True courage is the willingness to feel every emotion. Consider this emotional courage — the only true courage. I misunderstood this for a long time. 

Courage isn’t the absence of emotion, as I was taught as a little boy, a Marine, and an adult man.

The absence of emotion, or refusing to feel emotion, is pure hell and isolation. This is fear of feeling, not courage.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling powerful. Optimism flooded my body and mind, and my whole life was going to positively change in an instant according to my body and mind. This morning I woke up feeling a sense of dread. Catastrophe is imminent according to my body and mind.

I am neither of those states.

They are both temporary and likely untrue. If I truly want to stay stuck, I could allow those emotions to blindly run my life.

In order to truly grow and achieve I’ve needed to learn how to feel emotions, but also to ignore them as well. Being a victim of emotion, a slave to feelings, keeps us in the same pattern and in the same loop.

Feel the feeling, certainly, then move forward into and through the feeling anyway.

Do you allow emotions? Do you feel emotions willingly? Can you name the emotions you feel? 

That is courage.

But most importantly, can you feel all emotions and move forward into the direction of your dreams regardless of what you feel? 

That, my friends, is real growth.