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Secrets to Being Successful. What are Personal Success Factors?

Updated: Dec 23, 2023


Looking to discover the secrets to being successful? Success is a complex concept that means something different to everyone. For example, some people equate success with money or owning a sports car, while others see it as building strong relationships or having a fulfilling career. Although there isn't one definition of success that works for everyone, certain internal factors help us achieve our goals. The 'successful factors' are different for each individual.

Psychologists have identified several personal success factors that contribute to achievement. One of them might even be your calling! Let's explore these 'successful factors' and how they can help you achieve your dreams.

Firstly, let's look at the different areas of life where we can succeed.

Symbol of success?
Is success having wealth and a sports car?

Personal Success at Work

Personal success at work is the ability to accomplish one's goals and be satisfied with the results. Personal success is also defined as performing well in a job or role, achieving a job-related goal, completing a task successfully and doing what is expected of you.

Personal Success in Relationships

Recognise the importance of relationships. A successful relationship brings joy, harmony and peace to both people involved. It involves mutual respect, trust and support for each other's well-being. Like all aspects of life, success in relationships requires effort. You have to make an active effort to keep your relationship moving toward mutual happiness.

Take time to define success in your relationships by writing down what you want. Start by being aware of your needs and then your partner's needs. For example: "I want my friends/family/spouse (etc.) to feel loved" or "My partner should be my best friend."

Once you've defined these goals, write down how you can achieve them—what steps do I take? This will help guide decisions about who or what may need changing next time if things aren't working out right now."

Personal Success in Life

Personal success in life is a measure of how well you are doing in your life. It's about being able to achieve your goals, dreams and ambitions.

Individual definitions of success are complex, but achieving it is systematic.

Success isn't a destination. It's not an endpoint or an outcome. Success is a process. it is not something that happens when one goal has been achieved. Success is ongoing. In fact, defining success by the things you've done can lead to stagnation.

If your definition of "success" is being rich, famous, popular or powerful, you might want to rethink what success means. Success should include being content and fulfilled and living a life that aligns with your values.

Striving for the wrong goals will actually make you less happy.

What are Personal 'Successful Factors'?

Personal success factors are characteristics, habits, and traits that are believed to contribute to an individual's ability to achieve their goals and objectives.

Psychologists have identified several personal success factors that are believed to contribute to an individual's ability to achieve their goals and objectives. These include:

  1. Self-motivation: The drive to achieve one's goals and the willingness to make the necessary effort to succeed.

  2. Self-discipline: The ability to control one's impulses and delay gratification in order to achieve long-term goals.

  3. Self-awareness is understanding one's strengths and weaknesses and how they affect behaviour.

  4. Emotional intelligence: The ability to understand and manage one's own emotions and the emotions of others.

  5. Positive attitude: A positive outlook on life and the ability to maintain a sense of hope and optimism in the face of adversity.

  6. Strong work ethic: Commit to hard work and perseverance in facing obstacles.

  7. Clear goals: The ability to set and work towards specific, measurable, and achievable objectives.

  8. Good time management: The ability to prioritise tasks and manage time effectively to achieve goals.

  9. Effective communication skills: The ability to express oneself clearly and effectively verbally and in writing.

  10. Adaptability: The ability to adapt to change and manage stress in the face of uncertainty.

Note that these are some of the most commonly identified factors. Depending on the context, other factors like creativity, grit, resilience, networking, etc., can also be considered personal success factors.

Success Involves Self-Actualisation

Self-actualisation is the realisation of one's full potential. It is a psychological concept introduced by Abraham Maslow, a renowned psychologist who believed that people naturally desire to self-actualise (or reach their full potential).

Self-actualisation can be achieved through personal growth and development, but it may not necessarily be achieved alone. For more information on Self-actualisation, see our blog: Self-Actualisation: Becoming the Best You!

Metrics for Success

It is important to have metrics for success. What is success?

Firstly, this is where you reflect and identify your personal goals. Be specific. Make your goals tangible. What do you need to achieve to be happy in life?

Secondly, setting your metric for success is necessary, as what gets measured gets done!

Once you've established concrete goals, you can create steps towards achieving those goals. Metrics for success include the daily steps to get closer to happiness. They're things like eating healthy meals, exercising, practising psychological techniques and strategies and other positive habits that help ensure you're on track with your life goals.

Think of success metrics as little ways to keep yourself on track toward feeling better about your life.

Without metrics in place, it's easy to lose sight of where we stand in relation to our ultimate goal (happiness). Sometimes, that goal seems so far off that it feels unachievable. However, when metrics are in place, we have tangible evidence of progress and areas where we need improvement.

How Can a Psychologist Help?

A psychologist can help you define success and identify personal success factors. A psychologist can also assist with developing a plan to achieve your goals, evaluating progress, and making adjustments when necessary.

In addition to helping you define success, a psychologist can also help you understand how your strengths, weaknesses, preferences and attitudes affect your ability to achieve it. For example, suppose you have trouble sticking with something long enough to see results or completing tasks no matter how much effort or time you put into them. In that case, a psychologist may be able to guide ways to improve these areas so that they become strengths instead of weaknesses.


As you can see, there are many different definitions of success. Our main takeaway is that people are complex, as is their definition of success. However, we can also agree that achieving personal success requires systematic work, including setting goals and working hard towards them. In addition, psychologists can help people identify what makes them happy and keep track of their progress toward those goals through therapy sessions or other forms of treatment like cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and flow.

Find a Psychologist

Professional support is available if you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty. Contact iflow psychology today at 02 6061 1144 to schedule an appointment.

Flexible Counseling Options

iflow Psychology offers in-person, telehealth, and telephone counselling services.

As registered psychologists, we provide compassionate support tailored to your needs. Take the first step in your journey towards well-being.

Medicare Rebates and Referrals

You may be eligible for Medicare rebates with a doctor's referral and a Mental Health Plan. Receive quality care while maximising your healthcare benefits. Let us be part of your path to healing.

Contact Us

Complete our simple enquiry form, and our friendly admin team will contact you during office hours. We are here to answer any questions and assist you in scheduling an appointment.

Location Details

Visit iflow Psychology in Leichhardt, Inner West Sydney, NSW, Australia, for in-person consultations. We also provide convenient telehealth services, ensuring accessibility no matter your location.


The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Prior to making any decisions, we recommend consulting your treating doctor, health professionals, and legal representatives. This is particularly important if you have health concerns, existing mental health or medical conditions, or feel you are not coping.

(c) 2023 Dean Harrison

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