Rejection is inescapable, particularly if you work in sales. It never feels good to have a prospect turn you down, but the best learn how to react positively, even when the rejection hurts. They know that it's their reaction that determines the full effect of the rebuff.

Here are four tips to help you move past rejection quickly and productively.

1. Realize it isn't personal.

Regardless of the situation, never view a rejection as a personal affront. It almost never is. If a prospect has said no to your sales pitch, they can often be converted to a yes at a later time--as long as you don't take it personally and decide to write the possibility off altogether. When you turn rejection into an assault on your worth or your character, the incident becomes ingrained in your psyche, preventing a future positive outcome. Instead, look at rejection as a fluke, not as a ruling on your intrinsic value.

2. Keep a positive attitude.

When you encounter rejection, turn toward the positive. Most negative occurrences are short moments in the big picture of your career. Realize that a week from now you probably won't be bothered by the incident--so why let it affect your attitude today? To help rid your mind of negative thoughts in the wake of a rebuff, pick a positive assertion that fits the situation and say it out loud to yourself three times, perhaps "I'm a talented salesperson, and all my customers like me." It's amazing what such a positive proclamation will do for your attitude. It may sound a little out there at first, but I learned this technique from a highly paid consultant and can attest that it works. And you get it for free!

3. Take action to change.

It's important to not take rejection personally, but that doesn't mean that you can't examine what went wrong and learn from the situation. Maybe you asked the prospect for a commitment too soon. Maybe you weren't knowledgeable about the prospect's needs. Maybe you failed to read their body language. Review what happened to determine where you went wrong and commit to change your approach or position. I once lost a big sale because I kept talking about the product after the prospect said they would buy. My added talk brought up issues that led to objections that postponed the sale. Based on reviewing that mistake and the ensuing rejection, I learned to stop talking and say thank you as soon as the prospect said yes. This is a sobering and sometimes uncomfortable process, but one that's necessary if you want to improve for the future.

4. Visualize a different outcome.

Someone once said that you achieve what you expect, and it's the truth. Athletes use the technique of visualization to improve their performance, and it works in everyday life also. When you encounter a rejection, visualize the situation going differently next time to set your mind for success.

There they are: Four simple tips to cope with rejection--an essential skill for leading a happier life.