If there’s one thing motivational speaker Aisha Ritchie demands of the readers of her book, Choosing Me: 33 Inspirational Quotes and listeners of the Rich Ignition podcast, is that they start by adopting an ‘overcoming’ mindset.
There are many who wish to own a car, but when handed the keys, are unable to start it because of the fear within them; the forget that the only way to do this is to insert it into the ignition and simply turn to start.
Like many persons, Ritchie doubted her potential, she told The Gleaner, but she has finally turned the ignition key and started her new journey to self-affirmation.
“I suffered from what is called ‘imposter syndrome’; it’s when people feel like they are not good enough even when seeing certain accomplishment, I would say that I was not capable or that it wasn’t meant for me,” she said.
Though her friends and family would always tell her differently, it was not enough, she said. Ritchie describes herself as a people-person who in every encounter with someone, imparts hope, knowledge and finds satisfaction in the giving of herself and time, but would often contradict her own words of motivation by seeking validation from other persons.
No doubt, it is that same attitude that gave birth to her book. “It was the need to rise above mediocrity and just choose me,” she explained.
“I eventually realised that I was playing small for a couple of years and added to that, had limiting beliefs, and would always negative self-talk and that affected my conscious and subconscious,” Ritchie continued.
Recalling one night after tossing and turning, she said she awoke with thoughts “though unclear” and had an intense urge to write. It was not until the following morning she read through the words typed in the notepad app on her mobile phone that she had her eureka moment.
The newly established author and podcaster shared, “Three words stood out: empower, inspire and’re-ignite. I immediately knew it was time to share. Strangely, when I told my mother I was writing a book, she said, ‘Yuh finally publish the book’. She told me that as a child, I told her I was going to publish a book of quotes, having been a little girl who would put quotes on my wall, in my books, all over, she never found it strange.”
Ritchie, who grew up in Franklyn Town, said her mother, Odette Finn, and father Frank Ritchie always supported her ambitions.
“Growing up in Franklyn Town, I saw fatherless homes and teenage pregnancies and so many ills. I remember my dad telling me distinctively there are only three ways Aisha for you to get out of the ghetto – sports, talent or education. Now sports is not my thing, talent, though I was involved I didn’t think it was the avenue for me, so I chose education and that focus allowed me to make it to where I am today,” Ritchie said.
Choosing Me: 33 Inspirational Quotes is a compilation of her original words; the number 33 being a significant number because it is Ritchie’s age.
“I can’t say I have overcome the ‘imposter syndrome’, this manifestation is happening. Remember, the same people that smile and help others also suffer in silence and sometimes it is hard to take your own advice. A friend of mine told me it was necessary to look in the mirror. My childhood and youth remain a defining period for me. It really is a state of mind and how you choose to run the race, that you run,” she said.
The first Rich Ignition session will be delivered in a 15-minute podcast and will be the platform that links some of the topics of the quotes in the book.
“It’s geared towards inspiring the vulnerable youths of our society. I want to re-ignite or ignite a fire that’s within them so they can start their trailblazing journeys. This is coming from a person who has gone through these things; I’ve experienced it, these are lessons learnt. I have tried to choose how I speak to myself, it part of how I overcome and I have to keep reaffirming myself that my story matters – the same way everyone’s story matters – and there is someone out there that identifies with our unique journeys and that has propelled me to keep pushing and sharing,” Ritchie said.