This is one of my favorite “WAKE UP” poems from Portia Nelson concerning personal growth in Chapter Four of her autobiography. “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk”.

Photo by Tim Douglas on

It is a waste of time and energy
to worry about
what others are thinking
about you.

because …

You can never know
exactly what another person
is thinking …AND,
the worst part is …
they are usually not thinking
about you at all.

They are too busy worrying about
what others
are thinking about them.

So, the truth is, all those terrible thoughts
you thought they might
be thinking about you,
are your own thoughts
about yourself.

Better spend your energy
worrying about that …or,
you just might
convince somebody to think
what you were afraid
they might be thinking
after all.*

Now that hit home didn’t it! Take a moment to consider how your worries about what others think about you, may be your own hidden thoughts about yourself….

We all go through aspects of this as we grow up and find our way in the world, but many of us get stuck along the way.

So much of social media targets our insecurities and outward judgment of others and ourselves. It thrives on gossip, comparison and competition and tries to sell us the answer.

Our thinking always appears through filters in our life experience, the messages we are hearing, and how we relate to others and the world around us.

And now consider … “My thoughts are not the truth”.

* Nelson, Portia. There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery (pp. 107-108). Atria Books/Beyond Words. Kindle Edition.

38 comments on “What Other People Think About You

  1. That’s a hard reality to accept, Val. Worth thinking about.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Fortunately with age comes the realization that not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. Thanks for sharing, Val!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great poem. Thanks for sharing it Val — and well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The poem made me smile, Val. It was true of my younger life for sure, but with age comes a bit of wisdom and a whole lot of not really caring about what others think. A great share. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a hard thing for me also

    My main focus is on my inner critic

    First we have to deal with what we think about ourselves

    With childhood abuse I find that I do not approve of myself

    Liked by 1 person

  6. True words Val. It’s not what they think that matters! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Incredibly helpful to me! Thank you SO much for sharing your wisdom ❤
    Paul K

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So true, so true, so true!! An humbling reminder to simply check in to our self judgments.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s so liberating when we release this fear! I Love getting older! 🙏🏻💚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. so you’re saying I don’t have to worry about going outside wearing my compression socks pulled up to my knees, with a pair of shorts? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Yup. “What you think of me is none of my business.” ~ Wayne Dyer

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Recently I read this line, “what others think of you is none of your business.” I have been pondering it since. I tend to agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That is so true! But it’s amazing how hard it can be for us to believe…..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. M. Talha

    Superb poem 😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love this. I just posted a photo and quote to Instagram not too long ago from Olin Miller, “We probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.”

    Liked by 2 people

  16. That’s a great poem, and something to think about too. thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  17. dolphinwrite

    It’s only difficult to think for yourself if you’re used to seeking approval. Then, the loneliness feels terrible, but only the person forgot integrity and honesty. The world does that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for adding your perspective 💛🙏💛


      • dolphinwrite

        You’re the person you were born to me. Be that person, honest and yourself, never mind others. Then, when we meet honest people, we see our own. Those people also don’t seek much attention, or any at all.

        Liked by 1 person

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