In April 1997, I was a divorced, 30-year-old religious studies major, living in a dorm room so tiny, I could stand in the middle of it and touch the walls on both sides. (Seriously, it was that small.)

And despite the fact that I had worked really, really hard all my life, I had very little to show for it.

But I was a good student, so just as the scores of self-help books I’d read had instructed me, I’d papered the walls of that pocket-sized room with affirmations.

You know about “affirmations”—positive statements like: I am happy, I am prosperous, I am good enough—that are supposed to come true if we say them often enough.

Well, despite a lot of effort, they definitely weren’t working for me. I was depressed, discouraged, and frustrated. But rather than blame the process or the authors of those books, like most people, I blamed myself.

I thought that I was a failure and, that April night, as I lay in bed, those yellow slips of “wallpaper” haunting me, I admitted the truth. I faced the fact that, despite years of trying to believe those positive statements, I just didn’t.

In fact, the harder I tried to believe that I was happy, wealthy, and good enough, the more my mind answered, “Yeah, right!”

Then, feeling even more depressed than ever, I turned out the light and pulled the covers over my head.

Here’s one of the great aspects of the brain. While I slept, it had been working hard all night processing my negative emotions; so that by the next morning, when I was in the shower, I was able to wrestle effectively with questions from the night before:

If I’ve been saying these positive statements to myself for so long, how come I still don’t believe them?

And if I don’t believe these positive statements after repeating them over and over for so many years, what’s it going to take for me to finally believe something good about myself?

And finally: There’s got to be an easier way to change my life. But what is it?

That’s when I had my BAM: my Big Aha Moment. I realized why “affirmations” don’t work for millions of people who’ve tried them. Affirmations don’t work because they’re an incomplete equation.

Tweet: Affirmations often don’t work because they’re an incomplete equation.

Just as I was demonstrating, human thought is the process of asking and searching for answers to questions. That’s how our brains are wired.

Therefore, it makes no sense at all to go around making statements we don’t believe. Because we just keep banging up against our own brain.

I realized that, instead, we needed to harness the brain’s amazing ability to find answers. How would we do that? By asking questions, of course. But they had to be the right questions. We are constantly undermining ourselves by asking the wrong questions. 

As I watched the shower steam rise around me, I began to grasp the power of my epiphany. I realized that if we start asking ourselves the right questions, it would change everything.

I jumped out of the shower and, over the next couple of days, invented the method that has become my life’s work.

The Cure for the Common Statement

For example, a classic affirmation is: I am rich.

Now, say that statement to yourself: “I am rich.”

What does your brain say?

Your brain is probably saying, “Yeah, right!”

Because you really don’t believe the statement you’re saying.

But we’ve been taught to say these positive statements over and over again, which essentially means we’ve been told to “pound our brains into submission.”

So as I was standing there in the shower all those years ago, I had a thought… a thought that would change my life… and change the lives of countless thousands of people around the world.

My thought was, “What if there was a simpler, faster, easier way to change our beliefs and change our lives? What if, instead of saying statements we don’t believe, we simply started to ask better questions?

For example, you say I am rich and your brain says, Yeah, right!

What, then, would the question be?

Why am I so rich?

When you ask that question, what immediately happens in your brain?


You start to search for the answer to the question.

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

We’ve all heard the ancient law: As you sow, so shall you reap.

What are we really sowing? We’re sowing seeds of thought.

But what are most people doing? Sowing lousy thought-seeds.

Thought-seeds like, Why am I so broke? Why am I so fat? How come my business isn’t growing? Why is there more month left at the end of the money?

When you ask lousy questions, what do you get?

Exactly! Lousy answers.

And lousy answers lead to a lousy life.

So I thought: “What if, instead of asking lousy questions and getting lousy answers and creating a lousy life… what if we flipped the whole thing on its head… started asking empowering questions that lead to phenomenal answers and create a wonderful life?”

And that’s why, as I was standing in the shower on April 24, 1997, I said to myself, “Holy cow! I think I just invented something!”

So I had to give it a name… and the name I gave it was Afformations®.

Since then, Afformations – not “affirmations” – have been called “the missing piece to mental health” by thought leaders and thousands of my clients around the world.

My “4A Method” to Change Your Life with Afformations®

Step 1: ASK yourself what you want.

You can use a goal you’ve previously written down, or start from scratch. You decide.

(Please note that traditional success teachers stop right here. They tell you to “set your goals” and then say “affirmations” trying to convince your brain that you have what you want. How’s that working for you?)

Step 2: AFFORM an empowering question that assumes that what you want is already true.

You can Afform about anything you want – to attract more clients, get your book published, find love, overcome addiction, lose weight, and more. (And yes, my clients have manifested all of these things… and more!)

Step 3: ACCEPT the truth of your new question.

The point of Afformationsdoes not lie in finding “the answer”, but in asking better questions. When you ask better questions, your mind will start to focus on things you’ve probably never thought about before. When you do this, the results will amaze you.

For example, you can read, write, speak, and listen to your new Afformations. It only takes a few minutes a day to change your beliefs and change your life.

Step 4: ACT based on your new assumptions.

We all make assumptions based on our beliefs. But using Afformations, you can make conscious and clear that which has, until now, been subconscious and hidden.

Afformations aren’t magic, they’re science.

In fact, tens of thousands of people around the world have experienced incredible breakthroughs using my AFFORMATIONS® Method, from doubling their income to losing weight to overcoming addiction to finding the love of their lives.


  • Noah St. John

    Author of 15 books including AFFORMATIONS® and Power Habits®

    Noah St. John is a keynote speaker, business consultant and executive coach who’s famous for helping people make money: Since 1997, his coaching clients have added more than $2.2 BILLION dollars in sales. He is the only author in history to have works published by Hay House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Mindvalley, Nightingale-Conant, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher. His 15 books have been published in 18 languages. Noah is also famous for inventing AFFORMATIONS® - a new technology of the mind – and helping busy people take out their head trash so they enjoy more wealth, health, and happiness. Learn more at A highly in-demand business and motivational keynote speaker, Noah has delivered over 1,000 presentations for corporations, associations, business groups, colleges, universities and youth organizations worldwide and can speak for groups ranging from 25-25,000+! One of the world’s most sought-after experts on peak performance, habits and business growth, Noah also appears frequently in the news worldwide, including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, The Hallmark Channel, NPR, PARADE, Woman’s Day, Los Angeles Business Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Entrepreneur, Selling Power and The Huffington Post. Book Noah to speak for your event at