At Pushpay, we had a phrase that went like this: “Confront the brutal facts, whatever they may be.” And, candidly, we really tried to do that most days, even if we were mocking ourselves all the way there.
But here’s the thing about confronting brutal facts: It can be painful. That’s the brutal part. It’s hard sometimes to admit we did something the wrong way, didn’t think a process through completely, or set someone up for failure by keeping him in a role he’s not suited for. It’s hard to start over on something we should have been done with. Sometimes confronting brutal facts can be embarrassing.
The important thing, though, is to acknowledge the fact, even if it hurts. Even if we cringe. Even if it means making a really difficult corrective decision. It sucks. But it’s also a peel-the-bandaid off approach some of us have come to appreciate over time because it means we can get to a better place faster…or at least out of a bad place faster (if nothing else).
Unspoken truth can hurt more
See, sitting in uncomfortable truths nobody will acknowledge is actually the worst. And everyone knows it.
As some of you know, I recently moved on to a new organization, and that was the result of confronting the brutal facts in my own life. I knew I wasn’t happy anymore in a role I used to love, but I didn’t know all of the reasons why.
As I started to dig a bit, I knew it was more than the surface issues I was struggling with. I knew deep down inside I wasn’t in the right role anymore. I wasn’t even in the right company anymore. And that was a brutal fact I really didn’t want to face, because I loved working for Pushpay.
But companies have seasons just like our lives have seasons, and I know now that I am a startup marketer. There’s a point where I need to go away and do something new again. And there’s a point where someone else needs to pick up where I left off and work their own magic, which isn’t the same as mine. I think I always knew that, but I really know it now. I like stepping into chaos, creating order, and building from scratch. That’s my jam. That’s what I love. And I needed to go and do that again. I would have been hurting both myself and Pushpay to not acknowledge that brutal fact.
Truth forces us to choose a path
And now that I’m doing my thing again, I feel alive. I have new puzzles to figure out, and even though I stepped into a company that’s been around many, many years, I’m building my function from the ground up, and it’s a great, big, glorious mess I can’t wait to roll up my scrappy sleeves and tackle in strategic and creative ways.
Change is scary. I was terrified to make the jump, and even a week in, I wasn’t sure I made the right decision. And then I remembered, this is what I wanted. This is where I shine. I just needed to get acclimated (if you’ve ever jumped into cold water, you know what I mean).
All that to say, don’t be afraid of change. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re in the wrong spot. Granted, sometimes we don’t have a choice and sometimes we need to fight through tough situations for the lessons we’ll learn and the ways we’ll grow, but be careful your “can’t” isn’t actually a “won’t” drenched in fear. There’s no shame in re-examining your strengths and finding a way to spend your time doing the things you love.
Any brutal facts you need to confront? I’ve got plenty. They’re piled up waiting for proper time and attention. Little by little. Step by step.