Women's History Month 2019 Profile: Sahar Jahani

Sahar Jahani, Screenwriter/Director

How would your peers describe your personality?

I think they would say I'm an extroverted introvert. I'm very social and enjoy meeting new people but it takes a lot of energy for me to "turn it on" which means I also require time alone to think and reflect. I go out of my way to show kindness towards others because it's the most important characteristic I value in people. I want to treat people the way I'd like to be treated. My sister says "you are generous and empathetic." Never heard her say that out loud!

When did you consider yourself a success? How did this make you feel?

I don't consider myself a "success" at all. I would say I've had a few successes in life, particularly in the last year but it's all very new to me. I think I still have a lot to learn and I don't think that feeling will ever fade. I have a constant desire to self-improve and challenge myself, that's the only way to stay relevant and to keep growing.

What is the biggest challenge you have come across in your career and how did you handle this?

I would be lying if I said there were no challenges, there always are and will be but it's also one of the best times to be a creative. There are so many outlets for making content that I think I got very lucky. I also worked very hard. My biggest challenge was probably thinking that I could never accomplish the goals I set for myself. The idea that I "wasn't good enough" was probably the most detrimental. I thought that I had to be the best writer or director in order to be successful but the reality is that you just have to keep working at it. There will always be someone who is better, more talented or more experienced. I finally understand that cliche saying that it's not about the destination, it's all about the journey!

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?

It's the lack of perfection in my work that makes me want to keep doing it until I think it's close to "perfect" or even "good." I rarely think anything I write or make is even worthy of an audience or recognition. I know that sounds self-deprecating but it's true. Self improvement keeps me going I guess.

What are you most proud of?

I'm proud to say that I don't think I've ever compromised myself, my values or my faith for others. I've always been who I am and thankfully never felt the pressure to be something I'm not in order to achieve my goals.

What inspired you when you were younger?

Seeing other women accomplish their goals. The women in my family are also very ambitious and sort of set the standard for me. Particularly my mother and my sisters.

What nail color makes you feel most confident?

It's a little ironic because I never wore nail polish when I was younger but my relationship with makeup and nail care has changed as an adult. I used to think it was frivolous or a waste of time and money but taking care of my nails and my body allows me to have a moment to myself in this very hectic, fast-paced work environment. I don't do it for anyone else but myself. I usually go with the nude colors. It's not too flashy and gives me that extra professional look.

What is a piece of advice you would give to young women?

I think young women today are smart, confident and have all the resources at their disposal to achieve their goals. But my biggest advice would be to keep empowering yourself with knowledge, education and experiences because no one can take that away from you. Never settle for something you think you deserve versus what you actually want.


Photo Credit: Wajiha Ibrahim