Low self esteem is prevalent in our society these days and it strikes me that so much of it is driven by a misplaced focus on what other people think.

Do you ever find yourself concerned about what others might be thinking about you? Are you concerned about their opinion of you? If so, why? What is it that has you so concerned?

And finally, is your concern about their opinion somehow rooted in the lack of a positive opinion you may hold of yourself?

I had the opportunity to hear Bill Bartmann (the billionaire) speak recently. And he spoke about something I've rarely heard covered by the inspirational speaker/personal development guru crowd.

He spoke about failure.

Bill talked about the fact that everyone and their dog will espouse success principles to anyone who will listen. Regardless of how much success they may have achieved. And yet we know that everyone -- everyone -- has had to contend with failure in their lives. It's just part of living.

We fall down the first time we try to ride a bicycle. We get cut from the team. We get rejected in a relationship. There are countless examples throughout our lives of failures. Some of them are little failures and some are larger failures.

Bill made this one very astute observation.

Successful people are people who have failed and then learned to deal with it. Specifically, they understand that success and failure are opposite sides of the same coin. You can't have one without the other.

He went on to say that successful people have learned to accept their "failures" within the context of life and detach themselves from the labels and stigmas people as a society have attached to them. In particular, successful people detach from the opinion of others when it comes to their own self-worth.

The only opinion of themselves that matters to them is their own.

This is a very powerful observation. Because it is a key factor that distinguishes successful people from unsuccessful people. And it ties in beautifully with the importance of cultivating a positive self image ... a positive opinion of yourself.

If you fall into the trap of focusing on what you perceive to be your failures and the labels that are associated with them, you will be predisposed to caring deeply about others' opinions of you. Because you carry low self worth, you will seek validation through the opinions of others. And of course, the opinion of others is always ill informed.

They don't really know you. They don't understand what thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. So they are in no position to offer an opinion -- but of course that won't stop most people from sharing one with you.

Then, because you become so concerned about how others will perceive you and what they might say, you find yourself making decisions within the context of what you think they might think. Which of course means it's all made up anyway! You let the imagined opinions of others dictate the decisions you make in your life.

So stop right there ... and get this clearly. The only opinion of you that matters is your own.
Ever. Learn to operate from a position of confidence in your own abilities and intuition. You are the only person who truly knows you.

So what is the opinion you have of yourself? Make your decisions based on your own opinion. And this is easy to do if you have taken care to choose good thoughts about yourself.

Remember where you are going. Remember your goals. Remember you are the leader of you, just like every other successful person on the planet. Because in doing so, you will have a positive opinion about yourself and your ability to make good decisions.

In turn, this will make it so much easier for you to begin to trust yourself and make decisions that move you closer to where you are going. (Do you notice a recurring theme here?) This is a foundational principle of success, so become very clear about it. Pretty soon your low self esteem will become a distant memory because you've discovered the truth ... the only opinion of you that matters is your own.

Start adopting daily practices that support you self image and raise your self esteem.

Author's Bio: 

Warren Wojnowski is one of the great new teachers in the world of self improvement personal success using universal law. You'll find many terrific audios, tools and resources geared towards raising your self esteem on his website. Get Warren's FREE eBook "7 Steps to Happiness" by subscribing to his newsletter at www.InspiredAbundance.com/personal-development.