It's Okay to Be a Hot Mess, in's Brave

The Yellow Co. Blog: Take off the mask and start living bravely. Photos by: Karen Marie CoYou’re a creative woman who is making an inspiring life for herself. Am I right? 

I know the type: Ambitious. Altruistic. Driven. Heart-centered. You are the kind of woman who wants to do something great, and not just for selfish gain. You’re the kind of woman who wants to be her best and produce her best work. You are a woman of excellence.

I believe being a woman of excellence is the way to go if you’re a creative entrepreneur.

Having high standards when it comes to your work is what makes you stand out from the rest, your dedication to contribution and service allows you to shine bright and rise to the top.  But there is no denying a certain trouble that comes with being a woman of excellence: it’s those high standards… _for yourself.The Yellow Co. Blog: Take off the mask and start living bravely. Photos by: Karen Marie Co _ I know the feeling of having high standards for myself. I know how to play the role of the expert. I know how to have it all together.

The problem: my mask kept me from my best work. My excellence …perfectionism… kept me from my creativity.

It’s time to trade in the mask for the mess.

When we wear a mask, we wear it out of fear. Let’s look at a few simple fears that keep most of us living behind that mask.

The fears:

  1. If I take off my mask, I’ll disappoint people (aka, if people knew the real me, they wouldn’t like me)
  2. If I’m honest, I feel like a fraud (HELP I don’t know what I’m doing!!)
  3. If I slow down, my work will suffer and I won’t be able to get ahead (This translates into overworking, obsessing, and getting little time in for self care)

The reality:

**People are longing to know the real you (really) **

The only way you will ever feel fully loved is if you are fully known. You have to drop the mask of perfection and personas and let people in.  You won’t be the hustling girl boss wonder woman biz owner to them anymore, you’ll be all that and more. You’ll be real. Don’t forget that you’re a whole person, with layers (like an onion). You have so much more going on under your mask and people will embrace you for it. Find those people and let them in.

**You are able, you are real, and you are open to growth**

Ever heard of the impostor complex ? It’s the theory that everyone feels like a fraud from time to time.  Everyone fears they don’t belong, that they “just got lucky” and their successes were a fluke. You are not alone in this. Every woman you’ve ever admired, every woman you’ve ever compared yourself to- she has felt like a fraud, she has wondered if she was doing the right thing. These thoughts are normal. The key to getting through them is knowing that you are able, being real, and being open to growth. It requires you to take off the mask and embrace the mess. Sometimes you may not know the answer, and when that happens (because it will) you will be able to ask for help. You’ll be able to go to your cheerleaders who know and love you fully, and talk it through with them. Perfection can’t be that open. Perfection hides. The mess embraces reality, vulnerability, humility, and chooses to grow. The Yellow Co. Blog: Take off the mask and start living bravely. Photos by: Karen Marie Co **Your best work comes out of the mess.**

It’s in the mess, the mistakes, the trial and error where the creative process comes to life. Rarely do people “make it” without fumbling and falling flat on their face a time or two. Failure is a part of the process. As creative entrepreneurs, we need to learn to live more like an artist and less like a scientist (there is no perfect formula). This may take learning to manage being a mom, a wife, a business owner, a creative, a student, all while taking care of your own mental health and doing it all with the excellence you desire. It’s in the excellent art of living that your most creative, most inspiring work will appear. Don’t be afraid of the mess, embrace it.

As you go about making an inspiring, excellent life for yourself, remember to keep it real. Keep your standards high but don’t you let fear and perfectionism keep you from living the artistic messy life you really need.

No great artist ever colored within the lines anyway.

Photos by Karen Marie Co. in style collaboration with Caroline Artime 


Madison Hedlund


Madison is a life coach and speaker who helps women own their story, find their power, and come alive to their most vibrant, confident selves. Known for her soulful spirit both online and in person, she brings authenticity, power, and creativity into all she does. Whether working one on one with clients or speaking to a large group, it’s Madison’s deepest desire to see women step up to their very best and truly come alive.