves us to do things that are uncomfortable.  People never change the world as they lay on couches and are fed grapes by attendants—it comes through sacrifice and struggle.
  • Growth hurts, but it’s always worth it.

I am one of those people who have to be pushed into every new thing.  I don’t blame anyone else—I am the one who holds myself back.  Thankfully, I have been surrounded by people who understand this and know I am my own worst enemy:  my mother, my spouse, my best friends, and my family …  They have done beautiful things for me by pushing me into my zone of discomfort.  What emerges always surprises me:  incredible experiences that I would have otherwise not known.

My Mom said, “You should run for Student Government President.”

I said, “No way, only boys run for President, so I’ll run for Secretary.”

My Mom, “If you don’t run because you think you’ll fail, then you’re really a failure.

I was so mad.  I ran just to spite her.

I won.

My friend Stacy said, “You should apply for the CIA.”

I said, “You’ve got to be kidding.  I’m no 007.  You’re insane.”

She said, “Are you kidding?  You’re absolutely what they are looking for!”

Me:  “Oh my gosh, I’m terrified.  This may be the most intimidating job prospect ever.”

Ten years later, while serving in the CIA, I realized I was an amazing intelligence officer.

My husband said, “You should take the motorcycle class, get your license, and ride your own bike!”

Me:  “Really????  Wow.  I don’t know.  I’m pretty intimidated.  I’ve never done that before.  I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of a bunch of strangers.”

Him:  “I know you and you’re going to be awesome.”  Me:  “Gosh, I don’t know.”

Me (after taking said motorcycle class and learning to ride), “This is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done!”

Are you the one questioning yourself?  Or are you the one that needs to give your loved one a serious nudge forward?  Do it now!  You owe it to yourself/your loved one.

Next stop for me:  Learn to play the drums and learn how to speak basic French.  (Oh, and get that book deal.)

What are YOU going to do?

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All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the CIA or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or Agency endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

Photo: ©Michele Rigby Assad


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Michele Rigby Assad

After obtaining a masters degree in Arab Studies at Georgetown University, Michele applied—along with hundreds of others from the university--to work for the CIA. After a long and grueling hiring process and a year of intensive training, she became an intelligence officer for the National Clandestine Service, the covert (operational) arm of the Agency. Serving for a decade as a counterterrorism officer, Michele worked in all of the awful places you hope you’ll never visit, including Iraq during the height of the war. To date, Michele has traveled to 45 countries, lived in six of those, and has a lot of crazy stories to tell about life overseas. While working for the CIA, Michele initially decried the traits that made her different from senior male officers, but later realized that these traits were what made her a great intelligence officer (empathy, intuition, strong interpersonal skills). Now she’s on a mission to show women that they have the elements to be a Femme Fatale—the incredibly intelligent and operationally astute woman that gets stuff done. After years of service to her country, Michele has left the undercover life behind and now works as an international management consultant focused on Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She has a more “normal” life now and a lot more time to do the things she loves: writing, cooking, traveling for pleasure, walking on the beach—and most of all, inspiring others!

2 thoughts on “I’m Tired of Being Scared

  1. readyForChange Reply

    I’m tired of banging my head against a wall and going in circles. I want to finally have success in life

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