Sunshine Coast writer and businesswomen celebrates diversity this Dyslexia Awareness Week 

October 7, 2020

 

Yogita Ridgley, from Buderim on the Sunshine Coast, thought her childhood challenges of reading and writing were because she was multi-lingual, raised by Indian parents in New Zealand. 

She didn’t find out until she was in her second year of university in the early 1990s that she had Dyslexia. 

Today, Yogita runs a successful personal development business, and recently did what many people living with Dyslexia would find daunting, she wrote a book, “Finding Me, Myself and I”.

But, it has taken a great deal of self-discovery to get to where she is today following the trauma she experienced as a child, instigated by unknowing teachers of her condition. 

Society is supposed to nurture you and enhance your abilities, and this was not what happened. Having a lack of reading skills and spelling skills, I developed very low self-esteem,” Yogita said.  

The late diagnosis came when Yogita was studying a Bachelor of Commerce. She loved telling stories and wanted to switch to journalism, but her dreams were quashed when a  teacher pointed out she may have Dyslexia. 

This setback added to Yogita’s feeling of worthlessness, which later erupted into depression and negative emotions even when she was a successful businesswoman. 

Around 10 years ago, amidst a challenging relationship, Yogita realised she needed to turn her life around to become a good role model for her children. 

“The biggest waking moment for me was my children knowing that I had low self-esteem and I was not able to love myself or embrace that I’m Dyslexic,” she said. 

“I thought to myself, this has to change. If I don’t take responsibility now, I will never be able to help them.” 

Yogita’s book follows her journey to become her “authentic self” beginning when she left her family for a solo trip to London. There she delved deeply into the root cause of her issues, before embarking on a journey of self-discovery to finally embrace herself, including her Indian and Western culture, and the “gift of being Dyslexic”. 

“Traveling solo allows you to step out from your life, like stepping out of a picture to take an outside view. That’s what happened when I went on the first trip. It opened a lot of ideas and helped me move quite a lot of the trauma,” Yogita said. 

“It took me some time but I realised I didn’t have to be ashamed. I could say, I’m Dyslexic and I’m ok with it. No one’s judgement defines me.” 

Yogita’s solo travel experience inspired the launch of her business, Traveling with me, myself and I, which was recently named a finalist in the People’s Choice Category for Making a Difference (Health & Wellbeing) of the QLD & NT 2020 AusMumpreneur Awards. 

She has now traveled solo to 59 countries worldwide and supports other women to realise positive mental, physical and emotional health, by taking charge and making change. 

With a conservative estimate of the number of Australians living with Dyslexia at 10%, Yogita believes her story can help others who may have experienced the same low self-esteem as she did, especially during World Dyslexia Awareness Week (5 October 2020 – 11 October). 

“Dyslexia is something you’re born with and for a very long time I thought of it as my weakness, but it is actually a gift giving me the ability to do things that normal people can’t do,” Yogita said.

“We have amazing insights and ideas which I’ve used for my business and have helped others with their plans and ideas. What’s more, we are problem solvers,” Yogita said.

For more information on Yogita Ridgley and to purchase “Finding Me, Myself and I” visit https://travelingwithmemyselfandi.com/shop/