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Shlach(Numbers 13-15)

Act As If

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!" (Numbers 13:33)


A LIFE LESSON

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 theywere 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.

Published: June 10, 2006

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Visitor Comments: 11

(10) jay, June 1, 2013 3:10 AM

practice

Seeing yourself in a positive way takes practice. Daily practice. Do it. It works!

jay, June 14, 2014 5:25 AM

Agree

A wonderful article and I totally agree that it takes practice, which becomes a habit and then becomes you!

(9) Batel, May 27, 2013 9:04 PM

what if you think highly of yourself that can have a negative imagine in society people could think our not humble or other negative attributes. Also, if you think lowly of yourself then people could perceive you as low. Whats the balance?

(8) Rusty, June 16, 2012 4:44 PM

Hashem's Perception

The article was spot on with how we need to work to view ourselves better if we expect it from others. We can make those changes if we put our minds to it. The article failed to address that the spys (except two) knew that it was not just their opinion that mattered, but also Hashem's opinion. We can see ourselves in a better light when we know that Hashem wishes better for us. Also, He is there to help us when things get tough. He does not promise a life of ease all the time, but He does promise to be with us. It is that knowledge and belief that will keep us out of the wilderness.

(7) Roberta, June 14, 2012 6:35 PM

Right on time

It's no coincidence that messages like this are so often 'right on time' for me. I'm a Christian who gains enormous value from aish.com and so appreciate being part of this lesson. Thank you.

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