The Fight with My Dark Side

Each person has a particular dark side. Each of us has weaknesses, which are labeled as such by others. Looking in the mirror others provide for us is always a strenuous exercise. Fighting the image of the mirror is always an illusion. Any change must come from the inside. This is the rock of personal development: working on your weaknesses and improving them. Generally, it is easier to emphasize the positive attributes and to get them noticed. It is easier and better to turn on the light than to fight the dark. But there is virtue also in confronting oneself. This article is about how I practically used my methodology for 360 degrees evaluation for self-growth a year ago.

About a year ago, I stated here[en, blog] that I would change/improve some things with me overall based on the 360 degrees annual evaluation[en, blog]. Last year, in the fall, I did the 360 degrees evaluation for 2012, so I now have a pretty good overall picture of what I have accomplished in the 8 months which have passed from March 2012 till November 2012. But unfortunately, although I did my homework and completed the little research, I haven’t made time to share the results in such an organized fashion as I did for the 2011 evaluation.

I have written this article due to the transparency I preach – do what I say and say what I do. Therefore, let’s take my accomplishments and failures in terms of 2012, in rapport with what I’ve assumed as a target in front of everyone. I have marked in red the failures and with green the successes. This is NOT the top of my strengths and weaknesses. This article follows the results of my goals in the order declared last year. This is part two – how I’ve overcome some of my weaknesses. For reasons of length, this article is separated into two parts.

I want to point out that each year, I ask other people to give me their feedback about me. Each year, I completely change the set of people I’m asking, with some minor exceptions. But the overall view of my main strengths and weaknesses remain the same. So my research is consistent.

I have marked with red the targets I haven’t succeeded in, and with green are the targets I attained.


1. Less Hurry Up

It’s no mystery that I have the Hurry-Up driver [blog, ro]. More precisely, people say about me:

  • too much distress, tension, agitation, anxiety, restlessness, irascibility;
  • hastiness, precipitation, impetuosity, impatience, impulsiveness;
  • rush, on the run, eyes on the watch, expeditive style, hurry (in walking, eating, talking, answering; learning, writing, promoting & presenting myself);
  • exaltation, the excess of zeal, lack of measure, histrionism;
  • listening style: interrupting people, intervening over them, not letting others speak, completing other people’s sentences;
  • ineffective time management: delaying in the last moment, being late, eating too little, sleep self-deprivation.

But the good news is that in 2012, the centralized results for this weakness show a significant improvement in the number of points, although not in the position. So although this remains in the top 5 negative attributes, it is better than between 2008-2012, as points counter.

Maybe I have learned to take breaks; who knows?


2. Less Annoying persistence

The annoying persistence is the expression I use to describe what many people have reproached me for years: not knowing when to stop when trying to convince someone of something, not knowing the limit when trying to sell an idea, a product, or a service.

Fortunately, in 2012, I attained a significantly better result as a score and a position for this negative attribute to congratulate myself. Still, this is not merely a result of my self-control but also (partially) a result of the fact that I have generally been less perseverant. Dropping the perseverance also meant dropping the annoying persistence.

I do have to say that writing a book about a subject also makes you more proficient in that particular subject. While writing my first book about persuasion, I have become a more efficient communicator. In 2011 and 2010, annoying persistence was my 2nd weakness, with 20, respectively 17 points. In 2012, it was my 10th weakness, with only 6 points. It is also better than ever. Mission achieved. In 2012, I knew when to stop better than before. At least, this is what results from my little research on what people who know me have said.


3. Less Pride

The so-called complex of superiority and pride is still an important problem for me, but it dropped in importance in 2012 compared to 2011. Still, in 2012, it had more points than in 2008. 

As a difference compared to other previous years, people haven’t said about me:

  • arrogance;
  • advanced/technical language/not on everybody’s understanding/hard to get to;
  • superiority complex/superior attitude/infatuation/looking down on people/talking down to people;
  • too good self-image;
  • big ego;
  • imposing on other people;
  • the constant need for affirmation;
  • the desire to impress;
  • applying etiquettes;
  • selfishness;
  • pride.

Instead, in 2012, they said about me:

  • egocentrism & self-centeredness;
  • lack of tolerance/acceptance of others’ imperfections;
  • prejudices/assumptions;
  • disturbing presence by showing intelligence/showing off as smart/didactic attitude/telling others what to do;
  • Not taking care of parents.

So it seems that I wasn’t perceived as badly in 2012 as during some of the previous years. But let’s also take some of this kind of feedback to clear up some issues.

I am a freelancer working by myself. I am doing the promotion, the sale, the execution, the delivery, the cashing, and the administration of every product or service I create and offer. I live by myself. I don’t have a girlfriend, wife, or kids. And I was raised as an only child. So, of course, I’m self-centered! Who else could I be centered around?!?

It is true, I don’t take care of my parents, so I don’t make enough money to send them some. But, of course, they still help me now. But let’s get real: how many 27 years old Romanian men financially accomplish to take care of their parents?

This is not to say I’m not proud. Au contraire. But it improved between 2010-2012. And I strive for it to improve for 2013 too. Not majorly, but slightly.


4. More Scattered attention

This downside has become worse in comparison to 2011. In 2011, it was in the 10th position with 6 points as a weakness. In 2012, it was in the 9th position, with 6.5 points as a weakness. The results from the past year are better than in 2006, 2009, and 2011 but worse than in 2008 and 2011.

People still noticed in 2012 that I lack priority in multitasking and sometimes become an airhead lost in diversity, who scatters his attention in too many (parallel) fields/areas/tasks/directions. And in 2012, even more than in 2011.

For 2013, my goal is to push it, if possible, to place 11, and make sure that I am considered more focused. How? Of course, concentrating more on the same thing and less on running after all sorts of other things simultaneously. I want to hear, in exchange,

people telling me how much they appreciate my variate knowledge and experience and the interdisciplinary approach I provide in my training and writings. It seems that there is still a long way to then.

I have succeeded in being more disorganized and unfocused by starting more projects than in 2011 and finishing fewer.


5. Less Inflexibility

I have to trumpet this as a great success. 7 years ago, when I started to make this 360 degrees evaluation, my inflexibility/stubbornness/rigidity (in attitude and beliefs) was considered my top no. 1. weakness (with 20 points). Now, it’s in 11th place, and it has been on a constantly improving lane since 2010. Yet, it has never reached the 11th position.

I have succeeded in treating my inflexibility as a weakness by using this process of 360 degrees evaluation and considering all the feedback I received, especially that I asked for.

If you liked this article, please also read the following:

4 +, 4 – (14.01.2012)

Personal Development Goals in 2012 (08.03.2012)

Cine eşti tu şi cum te vezi în oglindă (15.05.2011)

My Personal Development Goals Evaluation For 2012 (30/03/2013)

About My Excessive Formalism & the So-Called “Lack of Empathy” (12/05/2013)


Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, 2013-present

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