While in the desert, the Jewish people wanted to send spies into the Land of Israel to make sure that the land was safe to enter. The spies came back with a very negative report on the land's condition and the spies boldly said:
"...we were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were like in their eyes!" (Bamidbar 13:33)
The spies strongly felt that the current inhabitants in the Land of Israel viewed them as people who were very small in size and who could easily be conquered.
But this isn't how it was. The spies first felt that they were like grasshoppers in their own eyes. Only after they themselves felt that they were like grasshoppers did they believe that others perceived them as grasshoppers in their eyes.
This extra piece of information can have a life-changing impact on all of us. People will always perceive you exactly how you perceive yourself.
Most people go through life trying to have others think of them in a certain way. Their daily goal literally consists of making sure everyone has a certain impression of them. But the real you is one who stares back at you in the mirror. That's you - and there's no amount of acting that will ever change that.
Ironically, the way you see yourself is the exact way in which you'll think how others feel about you. And the only way to ever change how you think others view you is to actually change the way in which you see yourself. Doing this can make all the difference in the world.
Remember, as long as you really think of yourself as a grasshopper, you will walk around thinking others view you the same way. Whether you think of yourself as insecure, unattractive, unambitious, or any other negative belief - you will live with the reality that others view you in the exact same way.
The only way ever to change how you think others perceive you is to first change the way you see yourself. The secret isn't to get them to change their view of you. Rather, it's to change the way you see yourself and then the world will see you in this whole new light.
The quick and simple way to immediately change how you see yourself is done with action - not by thought or desire. Start acting in a manner consistent with who you want to become, you'll then see yourself more and more like this person, and you'll "notice" how all those around you seems to just naturally follow your lead.
Rabbi Isaac Farhi