Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway. — John Wayne

Courage is easy when everything is in alignment, when you are on your A-game, or when you are just “feeling it”. Courage is difficult when you are down, out, and beaten by your circumstances.

It is in our darkest moments that we have opportunities to make serious progress as individuals. When it is hardest to be our best selves, when we feel discouraged, wronged, angry, or just down in general, we are on the frontlines of progress.

It is in these moments that we have the greatest opportunity for growth. Muscle does not grow as a result of your first 8 reps, it chooses to grow once it has passed the threshold of its ability to do even one more rep and you push through it anyway.

I believe our minds are no different. Sure the muscle will grow if you don’t work out until failure every time, but you will log many more hours in the gym before you see the same results you could get in much less time. All by pushing yourself to the point at which your muscle literally shuts down.

The psychological equivalent would be choosing to “saddle up” even when you are scared to death. When it hurts the most, when you are at what feels like your lowest, when courage seems its never been more difficult, that is when we need it most.

That is when choosing to say what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done will bring light into the darkest moments of our lives.

Much easier said than done, I know, but nothing worthwhile has ever been easy. It is when we face adversity head-on and rise above by being our best selves that we truly conquer fear and replace it with love.