It's not just bank account balances that separate the rich from the middle class. The wealthiest, most successful people tend to think differently.
"Getting rich begins with the way you think and what you believe about making money," writes self-made millionaire Steve Siebold in "How Rich People Think," which he wrote after studying millionaires for over 25 years.
After hundreds of interviews, Siebold discovered that "it wasn't the lack of desire that held the masses back from getting wealthy, but the lack of belief in their own ability to make it happen."
Here are six mental tricks that rich people use to get ahead.
They tell themselves there's no shortage of money, even when they don't have enough
Rich people aren't afraid to fund their future from other people's pockets.
If they come up with a great idea they're unable to finance, they "proceed to use other people's money to make it happen," Siebold writes.
"Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant. The real question is, 'Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?' If so, the wealthy know money is always available because rich people are always looking for great investments and superior performers to make those investments profitable."
They set their expectations unreasonably high
While the middle class sets their financial expectations low so they're never disappointed, the rich set their expectations exceptionally high - they're up for any challenge, Siebold says.
"No one would ever strike it rich and live their dreams without huge expectations," he writes. "Ancient wisdom says you get what you expect, yet many people decide to limit their lives to middle-class mediocrity in an effort to protect themselves from failure."
Once they set ambitious goals, they immediately start looking for ways to tackle them: "Champions don't wait for things to happen, they make things happen."
They think of making money as a game
Rich people think of business, life, and earning as a game - and "it's a game they love to win," writes Siebold.
"This is the reason millionaires still go to work every day chasing their next success. Money to these people is no more than a gauge that tells them when they have achieved their latest target."
Plus, the excitement of "playing the game" pushes them to continually raise their level of expectation, Siebold explains. "The more excited they get, the harder they work and the more they succeed."
They personify money and see it as a friend
Rich people consider money "one of their greatest allies and friends," writes Siebold.
"It is a friend that has the power to end sleepless nights of worry, physical pain, and can even save their life."
While wealthy people believe money can solve problems and purchase peace of mind, the middle class "sees money as a never-ending necessary evil that must be endured as part of life," he says.
They block out fear
"The great ones are operating at a level of consciousness where fear doesn't exist," Siebold explains. "At this level of thought, anything seems possible. Every dream that seems crazy to the masses looks surprisingly doable."
To operate at this level, you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone, which is exactly what the richest people do, Siebold says. "World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn't easy and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty."
They tell themselves that getting rich is natural
The rich believe that "success, fulfillment and happiness are the natural order of existence," Siebold writes. "This single belief drives the great ones to behave in ways that virtually guarantee their success."
On the flip side, the middle class struggles because they expect to, the self-made millionaire explains. "The masses think they aren't worthy of great wealth. Who am I, they ask themselves, to become a millionaire?"
Try asking, Why not me? After all, that's what the wealthiest people do.