Bill Duncan


Entering from the wings…


Man, oh man.

I wonder if Scott knows how much he was going to challenge us all when he created the writing prompts for The 2015 Start-A-Blog Dream Job Challenge? Last week’s prompt pushed me to explore one of the more uncomfortable areas of my psyche (as I’m sure you can tell from the post), and today’s starter moves me completely off the map.

What’s one thing I’m proud of?

If “Pride goeth before the fall.” I must be really afraid of falling because pride is a really uncomfortable feeling for me – always has been.

There are some things in my life that I’m proud of which immediately come to mind:

I’m proud of both my kids – for the people they are and the people they’re becoming.

I’m proud of my wife – for reinventing herself after our kids started at school, finding her passion and carving it into a successful career.

I’m proud of my sister – for refusing to listen to other people over the call of her own soul, and being for brave enough to take giant steps into creating a life that is truly her own.

 But I’m sure you can see the theme, and the problem. These are all other people that I’m proud of.  And although I may have had some influence on them and their actions, my pride, in this case, is externally directed.

That comes easily for me.  Too easily.

It’s the looking inward and finding something about myself that I’m proud of that makes me want to get up to get another cup of coffee and avoid facing the question.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been and seen and done and experienced many things over the course of my 46 years which I should (which I WANT to) be proud of. Distilling them into a list, though, brings on the old Inner Voice – “So what? Anyone could have done that.”  “Really? You’re proud of that – even though someone else did half the work?”

And so on.

As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP – both a description and a diagnosis) I prefer to be in the background. The spotlight makes me uncomfortable, so I’m more likely to be found leaving the centre stage for the comfort of the wings to cheer others on when there’s praise to be given.

(I will write more about being an HSP man as this blog continues to unroll.)

So it seems to me that what I need to find within is something that I can be proud of, which no-one (not even myself!) can shoot down, debate, or take away from me.

And there is something lurking down there. It’s so simple that I didn’t even recognise it at first.  And the more I look at it, its simplicity is what gives it power.

I’m proud for surviving. For still being here and not having given up (and checked out!) somewhere along the path that has led me to this point.

Inner Voice? Hello? No answer?? Now, that’s what I’m talking about!

Maybe, if I can start from here, over time, I can examine and show off other elements of my life and my being that I want to be proud of.

For today, however, this is enough.

[image source: Trond Kristiansen –]


  1. Dude. This is huge. Kudos for taking such a huge step. As easy at it is to, technically, start a blog like this these days, it isn’t easy to come up with things to write about.

    On the one hand, this is signing your name to a corner of the web – anyone googles your name is likely to find it. Even if you become some kind of rockstar in the future, all your initial fumbling around will still be out there – and what will people say?

    On the other hand, you’ll soon find, even with a lot of self promotion, it’s going to feel like nobody even cares for longer than you’d like. Ugh. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.

    Something that’s long helped me out is a little simple math. Figure there’s just over 7 billion people on the planet these days. How many of them are online, you think? Half? Let’s say half of them.

    If you’re one in a million, there’s a good chance you may never run into someone who really gets it – who understands where you’re coming from – in person. But if there’s 7 billion people on the planet, that means there’s 7,000 people just like you out there. And if half the people on Earth are online, that means 3,500 people just like you out there who might just Google something that leads them here.

    Pretty cool, isn’t it?

    And here’s something else you might consider for extra awesome sauce! You don’t like to be in the spotlight, buy who’s to say you have to be? Could you find other HSPs out there and share their stories here? Could you interview them (by email) about their struggles – and triumphs – and give them a place to anonymously share the sort if anecdotes which might empower still others?

    Over time, as you start making sense of things and discovering ways to help yourself, you might even find yourself producing the odd resource to help others with the learning curve. You never know.

    And all because you clicked publish on this one. Just a thought, anyway. 🙂

    • Bill

      March 19, 2015 at 6:06 am

      Hey Brian!
      Thanks for taking the time to put together such a focussed and thoughtful comment – seriously, you could have just hit ‘like’ 🙂
      At the moment I’m just taking the blogging thing at face value and staying true to my posting schedule. Whether anything physical, financial or otherwise will develop from these humble beginnings, I don’t yet know.
      For now, I’m really enjoying the writing act and process – I’m actually waking up in the morning and saying to myself, “I get to write today! Awesome!” That’s something that hasn’t happened in a looong time – so for the moment that’s enough.
      Lather, rinse, repeat and see what tomorrow brings.

  2. Great post… and I think I’m an HSP too. I can’t wait to see what you do as time goes on.

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