Yesterday while on our beach run, my husband and I ran into two very special friends that we have not seen in awhile. We are always happy to see Monique and Norvell, as we share similar philosophies about Life, Love and Joy. We have a connection. As we talked about staying healthy and the importance of positively affirming it, Monique said she uses afformations versus affirmations. I had heard of the method, however was not that familiar with it. I have used affirmations consistently through the years and have benefitted from them. Being highly curious and inquisitive, I am always open to making adjustments to enhance my life. What better way to research it than to write about it in my weekly post. Thank you Monique for sharing your wisdom!❤️
Let’s take a look at the two methods.
Positive affirmations are statements that can be used to overcome self-sabotaging behavior and negative thinking patterns. By repeating these phrases, and believing in them, positive changes will manifest in your life. Think of it as exercise for your brain: we do sit-ups or pushups regularly, to improve our body’s strength. When we repeat positive affirmations regularly, we train our brains to become stronger—more positive, and more resilient. Saying them aloud adds passion and strength. Some people love to affirm in front of a mirror. Consistent and frequency of affirming is a powerful tool. I usually say mine first thing in the morning, as I start my runs, and at night before drifting off into sleep. I became more focused and disciplined during my cancer recovery 16+ years ago.
Do affirmations work?
Yes and No! There is a scientific reason why. Our brains have a Reticular Activating System (RAS). Its function is to fill our awareness with things that we think about. So if you think about red and then look around in your room, you’ll notice red all around. Similarly, when you tell yourself that your life is amazing, you’ll find more and more amazing experiences as your life unfolds.
But sometimes affirmations may not work. Why? Because they go against our beliefs. Affirmations must align with your beliefs. Suppose your affirmation says “I exude happiness all the time”. But if you are sad most of the time, even the most powerful affirmations will become useless.
What should you do? Experiment with various affirming statements. You will notice how you feel as you say them. Go with what resonates with you. Just pick the ones that fill you with conviction. It’s that simple. A few examples:
Repeating positive affirmations can help you control feelings of frustration, anger or impatience; raise your confidence before an important meeting or presentation; overcome bad habits; improve your self-esteem and improve your productivity. And when you find yourself having negative thoughts or behaviors, refocus and repeat your affirmations.
Positive afformations, on the other hand, serve the same purpose as positive affirmations…but are based on the principal that the subconscious mind responds more effectively to questions rather than statements. An afformation is simply the question form of an affirmation: an afformation asks empowering questions that focus on affirming answers that manifest into your Life. Example:
According to Noah St. John, author of The Secret Code of Success and responsible for coining the afformation term, afformations work better because our minds appreciate questions and are eager to search for answers automatically. It challenges our mind to figure out a possible answer instead of repeating some statements that don’t seem convincing. When you allow your mind to gather evidence of a possible answer on its own instead of forcing it into believing certain things, the idea becomes less invasive and your mind is less tempted to fight against it.
As with most things in Life, we have a choice. Therefore choose the approach that feels right for you – Affirmations or Afformations – or possibly both!. Start by taking your goals and create two things:
#1 Your personal, positive, emotionally charged statements (affirmations) that inspire you.
#2 Your brilliantly crafted set of great questions (afformations) that trigger the “auto search” function in your mind.
Use both or one of these powerful methods. You will know what is best for you. However, remember that training your brain to intuitively default to positivity won’t happen without consistency and commitment. But the power of positive thinking is real, and can transform your life.
With Light, Love, Affirmations and Afformations,
Teri Karjala, counselor, therapist and founder of the Creative Counseling Center
Noah St. John, author, coach, keynote speaker famous for inventing Afformations