Five reasons why the Law of Attraction doesn’t work
If you’re like me, you’ve read that book. You know the one, don’t deny it… you don’t have to keep it a “secret.”
After reading it, you probably fell into one of two camps:
You either thought, “This is great! I just have to wish for what I want! Why have I been working so hard to create a career, buy stuff and (insert your goal here).” And you started reciting affirmations about your intended outcomes and desires.
You thought, “This is bullshit. I can’t believe I just spent $20 on this crap.”
I was initially in the first camp. I was excited by the concepts in the book and on a metaphysical level, they made sense to me.
But then, it didn’t work.
That’s when I became a turncoat and stepped into the other group.
The physical reality of my experience was more real to me than the goals of my vision.
I went back to a boring job, accepting what I thought I deserved and I was successful… for a while.
A few years ago, I had a major shakeup in my life. It wasn’t so much an existential crisis as it was an awareness, a need to break free of all the stuff and beliefs that I’d wrapped my life in. They weren’t contributing to my happiness any longer.
That journey still continues. It’s been a challenging climb up the mountain of personal reinvention.
(From an optimist’s perspective – more on that later – through being aware of my challenges as I navigate this change, I’m charting a path by which to help others. That’s the realization of my purpose that started me on this course years ago.)
While reading Martin Seligman’s brilliant book, Learned Optimism, last night, I realized that I am a mild optimist.
What does it mean to be a mild optimist?
On the bright side, I expect things to work out. I take personal responsibility for my role in situations and my ability to find success.
On the darker side, as someone who is only mildly optimistic, I find that sometimes I am temporarily overwhelmed by environment. I fall into brief, false thoughts, hasty generalizations such as, “Nothing ever goes right,” “Why do I always have to work so hard,” and “I’m not meant for this.”
I bet you’ve been there too.
What else did I learn from Seligman’s book?
I can change my perspective and learn to be more optimistic.
I am a work in progress. As are you.
Over the years, one major realization that I’ve learned to help me get out of trash thinking is that over-generalizations are false. They logically cannot exist.
We can think, “Nothing ever goes right for me,” but when we turn our focus and begin to look for even the smallest iota of good, we can find it.
Maybe our coffee was perfect this morning, maybe we woke up on time and felt great rather than groggy, or maybe we just saw a perfect sunrise.
While those all may seem meaningless, it’s the awareness of their presence in our life that begins to shift our thinking from victim-minded to gratitude.
Awareness is an active state of mind. We choose to be aware – and we choose that of which we are aware.
Try it. Spend the next week being aware of good things as they happen, or reflect on them before you go to sleep. Your opinion of yourself will change for the better.
What does this have to do with the Law of Attraction and why we seem to struggle with it?
Your outlook determines what you attract.
If you’re a pessimist, or have pessimistic tendencies, you’ll not look for the signs that things are moving in the right direction. Instead, you’ll perceive the obstacles.
Or, you may not believe that you deserve to achieve your goals and will self-sabotage your efforts.
Here’s a list of five reasons why the Law of Attraction doesn’t work. See if you identify with one or more of them.
1. You aren’t clear on your goals
You say you want one thing (a better job, more money, a better relationship…) but you aren’t defining what those things will look like.
How will the job be better? Shorter hours, no working on weekends, better environment, better alignment with your skills?
How much more money?
What about the relationship? More supportive, more intense, more personal space, less alone-time?
Write these goals clearly and define them outside of temporary fixes.
After finding a new job, many discover that the same problems that drove them from the previous position still exist in the new opportunity.
That’s because they weren’t clear on what they sought to change.
They didn’t properly define their outcomes.
2. You don’t want to do the work
Probably the most offensive four-letter word in the English language.
Doing work implies getting results. It’s pretty basic Newtonian physics.
Unfortunately, we think that the work will be easier than it turns out to be.
If we’re pushing against the wall of our goals, shouldn’t our goals be responding?
When we don’t see results in our imagined time-frame, we begin to believe we are wasting our energy and efforts. So, we stop striving and go back to surviving.
We view celebrities, friends and family and judge their success as “overnight,” possibly as “undeserved,” because we don’t see the years of work that they dedicated themselves to in an effort to realize their success.
Wishing is easier than working. That’s why that book I mentioned earlier was so popular.
Admittedly, it worked for some people. Others however, were left struggling with an unclear path forward.
