Developing Mental Toughness for Life - Ivana Chapman

Developing Mental Toughness for Life

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tough woman looking concerned

Life can be tough. You can build your strength to cope.

Some people think that mental toughness is something that certain people are born with. Others think that it takes extremely adverse life circumstances to develop true mental toughness. In reality, developing mental toughness is achievable by everyone, as long as they’re willing to push their boundaries and step outside their comfort zone.


I find it interesting that people often negate the issues they have by calling them “First World Problems”.  No, you’re probably not worried about where your next meal is coming from or whether your drinking water is sanitary, but the struggles you face in your life are real in the only world that you know. What’s important is how you deal with the problems in your life and how you perceive them. Approach each obstacle in your life as a challenge and be proud of how you handle it.


Many people think of the marathon, and other endurance events, as the ultimate measure of mental toughness. Whether that’s true or not, marathons involve a degree of physical pain that needs to be overcome during the 42.2KM. Those runners who are able to bear the pain (whether it’s burning muscles, an injury, or just the lungs starving of air) are the ones who make it to the finish line. Everyone suffers pain, but it’s those who are mentally tough that are able to achieve greatness where others give up.


If you feel that your life is getting comfortable and you’re a bit bored, step outside your comfort zone and do something that scares you a little. Enter a fitness competition or mud run, climb the CN Tower, run a 10K, or join a public speaking club. As you work towards your goal you’ll learn more about yourself and feel more able to handle day-to-day challenges.

With each new achievement you’ll feel stronger and more confident. If you keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone you’ll develop the mental toughness that it takes to succeed in life.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 6-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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