Those that succeed often deal with their share of failure along the way. It is a good idea to actually expect and prepare for setbacks so that you can quickly overcome them and move on toward your ultimate goals. If you use failures and mistakes to your advantage, you can more easily bounce back and from them, and even find success that much faster.

Here are some tips for overcoming setbacks, and using them as stepping stones towards success.

  • Take responsibility for your failure. Your initial reaction might be to play the blame game. “This person didn’t give me a fair chance,” “The economic climate is holding me back,” or “My staff didn’t work hard enough,” are all common ways to avoid taking responsibility for your mistakes. Take some time for self-reflection, figure out where you went wrong, and identify what you need to do differently next time. The empowerment you create by holding yourself accountable for failures will strengthen your resolve and allow you to move ahead.
  • Surround yourself with the right people. Look around at those in your inner circle; if you’re the most hard-working and successful person, then you’re probably in the wrong circle. It is crucial to position yourself with likeminded people who will motivate you through their hard work and ambition. Avoid the temptation to commiserate with others about your failure because it will only slow you down and hinder your efforts to move past your mistake.
  • Take action now. No matter what it is, don’t stop until it is done. Procrastination will wear down your motivation and determination to overcome your failure. For example, if your goal was to partner up with another local business for an upcoming event, and the owner declined your proposal, your first instinct might be to pack it in for the day and deal with it another time. Do yourself a favor and take immediate action instead. Rework your proposal for a few other local businesses and make appointments to meet with them as soon as possible. By taking immediate action, you can rest easy with the knowledge that you’ve already moved beyond your failure and are working towards your goals.
  • Live up to what’s expected. People may have a lot of expectations of you, and this can create a fair amount of pressure to live up to that expectation. No one can predict the future, but you can live up to expectations by adhering to a few business basics: Treat others fairly, conduct business ethically, build meaningful relationships, and use your success to pay it forward by giving back to the community. No matter how many rough patches your business may experience, you can be proud that you will have already lived up to your potential by conducting yourself appropriately.
  • Volunteer to create opportunities. After any failure, you learn something about yourself or the business. Why not use your newfound knowledge to help others who may be dealing with the same kinds of obstacles? Volunteer within your community to help others avoid the same kind of mistake. Teaching a workshop at the local library, or hosting an event for young people interested in entrepreneurship are ways that you can pass on your experiences to others.

Overcoming failure requires a certain mindset. You need to be able to analyze your mistakes, move on quickly, and plow ahead using what you’ve learned. How do you overcome failure? Please share your ideas in the comments section!