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Making peace with your inner critic

Updated: Jan 2

By Sandra Siutkowska

I’ve always seen myself as an ambitious person, wanting to prove wrong those who didn’t believe in me and my abilities. What I didn’t realise, is how demanding and exhausting it is to live up to your own inner critic and the fear of not doing enough.

I graduated from Loughborough in 2018 and started applying for jobs. Rejection, after rejection, after rejection brought up my anxiety and depression that I had been managing so well. It is difficult to roll with the punches when you just don’t seem to be able to catch a break. I was applying every day and night, hoping that someone would take a chance on me. I was cursing myself for not being enough, for not ticking enough boxes on job descriptions and asking myself what did I do during those last four years, wondering whether I wasted them on going out and having fun.

And then, a break came. I managed to get a job. Full disclosure: a friend put in a word for me at a small company I worked for in the past. Fairly quickly my ambitions kicked in and I started looking for something better, with more opportunities.

It took me seven very long months of applying to land my new role. An emotional rollercoaster that was worth the wait – have you ever been excited to go to work? I didn’t believe that was even a thing, but here I am not dreading the 6.30am alarm.

I count my blessings, but the catch is that I’m already considering what my next move should be - I’m falling victim to my own self.

The lessons for me are to live more in the moment, celebrate my achievements and to be confident in that I am exactly where I should be. After all, making peace with my inner critic is only going to benefit me and my mental health.