In the era of self help books, full of easy recipes, I found the book of Malcom Werner, “The Tao of Gung Ho” really refreshing. The book is full of useful ideas to achieve personal and professional growth, without giving a list of prescribed steps.

One of the concept mentioned that brought my attention are the “Nemesis”. This villains are part of our personalities, and they seem functional and necessaries but they work against us. A Nemesis was formed in our teen years to respond to a threatening environment. After repetition, they become part of our behavioral set and they operate almost automatically. Nemesis are driven by negative emotions, such as, anger, resentment, frustration. To understand this you, imagine yourself acting grumpy, sarcastic, selfish,  arrogant, indifferent, reckless, or any other way which could be harmful for you or the others.

They appear mostly in stressful situations, specially when we encounter people who remind us, the bully or situations form the past. Nemesis are so subtle that we don’s recognize them anymore. They talk to us internally, as a background noise and affect our daily conversations.

Nemesis give us payoffs. They give us security, control, power. But at the same time are extremely costly: they ruin relationships, make us loose direction, tarnish our reputation, and the worst cost: they prevent us from achieving growth..You have to identify your nemesis (they could be many), and then also be able to shut them down when they start acting or talking. Mr. Werner named in his book a few: “Hermit King” or “Banzai Kamikaze”.

Personally I also identified some of my Nemesis and I named them: “Mr. Square”, who is a control freak, planned, rigid and strict; “Dr. No” who is very critic and sarcastic, and incapable to join the moment; and “Red Angry” which is a quick temper, a little paranoid and over reactive villain.

What are yours?



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