It’s too easy to see perfection in the lives of others as they plaster filtered and corrected images of themselves on social media while you watch from the messy real world of life. Don’t let those images ruin your perception of yourself. Instead, take steps to discover who you are and mold that person into who you want to be. If you aren’t sure where to start, try some of these suggestions. 

Know Yourself

Start with an honest assessment of yourself. Take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits. This is a great time to take a personality profile test to get an unbiased assessment of your qualities.  

Don’t gloss over your imperfections at this stage. It will only hinder your efforts going forward. If you don’t know what you do and don’t like about your behavior and lifestyle, you won’t know what to change. 

Understand Your Motivation

Once you are armed with knowledge about yourself and your personality, take a few minutes to really look at your motivation. What causes those signs of jealousy to creep in when you view others? Do you want to embrace happiness, or do you prefer tangible results like a nice house or a new car? There is no right or wrong motivation, but knowing what drives you can help you affect change and reach your goals. 

See Who You Want to Be

Now is the time to see who you want to be as a person and in your life. Pick the qualities that you most admire and that you would like to see in yourself, and actually envision that result. Picture yourself in the roles you want to achieve, doing the things you dream of.

Start With Small Changes

Realize that you will not get to that ideal right away. It takes time and effort, and you’ll want to start small. Let yourself ease into self-improvement and you will be more likely to stick with it in the long run. 

Pick things that are relatively easy to change and that will produce tangible results in a short amount of time. For example, if you want to be more active, then commit to walking for 15 minutes a day for a week.

Practice Gratitude

A positive outlook can start by appreciating what you already have. Try keeping a gratitude jar where you pass regularly. Each time you go by, add a stone and think of something you are grateful for in your own life. 

In addition to helping you to feel happier, this practice can also be a great way to reflect on all that is good in your life. Nothing is too small for consideration, either. It’s perfectly alright to be thankful for that first cup of coffee in the morning and your best friend since grade school. 

Seek Opportunities for Improvement

This journey will not all happen within yourself. Seek out chances to expand your horizons and improve your knowledge. Take a continuing education class at the local rec center, sign up for a membership to a local fitness center, or enroll in an online course or two. You might even decide this is a great time to go back to school and reboot your career. Life is a journey, and there is something to learn at each stop along the way. 

Track Your Progress

From the very beginning, you should track your progress and discoveries. Keep a journal or video diary of your experiences. You might even consider sharing them with others in a blog or on social media. 

Embrace Who You’ve Become

No matter what changes you’ve seen, embrace who you’ve become and where you are along the way. Sure, you’ll need to determine why some changes didn’t stick and what you can do better, but don’t let that overshadow how many great things you have achieved. 

Take time to reflect on the beauty inherent in who you are and where you are at in your journey. Don’t trouble yourself with what others do, have, or seem to be. Remember that you don’t really know what they endure behind the scenes, but you can know who you are and that is what you should focus on.