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Penny Mallory | Mental Toughness

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Liz and Michelle are joined by TedX speaker, mentor, coach and mental toughness advocate Penny Mallory. After a difficult start in life, Penny has defeated the odds and embraces anything considered tough; from cold therapy to marathons!

This episode is an honest, inspiring and sometimes controversial conversation about mental toughness including what it actually is, what happens when we don’t have enough of it and what we all can do to build more resilience into our lives and thrive.


  • Mental toughness is your ability to manage stress, pressure and challenges. Things present in everyday life!
  • What you can deal with and manage varies throughout our lives and even day to day.
  • At times, people just need to accept their reality and work hard. Life isn’t always easy.
  • Empathy and self-awareness are essential components of mental toughness.
  • Age brings wisdom, you see situations differently as you age, and this impacts your resilience to situations.
  • Uncertainty creates stress and the entire world has just gone through one of the biggest uncertainties and stressful situations: the pandemic.
  • The children of the pandemic will be struggling with resilience, especially going into work environments but Penny is a realist and believes they need to help themselves and begin to build mental toughness.
  • The way we learn mental toughness is by going through tough experiences, if we miss out on these or actively avoid them then we are doing ourselves a disservice.
  • Support isn’t always helpful, you have to learn to build your own strategies to help yourself deal with and manage situations, too much support hinders this development.
  • Dealing with a dysfunctional childhood and leaving home at just 14 meant that Penny had to become independent and teach herself almost everything. Although she didn’t realise it at the time, she was building her mental toughness which has put her on the trajectory for everything she has achieved since.
  • Penny believes if this country is going to thrive then we need to learn mental toughness and learn to move forward.
  • There are many chapters in women’s mid-life where mental toughness is a huge asset and benefit, from menopause to the major changes when children leave home.
  • It may feel like a boring answer but eating well and exercising are really the two things that can improve your life at any stage.
  • Practising tolerating discomfort regularly, such as a cold shower, will build discipline and resilience which will translate to other areas in your life.
  • Drive trumps talent. Skill isn’t as important as many people think, the person who wants something the most and works for it will always win.



“That element of hard work, seems to not be the way now”

“You don’t have to start with a level of mental toughness, everything can be developed”

“If you are able to take things in your stride life will be more relaxed, enjoyable and successful”

“Sometimes too much support isn’t helpful because you don’t build your own strategies to cope”

“I’ve always had a survival instinct and crazy big dreams”

“You don’t have to be the smartest, you don’t have to be the cleverest, you just have to want it and desire it and see it and bring it”

“A group of people is not a team, a team is a group of people who have the same aim, the values, the same commitment, the same confidence”



Liz Copping is a networking pro & event consultant, leaping out of her comfort zone to co-host this podcast. Insta @lizcoppingtwc
Michelle Ford is a professional voice actor and empty nester pressing reset, enjoying a new career in podcasting! Insta @michellefordtwc


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