If you’ve read this far, you are probably one of the latter group and you want answers.
3. You are afraid – of failure or success
Let’s revisit that idea above regarding celebrities, friends and family.
When you think about their success, what do you feel?
Do you feel that they didn’t deserve it, or maybe that they’re too successful: that they have too much money, stuff, popularity, blah, blah, blah?
You’re probably thinking, “If I had what they have, I’d make a difference in the world,” or “I wouldn’t flaunt my wealth like the do. It’s distasteful.”
I’m here to call you on your bullshit right now.
If you feel this way toward successful people, then you are projecting your own fears forward.
Maybe internally you don’t feel deserving of success.
It’s understandable to feel afraid of failure – that’s a position that is ingrained in our cultural psyche. Failure is thought to be bad.
But growth comes from failure. We learn how to move forward and navigate a new path toward success.
On creating the light bulb, Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
His resilience came from learning from his errors and shifting his course for the next experiment.
Many of us, when faced with perceived failure go back to the same course of thinking and try again. Repeating the same process over and over, expecting different results. That’s the stereotypical definition of insanity.
The more insidious fear, the one that is the hardest for most of us to accept for ourselves is the fear of success.
What? Fear of success, you say?
I can hear you now, “Why would I be afraid of succeeding?”
Let me ask you, what does success look like?
Yeah, there’s the gilding on the surface – more money, more fame, perception of an easier lifestyle, but look closer… what’s under it?
Possibly more work, more responsibility, being in a new position with which you are unfamiliar, more exposure, reduced family time, maybe less personal time for yourself.
Snapshot summary: OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
So, yeah, you can want success, you can image it and think of all the wonderful things that it will bring to you, but fear will hold you back, because:
4. Emotion is more powerful than thought
While you may have a thought of what you desire, there’s an emotion behind it that’s more powerful.
Maybe that idea was created from a moment of anger or frustration when you realized that things had to change and you wanted a better life.
Maybe that idea was created from a place of peace when you had a quiet epiphany on a way to bring improvement to the world.
Either way, our emotions drive the manifesting process, not our thoughts.
Dig deep into your ideas. Ask yourself what’s driving them and get a sense of the emotions that are associated with your goals.
A sense of fear, or a belief that we are undeserving of success will hold us back from achieving.
It will look like the outside environment is conspiring against us, but in a very real sense, we are sabotaging ourselves.
At that moment of sabotage, we are fulfilling the Law of Attraction by drawing our belief of lack and sense of undeserving to ourselves.
In that way, it’s not that the Law of Attraction isn’t working, it’s that we’re sending the wrong signals out.
The Law is always working. It’s what we’re asking for, or what we are saying we deserve, that is coming back to us.
5. You’re stuck in the past, defining yourself on who you were, not who you are
Are you the same person you were when you were five years old?
Unless you are a six-year old reading this, I hope not. And even then, you’ve probably changed a bit.
Who you learned to be in your childhood is the template from which you decide what you deserve in life.
If you were continually told that you were bad, didn’t deserve anything nice because you always broke your toys or thought that because you received second-hand clothing from your siblings that you weren’t good enough for new things, you might carry a subconscious belief that you can’t have a better life.
Even though you’ve been very successful in many ways, you still see a goal that is ahead of you, un-achieved. Rather than focusing on how far you’ve come, all you see is how far you have yet to go.
To realize your future, it’s time to let go of the script of the past.
You are no longer the person who you were as a child, or even who you were ten, five or two years ago.
You’ve grown. You’ve learned. You’ve succeeded.
You’re still here and there’s still fight left in you.
It’s time to change.
I’m here to help.
Let’s talk about where you are and what’s holding you back.
From the side of the mountain, rather than from the top, I’m here to give you my perspective.
Handing off ropes, pointing out loose rocks and suggesting solid hand-holds, I’m here with you. I was where you are and I’m still climbing.
I’ve recently taken my experience and written a new hypnotic protocol to help my clients remove their perception of barriers and connect more strongly with their goals.
What barriers are you sensing? Where have you been stuck? Where do you want to go? What do you want to achieve?
Write a comment below or send me an email.
Let’s try a new path rather than the old, familiar ones.
PS: There's more on this topic in the upcoming book, Practical Manifesting, by written by myself and Orecia (Iris) Terner. (Notice the word "practical" in the title. It's no secret where we stand.)