Real life is stranger than fiction

They say that real life is stranger than fiction! Most of us experience lots of unexpected twists and turns which can make us feel life is full of uncertainty. Each day, week, month, year – we wake up and say what will today and life bring me next – now? There are few things in this life that are certain, we live in an uncertain world in so many many ways.


Now, there are some positives about this uncertain world of ours, sometimes some unexpected fabulous and welcome things come our way – it’s not all unwanted or bad. Or it may not be all that it first looks or feels – what appears to be a wrong turn, something that looks or feels bad may turn out to be one of the best things that could have happened, averted disaster or welcomed a new opportunity. “Is it bad or good – who can say?” (ancient parable of the farmer).

This narrative or stories that we often tell ourselves directs and dictates the way we perceive what’s happening, that something is good or bad, we frame events and experiences in such a way. As we turn the pages of the latest bestseller that we are reading we expect to be engaged, riveted to know what happens next?! How will the plot unfold? When will something happen? We are curious, interested and content to see how it plays out.

Ok, this is a fictional book we are talking about here, but as the writer and editor of our own lives, what choices do we have on the tone we set for the next page and the next chapter? As our own editor and writer, how can we choose how the main character responds to the plot of life or actually creates on many occasions a new plot? 

What’s getting us stuck, not able to move forward and turn the page? 

In so many ways the only thing we can say about the future is that it will be different – or will it? If we don’t do something differently, or think/feel in a different way, from a new perspective – then maybe there will be no change. Good or bad, who can say!

So how can we embrace uncertainty, change and not start to catastrophise or be frozen into immobility – because when in doubt do nothing, maybe?!

Acceptance or resistance 

What would happen if we could embrace what’s happening and get curious about what can be next?

  • What ‘can’ I do rather than what I should or shouldn’t do – where are the possibilities of reframing how we view or take action on what is unfolding ahead of us, whether that be events, feelings or emotions?
  • Reassurance and comfort – where or who can give us that support or be our cheerleader, supply that kind word? Possibly a friend, the mentor, the coach – so that we know we are not alone?
  • Tapping into our ‘personal power’ – finding the confidence, positive mindset, sense of self-worth to know that things can change, could be different.
    Rather than, I can be happy when…'I’m successful, retired, have more money…' Rather than waiting for something to happen, for someone else to make your happiness or success possible? Take a moment – visualise feeling happy, content, less anxious, taking action, making decisions. What does that look like, feel like?

What’s really going on here in the present, right now?

Rather than creating a narrative in our heads resulting in another feeling of déjà vu or self-fulfilling prophecies, building into feelings of anxiety, procrastination, imposter syndrome, lack of self-worth and… well, fear. Take some time for honest reflection - being kind, realistic as well as challenging yourself.

  • What’s making this feel important? How can you discover the real reason why this feels as it does?
  • Perspective and self-talk – there can be one situation but multiple ways we can respond to it, feel about it or deal with it. A bit like an email where the same email can be sent to and read by 10 different people and be interpreted in 10 (or more!) individual different ways! What can help us separate the words from our emotions? Take a step back, press the pause button to enable us to take a hold on those emotions. Take a breath. Diffusing that connection between the words we read, the situation or event that is happening and unfolding with the emotions they trigger and evoke – to prevent us getting caught up in the negative spiral.
  • The ‘What Ifs”. When we end the ‘what ifs’ with a negative it rarely feels good or useful. How about trying out a positive ‘what if’? ‘What if this first visit to the gym or class goes really well?’ – ‘What if I enjoy learning this new skill, doing something new?’... 

Where to start

We can be the editor of our own book and life, make edits and changes on how we feel and what actions we take going forward. With a little practice, building resilience and learning new ways there can be a different relationship with uncertainty.

There will be stormy and sunny days. For example, how you’re feeling about that presentation or speech you prepared for today is just how you're feeling about it at that moment; one burnt dinner doesn’t make you a bad cook! One race run below your personal best doesn’t mean your whole training regime and plan has gone wrong!  

The opportunity for us all facing uncertainty, is to remain open, resist judging, stay curious, not to let the world go by but live your life now - to accept that good/bad thing is just that at that moment. It depends on your perspective and how you’re feeling on that day at that particular moment.

Coaching can support dealing with uncertainty, mastering reframing to find another perspective, be that successful writer and editor of your own life. All you need is a little curiosity, a desire to make changes, look after yourself - real life not fiction. 

Are you curious to explore and discover more, I would really like to hear from you. In the meantime, thank you for reading.

'Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems afar.'

- Edgar Guest

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17
Written by Clare Snape, Life and Career Coach - Gain clarity for your future path
Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17

Personal and business coaching with warmth and humour, to provoke thinking, reflect, plan, feel supported and heard. Coaching for reframing to counteract uncertainty in changing times. To make positive changes with career, retirement, wellbeing, confidence, stop procrastination, reduce anxiety - take action and achieve your goals.

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