I know this sounds weird…
You probably have heard of affirmations right?
Yes, affirmations are the kind of positive statements that you repeat to yourself so you set an intention about the kind of person you want to be.
While it’s popularized by “The Not-So Secret” marketing campaign which made millions of people believe that thinking alone can attract all results, it’s still used by many successful people daily to reprogram their subconscious mind and change the way they think, feel, believe and thus behave.
In the Annual Review of Psychology 2014, Geoffrey L. Cohen and David K. Sherman published a research report called “The Psychology of Change: Self-Affirmation and Social Psychological Intervention”.
Basically, they are saying that the intervention of using “self-affirmation” can bring about a more expansive view of the self and its resources, and thus weaken the implications of a threat for personal integrity. They discovered that “Timely affirmations have been shown to improve education, health and relationship outcomes, with benefits that sometimes persist for months and years by touching off a positive feedback loop.”
Personally, I do speak out my positive, present-based, personal affirmation script daily and I do modify them every now and then to keep them inspirational, motivational, and emotionally charged for myself. It does work for me.
But to some people, affirmations are not effective to change them because they have this inner-voice which resists the idea that they can be successful (or whatever they are trying to affirm).
So while your brain can’t distinguish what’s real and what’s vividly imagined, it may still be smart enough to say, “Hey you, look at how poor you are right now, are you really going to believe you’re wealthy?”. It’s hard for these people to successfully intervene themselves.
Luckily, there’s another potent method called afformations.
Afformations are just like affirmations, but instead of using a positive statement, you ask yourself a positive question.
Instead of chanting “I am as rich as Donald Trump”, ask yourself “Why am I the kind of person who deserves wealth, power and abundance?”
Instead of saying “I am happy all the time”, ask yourself “What am I so grateful for right now? What makes me excited tomorrow? Why am I so lucky that I can always find my way?”
Instead of humming “I am so good-looking that I attract all beautiful women”, ask yourself “Why am I the kind of masculine, mature, authentic man who naturally attracts the right people to my life?”
According to Noah St. John, author of The Secret Code of Success, 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.
So what’s the verdict? Should you use affirmations or afformations?
Well, when it comes to self-improvement, I don’t really care what’s right or wrong. What I care is what works or not! So why not use both and see how they go?
Whenever you have your goals ready, go ahead and create two things:
#1 Your personal, positive, emotionally charged affirmation statements that inspire you.
#2 Your brilliantly crafted set of great questions that trigger the “auto search” function in your mind.
Use both of these powerful methods so you attack the same thing with two routes.
A. L. Kitselman says “The words ‘I am… ‘ are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.”
Albert Einstein says “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
Let’s utilize the wisdom of both and start conquering your dreams!