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    Motivational tips for cultivating courage

    on May 21, 2021

    WHILST the global pandemic is still unresolved, many of us have either settled back into old routines or adjusted to new daily routines around work, life and family.

    Routines are useful but there is always room for improvement and finding the courage to try something new.

    Elite ultra runner and CurraNZ ambassador Andrew Heyden is a motivational speaker and thought leader.

    Here he shares some thoughts on finding the moral or physical courage to setting new goals and making positive changes.


    Courage – we all have it, let's put it to use!

    Courage can take various forms, it can be physical or moral.

    For most of us, it's about getting out of our comfort zone, but it doesn’t have to be as epic as climbing Mt Everest.

    It can be about facing your fears, following your heart or even facing difficulty with dignity.

    The scenarios will be different for all of us, but we can all strive to find to courage we need. 

    Often our fears are rational, sometimes they aren't

    I had a healthy fear of heights but managed to complete the world’s highest bungy jump in South Africa some years ago. My fear was rational but in reality the bungy jump was very safe and I looked back on it with great pride afterwards. Had I not seized the moment I would never have had the chance again.

    We all need courage, often it may be just asking for help or making a stand against someone who we felt did the wrong thing.

    We can all look for ways to get out of our comfort zone - and help our kids to do the same.

    It helps if you are doing it for the right reasons and from the heart. More often than not we look back on the experience positively.

    Facing difficulty with dignity is tough and takes a lot of courage. One of the hardest things I have done is deliver the eulogy at my father’s funeral. I was overcome with emotion and daunted about speaking and not doing a good job. But I reminded myself I wanted him to be proud, it didn’t have to be perfect and the important thing was to give him a good send off. I managed to get on top of my nerves and emotions and even added a joke to the speech. My brother and I delivered it together and is a moment I am still very proud of. 

    Often the hardest part is taking the initiative and making a start

    I still recall being daunted about starting training for my first marathon in 1995, wondering how on earth I would ever be able to run over 26 miles.

    Now, I have now completed over 60.

    The first took a leap of faith to believe it was possible, helped of course by planning, consistency and perseverance. (I wish CurraNZ had been around then, because my legs were in a terrible state for a week!)


    Find the courage to set yourself some positive goals

    The path to being more courageous starts with two actions:   
    • Start as small as you need. No goal is too small if it builds confidence, motivates you or makes you happier, then you're on the right path.
    • Lock it in and see where it takes you. Whether making a positive change to your diet, arranging a walk with a friend or entering your first race, take the initiative - and prioritise it.

    In conclusion, remember courageous and worthy actions begin with: 

    • Facing your fears
    • Following your heart
    • Getting out of your comfort zone
    • Facing difficulty with dignity
    • Doing the right thing rather than the easiest thing