Affirmations have never really worked for me. I know that over time, they might really sink in, but I always found it hard to look at myself and repeat phrases like “I am worthy” or “I deserve love.” Realistically, it felt cheesy and like I truly couldn’t believe it. I would always find myself arguing — saying “Who says?”, shrugging the statements off, and rolling my eyes. But all that changed when I started learning about Iffirmations.
What Are Iffirmations?
It may just seem like I don’t know how to spell, but If-firmations simply add the phrase “What if” to a common affirmation to change it into a question. This might not seem like it would do anything different but it really changes the entire statement. Instead of “I deserve love,” you can say “What if I deserve love?” and the whole sentence changes. I could talk in “What if’s” for days, so thinking about myself in “What if” terms really helps me see the affirmation as something that could actually be true. Iffirmations, like affirmations, create new neural pathways in our brain, but they also spark curiosity and problem-solving.
Why Does This Help?
Asking questions always opens your mind up to possibilities. Questions take over the brain’s thought process through instinctive elaboration. Instinctive elaboration is the brain’s reaction to a question, specifically the way a question prompts the brain to focus on answers, solutions, and problem-solving.
Let’s use this example again: “What if I deserve love?” This question can then lead your brain to other similar questions like, “If I deserve love, how would that change the way I treat myself? Or how I let others treat me?” This way of thinking opens you up to hypothetical questions that change the way you see yourself.
Looking at myself in the mirror and saying “I deserve love” won’t convince me of anything, but spending time thinking about the hypotheticals will get my mind racing and wanting to change. This is because Iffirmations sound like they can be true — they plant the seed of possibility. Affirmations are often something you don’t fully believe yet, so it can feel like you’re attempting to fool yourself. Affirmations feel like a lie, while iffirmations can feel hopeful, exciting, achievable, and challenging (in a good way!).
How To Make Successful Iffirmations
There are so many examples of iffirmations, but how can you make sure they will work for you? First, keep in mind that the questions don’t always have to begin with “What if” and can be formed in a different way, as long as it is a question that opens up your mind. Then, you’ll want to go down your standard list and find ways to change your common or favorite affirmations into questions. Only use affirmations that you need right now, like ones that will help your current feelings/situations.
Here are a few examples:
“I am strong” vs “What if I’m stronger than I realize?”
“Today will be the best day” vs “What if today is the best day I’ve had in a while?”
“I never give up” vs “What if I never give up?”
“I am a good person” vs “What if I’m an inherently good person?”
“I trust myself” vs “What would happen/change if I trusted myself?”
Next, get started. Something nice about iffirmations is that they put your mind to work. Questions bring hope, and they will make you want to get started on your journey. If your iffirmation question is “What if I was more productive today than I was yesterday?” your brain might answer that by heading over to the desk and taking the leap to get started on your work. Hopefully, these iffirmations help you start some progress!
Have you used Iffirmations before? Leave your favorites in the comment section below!
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