Success is a concept with a variety of definitions for people depending on what they are trying to achieve at a given point in their lives.

Success is not something that can be easily defined because it means something different to every person who aspires towards it.

For some, success is about outcomes. How much money they make, how many medals they win, or how long they hold a ranking, or who they have beaten in a race.

For others, success is more individually driven. Improving their performances, being the best they can be, mastering a skill, or enjoying the act of whatever it is they are doing.

Not matter what success means to you or what field or endeavour you are trying to be successful in, one thing remains the same, success is hard work.

No one has ever been successful in anything without hard work. Whether we are talking about sport, work, relationships, child-rearing, or learning a musical instrument, success is going to take some work.

Take a moment and think about a person you see as successful. Whether you know them or not try to find out more about what it has taken for them to be successful.

The reason this understanding is important is because everyone has a definition of success. Not only do they have a definition they also want to be successful (based on that definition). This is important because when people feel like they are not being successful it affects them in very real ways.

Some people are particularly hard on themselves, some use very negative self-talk, some compare themselves to other more successful people, and some feel so overwhelmed that they lose the motivation to continue.

People who are successful and are doing the hard work feel empowered, in control, confident and most importantly, happy about their pursuits. This is the reason why understanding the concept of success requiring hard work is so important.

Sometimes when people feel unsuccessful they need to have a good look at what they are doing (and not doing) to determine the contributing factors. When people are honest (not negative, not unrealistic, but honest) then they can start to get themselves onto the road to their success.

So, here are three key questions to get you back on the path to achieving your success..

1. What is my actual definition of success (e.g., close relationships with my family, being ranked number one in the world, qualifying for an event)?

2. What am I doing (or not doing) that is holding me back from this (e.g., not spending enough time with my family, skipping sessions, not addressing my flaws)?

3. What must I do differently to change this and get me back on track (e.g., come home early on Thursday afternoons to spend time with my family, be better organised so I don’t have to miss sessions, listen to the feedback from my coach and use it to improve)?

Once you have answered the first three questions then it comes down to the honesty of making good choices.

If you choose to do the work, then success can be yours. If you choose not to make any changes and do the same things you have been doing then you can expect that success will continue to evade you.

One of the driving forces of the Mental Notes team is the desire for more and more people to understand their own individual meaning of success and work hard and smart towards achieving it!

Matt Ahlberg | Sport & Exercise Psychologist MAPS