1. accept that a difficult situation exists
face up to the facts/situation/reality
When you 'face up to' something you confront it. This idiomatic phrase is related to the phrase 'face your fears'. When you face up to something the understanding is that the thing you are facing up to is unpleasant or difficult. You might have to 'face up to the fact' that you are not as skilled or talented as you would like to be or 'face up to reality'. This is a common idiom used in social and professional contexts.