The Fight with My Dark Side

Each person has a certain 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 difficult 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 light than to fight with 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 have stated here[en, blog] that I will change/improve some things with me, overall, based on the 360 degrees annual evaluation[en, blog]. Last year, in the fall, I have done 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. Although I did my homework and I completed the little research, I haven’t made time to share with you the results in such an organized fashion as I had done for the 2011 evaluation.

I have written this article due to the transparency that I preach – do what I say and say what I do. Therefore, let’s take my accomplishments and failures in terms of the year 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 which I haven’t succeeded to attain and with green 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. 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, a service.

Fortunately, in 2012, I have attained a significantly better result as a score and as 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 generally, I have really 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 certain subject. While writing my first book about persuasion, I have become a more efficient communicator. In 2011 and 2010, the 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, pride is still an important problem for me, but it has 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 have said about me:

  • egocentrism & self-centeredness;
  • lack of tolerance/acceptance to 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 that I create and offer. I live by myself. I don’t have any girlfriend, wife, or kids. And I have been raised as an only child. Of course I’m self-centered! Who else could I be centered around?!?

It is true, I don’t take care of my parents, that is I don’t make enough money to send them some. 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 has 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 have still noticed about me in 2012 that I have a lack of priority in my multitasking and that I 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, on place 11, and make sure that I am considered more focused. How? Of course, by concentrating more on the same thing and less on running after all sorts of other things at the same time. 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 till then.

I have succeeded to be more disorganized, more unfocused by starting more projects than in 2011 and finishing less.


5. Less Inflexibility

I have to trumpet this as a great success. 7 years ago, when I first 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 constant improving lane since 2010. It has never reached the 11th position.

I have succeeded to treat my inflexibility as a weakness by using this process of 360 degrees evaluation and taking into consideration all the feedback I received, especially that for which I asked.

If you liked this article, please also read:

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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