Ep.122 | Michele Cushatt | Finding Peace When All You Feel Is Pressure

On a scale from 1 to 10, how much peace do you have in your life and career right now? 

(10 = total peace, 1 = minimal, if any)

I’m asking because I look at the conversations and headlines around social media these days and I’m seeing a LACK of peace.

Even in the conversations I’m having with people around me…pressure seems to be mounting…

At home…

In the career…

With finances…

And all the news around a possible recession and the continued political division isn’t helping.

So how do you find peace when all you feel is pressure?

I lean in to that question on today’s episode of the Coming Up Clutch with J.R.™ show. I sit down with Michele Cushatt – 3-time head and neck cancer survivor, 4-time author, and one of the best communicators and leaders I know.

If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about navigating seasons where peace isn’t present, it’s Michele. 

But here’s what else Michele knows – how to stay relentless when the fire around you keeps getting worse.

Michele and I get real about the challenges of life that we all face.

In this latest episode, Michele and I talk about…

  • How to overcome insurmountable challenges (and God doesn’t seem to be around to help)
  • What to do when you feel broken and don’t know what to do
  • How to handle moments or seasons that lack peace

…and so much more.

If you want more peace in your life and career, then lock in to today’s episode.

[00:01 – 17:08] Introducing Michele to the show

  • Michele’s most embarrassing moment
  • Michele’s background, story and professional journey

[17:09 – 34:50] How to overcome challenges that feel insurmountable and God doesn’t seem to be there to help

  • You can deal with anything as long as you know you’re not alone (will unpack below)
  • Feeling alone is scarier than your challenges alone
  • Pain at any level is a very loud voice that captures our focus and attention and ends up sabotaging our perspective
  • How to bridge the gap between experiencing pain from your challenge and having faith that God will come through for you
    • We need two elements:
      • Presence – we need to know we’re not alone
        • Must wrestle with reality that, “Do I believe God is real, good, and that I can trust Him?” (Deuteronomy 31:8 – never will I leave you, never will I forsake you)
        • Must have presence of others – can’t do it alone, especially when we’re beyond our own determination
      • Purpose – need to believe that our struggle will not be wasted …that we’ll be able to squeeze meaning and purpose out of it and leverage/repurpose it for something greater than the actual pain itself 
        • Part of our growth “EDGE” (and competitive edge) and developing resilience is to learn and understand that this pain could produce results that couldn’t be gained any other way (analogies: workouts – can’t get results any other way but through pain)
        • Have to make a DECISION: Am I going to be defined and derailed by this challenge? Or developed by it?
  • The mistake people make in their relationships when going through the challenges of life…
    • They don’t think they can show up because they feel there’s something broken about us, so they hold back, refuse vulnerability, and stay superficial
    • We have to decide if we’re going to show up with all of ourselves and our flaws, and take the risk to show up as our flawed self knowing that people connect more with imperfect people than perfect presentations.

[34:51 – 39:55] What to do when you feel broken and don’t know what to do

  • First step: admit you need help. You can’t do it alone and don’t have all the answers. You take this step SPIRITUALLY and PRACTICALLY
    • Spiritually
      • Go to God – “God, I can’t do this without your divine intervention and help.” 
      • This takes humility. Pride is a terrible companion.
    • Practically
      • Go to others – “I need help, and don’t know where to begin.” This includes Therapists/Counselors AND Accountability Partners (not YES people!)
  • Second step: Continue being a student – You have to own your own growth. It’s no one else’s fault or responsibility that you are where you are.

[39:56 – 46:45] What the best do when it comes to living and performing optimally

  • How to handle moments or seasons that lack peace
    • The secret to peace is finding eyes to see.
    • Peace requires: 
      • A foundational pillar that’s bigger and stronger than whatever sits on it – GOD
        • Problem: we try to be the anchor ourselves. A boat anchored to itself is not anchored at all.
        • We need an anchor stronger and bigger that’s outside of us to be more secure and have more peace
      • INTERNAL SENSE OF GROUNDEDNESS (not an external ability control)
        • Identity also related here: Must know “Who are we?” “Who do we attach ourselves to as our foundation?”

[46:46 – 51:06] Wrapping Up

  • Michele’s BIG domino
  • How to connect with Michele


“We must believe that our struggle won’t be wasted.” – Michele Cushatt 

“During a challenge, you have two choices: Be defined or derailed by it, or be developed by it.” – Michele Cushatt

“People don’t connect with perfect performances. They connect with real people.” – Michele Cushatt

“Pride is a terrible companion.” – Michele Cushatt

“You have to own your own growth. It’s no one else’s fault or responsibility that you are where you are.” – Michele Cushatt

“The secret to peace is finding eyes to see.” – Michele Cushatt

“Peace comes from an internal sense of groundedness, not an external ability to control.” – Michele Cushatt

“The moment you think you’ve arrived is actually the moment you’re lost.” – Michele Cushatt



RATE & REVIEW this episode on Apple:

SHARE this episode with someone who wants to be challenged, pushed, and positioned to come up clutch more often.

SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss out on any new episodes and Special Guests!

LISTEN to previous episodes on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google or whatever podcast platform you prefer!


Scroll to Top