A Pessimist's Guide to Manifesting 6: The Law of Reverse Effect
Why are you so counterproductive when you work so hard?
Have you ever lost your keys? Your wallet? Your phone?
How’d you feel in that moment of separation?
Frustrated that you’d be late for work or an appointment?
Scared that your money or identity was stolen?
Did you create stories of outcomes based on your feelings in that moment?
For example, you’d be late for work, get demoted or possibly fired; you’d have to spend years fighting to reclaim your identity and finances.
Maybe you wondered how you’d function until you can had your life back in the palm of your hand.
You probably imagined all of this while frantically running around your home, office or local shopping center looking for that lost item.
Lifetimes of anguish lived in fleeting moments of fear.
Until you stopped.
Until that moment when you took a breath and broke the cycle.
You suddenly realized that unfocused action was not giving you the results you wanted.
You probably took a deep breath and started systematically retracing your steps from the last moment you remembered having the item in your possession.
And through calm, focused action, you allowed ideas and possibilities to flow. You opened yourself to new options that you had not considered while distracted.
Most importantly, you probably found the item.
I’ll bet it was in either the last place you’d imagine it would be or it was right under your nose the entire time. You were just focusing on the wrong thing.
This is the Law of Reverse Effect at work: Try too hard consciously and your subconscious will not help you realize your goal.
We experience the same phenomenon when we try too hard to remember a name, address or phone number. Focusing too hard consciously on the result, our subconscious (where the information is stored) does not respond.
When we walk away from the conversation, or stop trying to recall the information, it magically appears.
Let’s examine how this law applies to manifesting.
You probably already have a goal in mind. Ideally a big one – one that exists in the Universe of Pure Potentiality.
You’re holding the image of this outcome in your conscious mind. Thinking about what life will be like when you achieve your outcome.
You take action to make it real. Because we know that wishing alone will not make it so.
You look for results to show you that you’re making headway.
But you don’t see them when you want to see them. Maybe you just see challenges and obstacles instead of advancement.
Now you feel like you’re falling behind, or that the Universe is conspiring against you, or possibly you begin to believe that you just aren’t good enough to deserve your dream.
And that’s when you begin to act frantically, undermining your self-worth with stories of unworthiness that were learned in your past.
Instead of projecting confidence about your outcome, now you’re projecting fear and lack.
To overcome those feelings, you work harder, because that’s what we’ve been taught in the West: Hard work delivers results.
But just like when you are looking for your lost keys, your efforts are unfocused and will not deliver the intended results.
Remember, the Laws of the Universe are ALWAYS working. It is how we work within them that affects how our goals are realized.
Until you embrace the concept of reverse effect, you may discover that the harder you try, the harder your work becomes.
Three practical steps to harness the Law of Reverse Effect to your benefit:
1 Stop trying so hard.
My favorite Zen koan is, “Do without doing and all gets done.”
Initially, that seems counterintuitive, but it’s really not.
When you stop focusing work required to accomplish a task and instead focus on the task itself, your energy flows more effortlessly.
The work toward your outcome becomes less like learning to dance (thinking about every movement before actually making it) and truly dancing (muscles moving without conscious thought, instinctively knowing where to go next).
2 Take a deep breath
Relax. It’s OK to relax once in a while.
As you do, look at the events that brought you to your moment of frustration.
How could you respond to them differently?
What triggers helped to create your frantic behavior?
Now, from a place of calm clarity, begin your plan to overcome them.
Do not let your emotions control you. It’s OK to feel them, but do not let the feelings overcome you.
Emotions are meant to flow – feel them and let them go.
3 Imagine where you were on your path to achievement before you derailed yourself
Just like retracing your steps to find you lost keys, go back to the last place where you felt in balance with realizing your goal.
This may be a physical location, but more likely it is a state of mind.
Connect with the feelings that were present then: confidence in your path; assuredness in your abilities to achieve, intuitively knowing that your outcome was manifesting.
These feelings come from our higher consciousness that is connected to the Universe.
Our feelings of fear, anger, etc., that result in distraction, come from ego conditioning.
The process of manifesting is path to overcoming the small-minded beliefs of the ego.
It’s time to think bigger.
Your homework this for this lesson is to stop doing and start being.
If you are stuck in manifesting your goal, take a step back and examine what you are experiencing.
Are you frustrated and acting frantically in the hopes that something will just happen?
Clear these negative emotions away and begin acting from a state of clarity.
Just allow yourself to be for a bit. Recharge your batteries and regain your balance.
Then ask your Higher Self or the Universe, “What is the right thing for me to do next?” and be open to answer.
We’d love to hear about your breakthroughs with reverse effect. What did you stop doing so that you could start being?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week, make it so.