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Why Affirmations Have Failed You and 4 Steps to Change That Affirmations work, it's wishful thinking that doesn't.

By Hal Elrod

entrepreneur daily

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"I AM THE GREATEST!" Muhammad Ali affirmed these words, over and over again, until he became them.

Science has proven that affirmations, when done correctly, are an effective tool for quickly becoming the person you need to be to achieve everything you want in your life. Nonetheless, affirmations also have a bad rap. Many have tried them only to be disappointed, with little or no results.

The reason for the disappointment is that the old way of doing affirmations doesn't work. For decades, countless so-called experts and gurus have taught affirmations in ways that have proven to be ineffective and set you up for failure, time and time again. There are two common problems with affirmations.

First, lying to yourself doesn't work.

I am a millionaire. No, you're not.

I have 7 percent body fat. No, you don't.

I have achieved all of my goals this year. Nope. Sorry, you haven't.

This method of creating affirmations that are written as if you've already become or achieved something may be the single biggest reason that affirmations haven't worked for most people.

With this technique, every time you recite an affirmation that simply isn't rooted in truth, your subconscious will resist it. As an intelligent human being who isn't delusional, lying to yourself repeatedly will never be the optimum strategy. The truth will always prevail.

The second main reason for disappointment with affirmations is that passive language doesn't produce results. Many affirmations have been designed to make you feel good by creating an empty promise of something you desire. For example, here is a popular "money" affirmation that's been perpetuated for decades, by many world famous gurus:

I am a money magnet. Money flows to me effortlessly and in abundance.

This type of affirmation might make you feel good in the moment by giving you a false sense of relief from your financial worries, but it won't generate any income. People who sit back and wait for money to magically show up are cash poor.

To generate financial abundance (or any result you desire, for that matter), you've got to actually do something. Your actions must be in alignment with your desired results, and your affirmations must articulate and affirm both.

Here are four simple steps for creating and implementing results-oriented Miracle Morning affirmations, which will program both your conscious and subconscious mind to produce results and take your levels of personal and professional success beyond what you've ever experienced before.

Related: How to Train Your Brain to Stay Positive

1: The result you are committed to and why.

Notice you're not starting with, "What you want" because everyone wants things, but we don't get what we want; we get what we're committed to. You want to be a millionaire? Who cares; join the non-exclusive club. Oh wait, you're 100% committed to becoming a millionaire by clarifying and executing the necessary actions until the result is achieved? Okay, now we're talking.

Action: Start by writing down a (specific) extraordinary result/outcome—one that challenges you and would significantly improve your life—which you ready to commit to creating (even if you're not yet sure how you will do it). Then, reinforce your commitment by including your WHY—the compelling benefits that you'll get to experience.

Examples: I am committed to doubling my income in the next 12 months, from $_______ to $_______ so that I can provide financial security for my family. Or… I am 100 percent committed to losing _____ pounds and weighing _____ pounds by _______ (date) so that I can set an example of health and fitness for my kids.

2: Necessary actions you are committed to taking and when.

Writing an affirmation that merely affirms what you want without affirming what you are committed to doing is one step above pointless, and can actually be counter-productive by tricking your subconscious mind into thinking that the result will happen automatically, without effort.

Action: Clarify the specific action, activity, or habit that is required for you to achieve your ideal outcome, and clearly state when and how often you will execute the necessary action.

Examples: To guarantee that I double my income, I am committed to doubling my daily prospecting calls from 20 to 40 calls, five days a week, from 8-9 a.m., no matter what. Or… To ensure that I lose ____ pounds, I am 100 percent committed to going to the gym five days every week and running on the treadmill for a minimum of 20 minutes each day, from 6-7 a.m.

The more specific your actions are, the better. Be sure to include frequency (how often), quantity (how many), and precise times frames (what times you'll begin and end your activities).

Related: 5 Surefire Ways to Maximize Your Life, Starting This Morning

3: Recite your affirmations every morning with emotion.

Remember, your Miracle Morning affirmations aren't designed to merely make you feel good. These are written statements that are strategically engineered to program your subconscious mind with the beliefs and overall mindset you need to achieve your desired outcome, while directing your conscious mind to keep you focused on your highest priorities and taking the actions that will get you there.

However, in order for your affirmations to be effective, it is important that you tap into your emotions while reciting them. Mindlessly repeating an affirmation over and over again, without intentionally feeling it's truth, will have minimal benefit for you. You must take responsibility for generating authentic excitement and determination, then powerfully infusing those emotions into every affirmation you recite.

Action: Schedule time each morning to read your affirmations, both to program your subconscious and focus your conscious mind on what's most important to you and what you are committed to doing to make it your reality. That's right, you must read them daily. Reading an occasional affirmation is as effective as getting an occasional workout. You'll start seeing results only once you've made them a part of your daily routine.

4. Constantly update and evolve your affirmations.

As you continue to grow, improve and evolve, so should your affirmations. When you come up with a new goal, dream or any ambitious result that you want to create for your life, add it to your affirmations.

Personally, I have affirmations for every single significant area of my life (finances, health, relationships, parenting, etc.) and am constantly updating my affirmations as I learn more. I am always on the lookout for quotes, strategies and philosophies that I can add to improve my mindset. Anytime you come across an empowering quote or philosophy and think to yourself, Man, that is a huge area of improvement for me, add it to your affirmations.

Your new affirmations articulate the results you seek, why they are critically important to you and, most importantly, which necessary actions you are committed to taking and precisely when so you attain and sustain the success that you truly want (and deserve) for your life.

Related: 7 Million-Dollar Habits of the Super Successful

Hal Elrod

Author of 'The Miracle Morning,' Serial Entrepreneur

Temecula, Calif.-based Hal Elrod is the author of The Miracle MorningThe Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8AM. After a car accident and being told he'd never walk again, Elrod bounced back to become an ultramarathon runner, international keynote speaker and success coach.

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