Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states: “And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33).
The Kotzker Rebbe said that the mistake of the spies was in the words “and so we were in their sight.” It should not bother a person how others view him. (Otzer Chaim)
A person who worries about how others view him will have no rest. Regardless of what he does or does not do, he will always be anxious about receiving the approval of others. Such a person makes his self-esteem dependent on the whims of others. It is a mistake to give others so much control over you. Keep your focus on doing what is right and proper. Work on mastering the ability to have a positive self-image regardless of how others view you.
If people give you constructive criticism because of things you are doing wrong, you should appreciate the opportunity to improve. However, do not allow your self-image to be dependent on the arbitrary approval and disapproval of others.
The Chofetz Chaim commented, “When you view yourself as inferior, you will assume that others also view you in this manner. The truth could very well be that the other person views you in a much higher manner. As the Yalkut Shimoni states, “The Almighty said, ‘Who says that you were not in their eyes as angels?’ ” (HaChofetz Chaim, Vol 3, p. 1060)