Be Your Own Cheerleader

Nimra Shahid shares how Muslim Women Connect motivates her



80% of your achievements in life are simply produced by product of you turning up, according to Woody Allen.

The film director’s words prompted me to reflect upon the start of my beautiful journey with Muslim Women Connect, when I was first introduced to my fellow mentees on the program. I thought deeply about the type of people I was surrounded by in the room and how each of our stories offered a reflection of our whole selves. The 1 minute snippet, which we shared with everyone, culminated from every single moment that led us up to this precise point in time and its marriage with our own perception of the world. And the beautiful thing is – this vision has an unchanging particularity stemming from the Ruh which Allah granted to each one of us. Yet it is still budding to be nurtured and to grow, as we encounter experiences of life that are specifically meant for each of us and nobody else.


Having grown up in such competitive environments, I’ve constantly been told that I have to be better than the next person or that I’m not good enough to meet a certain standard. I can’t explain how refreshing it is to sit in a room therefore – to literally just listen and appreciate the incredible gifts that each person sat there has to offer as an individual; to gain exposure to differences that create fruit for us to learn from and in turn, enable us to flourish as women – who can confidently embrace the world with our full potential and sow seeds, for the next generation of women to rise up like those who came before them!


The key to remember is that the ground which creates this culture for us to thrive is our shared nature as humans. We’re bought together by the equality between each of our inherent capacities to make our mark, which was created by Allah. It’s our acceptance of this which will allow us to rise above the imperfect standards set by society, which provoke us to endlessly seek a standard of contentment through comparing ourselves with others. It is only when we stop becoming dependent upon their approval and realise that we are created whole, we can truly find satisfaction.


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