TRINNY WOODALL: 'The one piece of advice that helped me after my husband's death.'

The following in an edited excerpt from Trinny Woodall's new book, Fearless.

So much of my life has been about learning how to be fearless. This is how you find confidence and joy. 

I felt I had to write this book because I have met women who have been prevented from moving forward due to feelings of fear. I can recognise their fear because I have experienced it as well.

It can be the feeling of butterflies in your tummy, a fastness of breath, a tightness in your chest or feeling uncomfortable and anxious in your body. A sense of panic that you won’t be able to see clearly. We can become stuck. It’s a horrible state to live in. 

People have always seen me as someone who is full of energy, self-assured and therefore fearless. I have managed to achieve a few things, but that is not to say that I have felt fearless throughout. Many times I have had to face my fears. I have to stop, think and ask myself what I really want and how I can push myself to get there. There have been many hard decisions and I have had to feel the fear, push forward and do it anyway. Sometimes you need to make a decision and take a leap of faith. 

I have been through times in my life when I have had to let go of something that I didn’t fully want to – some relationships, for example – but I knew I couldn’t continue in the same situation. The unknown can be full of fear, but so can your current situation. If you are unhappy with where you are, sometimes you have to gather yourself, take that leap of faith and believe there will be a net to catch you. 

Perhaps I could have learnt some lessons earlier, avoiding some of the pain of my younger years. But would I be where I am today? Maybe not. Thinking too much about the past will keep you stuck there, but I know I learnt from those experiences and mistakes. There have been times in my life when I have had to hit rock bottom before I could face my fear and do what I needed to do. 


Fearlessness to me means having that faith in myself. It frees me up to knock on the next door without knowing for sure what’s behind it. We are all capable of more than we realise. Finding ways to embrace and amplify our self-belief brings us the clarity to know what we want and the confidence to get us there. And once we have it, we can keep moving forward.

I always want to feel like I am living in a moving current. Sometimes I am swimming against it and sometimes it’s carrying me along in the direction I want to go. That sense of movement, of going somewhere, gives me energy. 

In either of these instances, I need a lighthouse to guide me. I need the beams to give me self-motivation, otherwise I am swimming without an aim. 

Do you set New Year’s resolutions? I do reflect and set intentions in January, but I find September is a better time of year for me to stop and consider the big picture. If you grew up in the northern hemisphere you might still get that September back-to-school feeling, hard-wired from the new academic year beginning at the end of the summer. Also, when Susannah and I were making our television shows, it was always in September that we would find out if we were going to be recommissioned for another series. The narrative around January resolutions can focus on your personal motivational improvements, whereas in September it feels easier to ask ‘what do I want to do next?’ – which is a far healthier and more productive question for that time of year. 


It doesn’t matter what time of year works for your internal rhythm as long as you do find time to pause and think about the next stage of your journey and ask if all the elements of your life are still working for the person you are now. 

It’s not just an annual thing. Do you take time to regularly check in, to set intentions and think about your goals? I’m not just talking about the big milestones, like a step up in your career or moving house. Are you spending enough time with your friends? Are you nurturing your body with the right food, enough sleep and exercise? If you really want to start something new but you keep putting it off, why is that?  

‘99 per cent of everything you worry about never happens, Trinny.’ 

Image: Instagram/@trinnywoodall


This is something my husband Johnny used to say to me. And I would say it to [my daughter] Lyla: ‘Remember what Dadda says – 99 per cent of everything you worry about never happens.’

Of course, the one per cent did happen to us. We lost Johnny. But I still say it to myself because it’s true. There’s an expression I heard once that worrying is like paying interest on a debt you don’t owe. It is a needless expenditure of energy on things that aren’t worth it because they are unlikely to happen. And when they do, well, that is out of our control. 

I had to deal with the terrible fallout of Johnny’s death and Lyla has had to grow up without her dad. But we are still here; we are still standing and she is thriving.

Resilience is an interesting word. An old-fashioned understanding of it is to keep going regardless, without stopping to acknowledge or talk about what has hurt you. But it is as unhelpful to ignore your emotions as it is to absorb negativity, letting every worry and setback get to you. 

I think resilience is linked to tenacity. It’s about building confidence and self-belief so you can keep moving forward on a motivated journey to wherever it is you want to go. Bad things will happen, and you will stay strong and keep going. Ninety-nine per cent of the things you worry about won’t happen. But the fear will sap your energy and keep you stuck. For me, the sense of freedom that comes from conquering fear is one of the best feelings there is.


This is an edited extract from 'Fearless' by Trinny Woodall, $49.99 (Harper Collins). 

Are you a mum to be or have a little one aged 6 months or under? Take our survey for your chance to win one of four $50 gift vouchers!