Kimberley Rivando-Robb Series #3

14 Apr, 2022

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be successful. What does it mean to get to the point in life when you can look around and feel in your gut that you have made it across the finish line and can sit back to relax. If I’m honest, I don’t think we could all agree on if it’s even possible to reach that point because success means something different to everyone. I don’t believe there is one universal definition of success or a blanket statement that could apply to everyone.

I wanted to be a famous racecar driver when I was a kid. I was convinced that if I could get my license, everyone would see the amazing skills I had on the road. It didn’t matter that I was a 7-year-old begging for the car keys or that I couldn’t see over the dashboard. I just knew I had the skills it would take and the confidence to match. Then I got a bit older, and I thought I’d become a famous Olympic athlete, specializing in martial arts or maybe rugby. The cheer from the crowd would drive me towards that gold medal, and the flash of the cameras would be blinding when I won. Then it was an actress, a famous news anchor, a model … Always occupations that would put me front and center, surrounded by people who would give me a round of applause. The bottom line is I thought I’d be famous, popular and, more importantly, I thought I’d finally feel loved.

When I hit adulthood, I was exhausted by the pursuit of perfection, and I realized that the thing I wanted more than anything else was to be more connected with nature in silence and peace. I just wanted to start my family surrounded by trees, wide-open space and a farm. I’d spend my days feeding my animals, playing with my kids and writing books while my wife worked on creations of her own. The ideas constantly floating around my head would finally become words on paper, bound by a hard spine, and I’d make money selling these imaginative tales.

The idea was pretty concrete in my head, and I knew I could make it happen. The mental roadblocks started when I told people of this dream, and they’d politely say that it sounded nice, but what about money?
Wouldn’t I get bored being out there with JUST my immediate family and our animals?
What about excitement, flash, shopping?
Can you really work and make money from home, though?
Shouldn’t you get a REAL job?
Who do you think you are? Stephen King?

I could hear their voices in my head, overtaking my own, and it was then one of my most fierce fear monsters was born. The voice in my head went from being confident and imaginative to gloomy and oppressive. When I set my goals, this voice would question why I thought I could accomplish them. When I tried to stand apart in the crowd, I was paralyzed with fear. It wasn’t until I finally stood up and punched fear in the face that I was able to break free of its restraints.

Although money, a big house and parties sound great and maybe accomplishments for some, when I think about what I value and where I want to end up, it doesn’t align for me. I’m an introvert who can blossom into an extrovert when the occasion arises, but I usually like to observe and listen. I like my quiet mornings, sipping tea in the yard as the sun comes up before the rest of the world is awake. The thought of raising my kids with dirt, rivers, trees and animals is the ultimate achievement. Spending my days working on my business and looking after the kids sounds downright amazing to me, and I shouldn’t feel bad about it. Meditating, hiking, working the land, laughing with family, dancing around the fire pit… That sounds like a great life to me!

So, is it wrong to want that kind of life? No. We all walk our own paths, want different things, and see success very differently. Our differences are what make the world both an interesting and unique place. Only I can determine what success means and what constitutes failure.

The voice within is something that I feel particularly attached to. Becoming your own best friend, motivator, coach and cheerleader is important when creating the life you want. Sure, it’s also beneficial to have a tribe spurring you on, but when fear pops up, the voice in your head can be your greatest defense. By learning to support yourself and continuing to use a more positive inner voice, you’ll be better prepared for the moments when fear takes over.

What do you want your voice to say?