Diary Entry

The I Am Woman Project, IAWP, I AM WOMAN Project, DJ Kitty Cash, Kitty Cash,

Shireen Ahmed

Mom, Sports Activist, Public Speaker, Sports Writer. Co-host of “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast.

I am getting better at being kinder to myself.
I am a 40-year-old Muslim woman and a sports writer. I have bylines at some of the top sports outlets. I am invited to Universities to speak about my experiences in sports media. I have given countless interviews to media, academics, sports media folks who value and appreciate my work.
But, I battle Imposter Syndrome all the time. As women, we are conditioned by society to judge ourselves harshly – this is masked as humility. We are told to defer to experts – who are not us or women in the margins. We are taught to collaborate as much as possible- because our own projects might not be as successful.
In order to excel, I have had to unlearn so much. Convincing myself that I am excellent at what I do is not as easy as it looks. I am a visible Muslim Woman of Colour.
I fail sometimes. I learn along the way. Thank God for the strong network of family, friends, and allies who are happy to teach me. They encourage me to get back up again. And I find myself being a better ally because of it. I go forward and I keep pushing back at injustices. I critique systems of oppression instead of criticizing myself excessively, I try to tell myself one thing that I did that was great. I vocalize it (normally in the car when I am alone). It’s a very small exercise but it is important.
And one of my favorite reminders is a quote/supplication by Canadian journalist Sarah Hagi: “God grant me the confidence of a mediocre white man.”
After six years in this line of work, I still have a lot to do! But I am proud to say I am getting better at being kinder to myself.