When In Doubt, Just Tell The Truth


Today I want to talk about the truth. 

And I want to keep it short (okay, not "short," per se, but shorter) because I finally have some details about the #BetterBrandingCourse which opens for enrollment starting next Monday, 5/18.

But yes, for a moment, let's talk about the truth because it seems to be following me around lately. 

I love it and I hate it when that happens - when some insight or life lesson seems to be popping up on your radar at every turn. I love it because it makes nailing down a topic for these newsletters so easy. I hate it because it usually means there’s some serious heart-work that needs to be done on my part, and today's topic is no exception.

Our saga begins last Wednesday when Jason and I were on one of our afternoon hikes. I'd been working on the course all week, on top of two client projects that are wrapping up, and my whole week seemed to be behind the eight ball. A combination of unforeseen circumstances (an emergency room trip for a friend) and a to-do list that kept growing, not shrinking, left me feeling like I couldn't work on the course for more than a stretch of an hour or so. 

As I was relaying all of these feelings to Jason, we had to stop mid-hike as I started getting closer and closer to that panicky, teary-eyed, the world-is-closing-in-on-me moments. (Yes, I still have those. When we do work that we truly care about, I think it's bound to happen.) 

I had a Brand Coaching call scheduled for Thursday and I was just feeling like the preparation and investment was taking more of a mental and creative toll than I had originally thought. 

"I think I need to reschedule my call tomorrow," I said to Jason, my face full of guilt. 

I hate canceling. I hate inconveniencing others, feeling like I'm letting someone down - especially when I'm so invested in my clients' progress. 

But I also knew that if I didn’t give myself one full week to focus solely on wrapping up this course, I wouldn’t be able to put out the product that I’m 100% proud of (and that's just not an option for me) AND I wouldn't be able to give my all to my client. 

Jason could see the internal struggle in my eyes. But how could I make it okay? How could I reschedule without feeling like a complete flake? 

Jason looked at me and simply suggested, “How about you just tell her the truth.”

Just tell the truth, I said back to myself. It seemed so obvious I almost laughed. 

The moment we got home, I wrote an email detailing the reason for rescheduling our call. No excuses, no stretches of the imagination, just the truth. I was overwhelmed and I needed time and space to devote the energy and attention she deserved. 

Not a half hour later did I get an email back with more than the understanding I was hoping for. The most beautiful thing about creating a business where you are your most authentic self is that you attract the type of clients and customers that respect who you are - the true person you are. And so when you’re honest and sincere with them, they get it. 

Jason was right; the truth had been the best way to handle it. 

And then, just when I thought the truth had picked itself up and moved on, it started speaking to me again in all these interesting and unexpected ways…

First, in a post from my favorite author and all-around-awesome-human, Elizabeth Gilbert in this post on her Facebook page, all about the subject of truth. One of my favorite quotes being from one of her best friends and fellow authors, Rayya Elias, saying: 

“The truth has legs. In the end, it will be the only thing left standing...So the sooner you can get to the truth, the better — because it’s going to be revealed eventually, anyhow.”

Well aint that the truth. (See what I did there?)

Then, on Friday night while I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across this post from my friend @thetiffanyhan (who is sharing a daily insightful post-it every day of 2015):


“Instead of trying to be inspiring, just tell the truth.” 

Huh. Just tell the truth. 

And then lastly, yesterday as I sat down to create my daily lettering piece for #NewMediumMay, I had this odd feeling that was bubbling up to the surface. I felt isolated and in a weird mood and the more I sat with that feeling, the more I wanted to share it. I wondered if maybe anyone else could relate to how I was feeling, but then all those voices began popping into my head, “People don’t want moody, Caroline, they want happy.”“What if nobody gets it.”“Nothing you write sounds coherent.” I deleted and rewrote the post at least three times until finally I couldn’t stand the inner turmoil anymore. 

Just tell the TRUTH for pete’s sake, I thought.

And so I quickly typed out the caption and posted the photo before I had time to change my mind. In that moment, I didn’t care if it was poignant or beautiful or coherent, I just wanted to get it out. I wanted to tell the truth about how I was feeling.

And to my delight, people got it. They understood. And they cared.

In so many situations - both in business and in life - telling the truth is the solution to your problem.

In so many situations - both in business and in life - telling the truth is the solution to your problem.
  • Wanna make writing copy on your website easier? Just tell the truth. 
  • Wanna free yourself of obligations that feel like they’re no longer serving you? Just tell the truth. 
  • Can’t meet up with that friend for coffee because you’re head-down working on your course? Just tell the truth. 

The people that are meant to be surrounding you, the ones that make you better, they will understand. And those that don’t weren’t your people anyway. 

The point this week is simple, and it's an age-old lesson, but it's worth reminding yourself: the truth will set you free.

So, my challenge for you this week is just that: tell the truth.

Whether it’s in your business with your newsletter subscribers or with your clients or just with your friends, let the truth lead you for one whole week and see how you feel. 

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that you be rude or hide behind the guise of being "brutally honest." Not mean, just truthful. 

Here's my truth for the week: this course has been the biggest and best thing I've worked on to date, so I'm part terrified, part excited beyond belief! More details on that here

Have a fantastic (and truth-filled) week!