1. Lack of self-confidence. This held me back from doing all sorts of things I could have achieved. For example, I gave up on higher education after getting a third at Birmingham. Other fellow students went on to do post-graduate degrees despite also have got thirds. I should have published my MA thesis (Goethe’s Influence on Freud) and Tough on the Causes of Terrorism, but let the first drift, and lost my nerve with the second.
2. Over-eagerness to please.
3. Obsessional behaviour. If I’ve set my mind on doing something, I will often persist in trying to achieve it, even when it has become clear either that I won’t succeed, or that even if I did, it would have little benefit. For example, I developed a database of all Saudia staff in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia when I was in charge of the English Language Training there. There were clear indications that this would not be used after I left my post, and yet I devoted much of my own free time to completing the task.