What Are Afformations & How Can They Help You Feel More Empowered?

By Reniel


Last Updated: February 7, 2022

Have you ever been in a situation where you asked yourself, “Why is this happening to me?”. 

Such situations may be about a predicament – like, “why am I always unlucky” – but it is not always in the negative. You may also find yourself asking why you are “successful” or ‘lucky.’

We tend to ask these questions unconsciously most times, but, what many people don’t realize is that asking such questions helps us focus more on what our source (of success or failure) is and where we are headed.

Interestingly, when these questions are about positive occurrences, there is a word for this: afformation


What are Afformations?

Afformations are empowering and feel-good questions you ask yourself that assume that what you want has already happened.

For instance, instead of saying “I am empowered and confident,” one could afform, “Why am I so confident and empowered?” 

Afformations can also be seen as questions that could raise one’s vibration and immediately change one’s subconscious thought patterns from negative to positive by changing some beliefs about yourself and what you are capable of.


Do Afformations Work?

There are two basic forces that govern human behavior and they are – why and how. 

The why serves as a motive with which one performs an action; the how is a method of performing that action. 

In other words, one can know how to do something but is reluctant or never motivated enough to do it. This goes to show that one’s ultimate motive is important and why afformations always start with the word why.

However, keep in mind that afformations are not necessarily what gives you clarity, but they set you on that path.

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What is the Difference Between Afformation and Affirmation?

Afformation: "A question that a person asks himself or herself as a form of self-help through positive thinking." - Collins Dictionary

Whilst Affirmation is a STATEMENT you make of something you would like to be true, Afformation is a QUESTION that assumes what you want is already true and has come to fruition.

Afformation and affirmation are both powerful tools of the mind. However, affirmations seem more like words one says to feel better, things like,

  • “I am not a failure”
  • “I am rich, happy, and healthy.” 

These words can make you feel good temporarily, but the problem is you may not quite believe them; not entirely.

However, if these statements are structured thus; “Why am I struggling?” or “Why am I wealthy, happy, and healthy?” it would help one focus and actually look out for answers which could be possible solutions to their present situations – or lead to them.

The mind finds it more difficult to attack such “suggestions” (made through afformations) as opposed to the “claims” (made by affirmations); hence affirmation works better. 

Albert Einstein once said,

“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.”

This actually points to the fact that the human brain is wired to always ask and search for answers to questions. It gives the brain a task and not just a statement which makes it feel good for just a few.


Do Affirmations Always Work?

A great many of us have tried to use affirming words to reposition our life thoughts and patterns for the better.

Why? Maybe because we’ve heard that “when we confess a thing, we possess it,” or we have actually heard successful people tell us times without number, “I told myself I am not a failure. I will make it!” 

That actually is a beautiful way to put it. It is good to reassure yourself every once in a while but the question now is “Do they really work?”

Answer: Only sometimes – this is owing to the fact that thoughts are like seeds planted in the mind. 

For instance, let’s assume you have a project at hand that requires some amount of money that you do not have. At first, you are going to be worried and sometimes depressed because your lack of money is inhibiting carrying out the project. 

However, thinking backward, you recall a time you were told to always speak positively in your life and that your thoughts were seeds you plant in your mind, you speak up and say, “I am wealthy.” 

This suggests that you have identified that your main thought of having inadequate money has been holding you back and therefore start planting positive thoughts to combat the negative thoughts.

The truth is, the doubts and worries are still there because you are trying to convince yourself of something you don’t believe is true. Confessing that you are wealthy doesn’t actually make you wealthy. And if you struggle with using affirmations – because it feels untrue – then maybe you can try afformations.


How To Use Afformations As An Effective Mind Tool

“I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but the questions are sure worth thinking about.” – Arthur C. Clarke of 2001: A Space of Odyssey

The mind has what one might call the Automatic Search Function, meaning that once one asks a question, the mind reels to find an answer to it. This is why it is important to note which questions are empowering or disempowering. When you ask the right questions, the mind will find the right answers.

Suppose you asked, “why am I confident and empowered?”; your mind would race to find the “reasons”; and if you are clever and attentive, you can focus on those “reasons” to do more things that make you feel that way and bring more of that into your life. 

This further strengthens the argument that you must try not to be so negative in your thought patterns.

Always remember that your mind is on a mission to find an answer to the question thrown at it.

Asking questions such as, “Why am I clumsy?” “Why can’t I make money?” “Why am I always unlucky?” and so on, will only leave you with lousy answers. When afforming, use empowering questions that could help your mind to focus on what’s RIGHT about you rather than focusing on what’s WRONG with you. 


How Many Afformations Can I Make & Why?

The subconscious tackles empowering questions and studies have shown that the subconscious mind can take on as many ideas as possible and cannot be overwhelmed. 

So, try implementing as many afformations in your daily life as possible, then give it time; because like all lasting changes, its results come with baby steps. Only ensure you are consistent in it and the results will eventually be evident in your life. 

If you are feeling down, refuse to focus on that. Rather focus on your successes, afform them, and watch your life improve dramatically.   

Photo by Cyrus Crossan on Unsplash


4 comments on “What Are Afformations & How Can They Help You Feel More Empowered?”

  1. I first learned about Afformations from Noah St John in the 90's --- what a powerful tool to use when you talk to yourself -- positive empowering questions to help your mind create the path and the answers!

    1. Absolutely, Susie! If it helps us feel more confident and self-aware, then we should use all the tools in our toolbox. 🙂

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