Of course, your self-image is founded on the opinions of others. How could it not be?
We live in community, starting with our families, then neighbors, then school and activities from childhood to adulthood. All along the way we interact with those around us, and those people have opinions about us. Sometimes they tell us what they think and other times we imagine what we think they might be thinking.
The value of what others think about you – both positive and negative – can be grossly inflated. If you live your life based on the opinions of others, then you are probably going to fall short of your goals. That’s because the real energy in life comes from within. Our personal thoughts trigger feelings and those feelings trigger actions. Thoughts that come from others are external and thus don’t create the same kind of energy.
It’s like trying to bake a cake. If you put it in an oven set to the appropriate internal temperature, the cake will bake. If you put the cake in an oven turned off but with a heat lamp next to it, the cake won’t bake. It needs an internal energy source to become what it was designed to be.
So, go ahead and listen to those whose opinions you trust. But remember that each thought that comes from someone else is only an external data point. The real power comes from within. Do everything you can to nurture and discover your personal energy source.