In sharing her hard-won lessons from battling with prejudice, depression, panic attacks and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), Ruqsana’s journey to the top will inspire all those who are fighting to be accepted for who they are – regardless of their background, race, or religion.
We had the chance to speak to the talented sportswoman and ‘Born Fighter’ author to find out about her journey.
What advice would you give to young women deciding to pursue a ‘non-traditional’ career path?
I think in general, anyone, whether you have a South Asian background or any other, it’s so important to get to know yourself. Go ahead and try different careers and pathways to figure out what you enjoy and try to earn a living through that passion.
You never have to be anyone apart from yourself. You don’t have to conform. You are strong enough to pursue your passion, and you can go for it!
Overcoming obstacles is something you have faced throughout your life. What is a reminder you tell yourself to get through it?
I always remind myself that God will never let you down. Trust in God, fear disappears when you conquer it with faith.
The obstacles have impacted me massively and made me the person I am today. I firmly believe when an obstacle arises, so does an equal seed of opportunity. You just need to look for it. You cannot let difficulties define you, instead you rise to the challenge and face them head-on.
How do you keep yourself humble when success does come, and what keeps pushing you forward to aspire to more?
I come from humble beginnings. I know how difficult it was to pursue my passion. I remind myself about how much I am blessed with.
I know there’s always more to be done, and always more to be achieved. But the advice I can give to myself and others is ‘the best mental attitude is to be in gratitude’.
You can cultivate your mental attitude to empower yourself. Success comes with patience, hard work and preservation.
Remind yourself how easy it is to train. You only need to go to the park for a jog. You are blessed with a body that moves so be thankful for everything you have, constantly reminding yourself of each and every blessing.