the Unpopular opinion: We’ve made the Law of Attraction toxic.
The Law of Attraction (LOA) says, “like attracts like.” The underlying philosophy is that positive thinking will deliver all our heart’s desires. This rose-colored definition fails to fully explain the LOA’s complexities and leads to misuse and toxicity. The Universe is not our personal genie. It’s not here to deliver millions of dollars and Ryan Gosling to our living rooms instantly, and it’s not an excuse for ignoring our shadows. It is, however, real, and it can help us catapult our businesses and personal growth in tangible, healthy ways.
Step One: Identify/Change Your Subconscious Beliefs
“Alright, so all I have to do is think happy thoughts, and my life will change, right?” Uh, no! Studies suggest that we have 6,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day; attempting to control every thought is an unrealistic endeavor. A more realistic task is to focus on our emotions.
Most internet gurus believe that thoughts create emotions, but the truth is a little more complex than that. Most of our emotional responses are created by a collection of beliefs (many developed in childhood) that have been deeply embedded within the subconscious mind. The “fight-or-flight” response is an excellent example of this phenomenon; it’s why we react the same to an upcoming client meeting as we do when we cross paths with a mountain lion.
The first step to manifesting is to change our subconscious beliefs or “the thoughts behind the thoughts.” We can’t do this by forcing happy thoughts. Doing so is a surefire way to end up with depression and anxiety, and it’s the very definition of toxic positivity.
When we feel an emotion that is not aligned with what we are trying to manifest, it’s time to investigate the thought behind the thought. Don’t try to change it, just acknowledge that it’s there. My suggestion? Shadow work. Shadow work changes how we respond to life, and when we shift from being reactive to responsive, we’re ready to manifest.
Summary: We can’t outthink the subconscious mind; we have to do the work.
Step Two: Identify Your Desires and Feel into the Emotion
The second key to manifesting using the LOA is to not only identify what we want but how we want to feel. I know, babe, I want to manifest a seven-figure business too, but hear me out on this… after identifying what you want, instead of focusing on controlling the outcome, focus on what will happen once you achieve that outcome. This step alone is unbelievably powerful.
For example, instead of trying to manifest 1 million subscribers on TikTok, ask yourself how you will feel when you hit 1 million subscribers and why you want to achieve that goal.
Is it that you want power? Then act powerfully.
Are you hoping that 1 million subs will increase your revenue? If so, why do you want more revenue? Is it for freedom? Then feel in your body as though you are already free.
The Universe responds intensely to emotion. It wants to give you more of what you already feel.
Summary: Find the motivating emotion behind your goal and try to hold that feeling in the present moment.
Step Three: Take Action
Manifesting works in part because it activates our reticular activating system (RAS). Our RAS consists of a network of neurons located in the brain that help to filter the world around us. Have you ever looked into the concept of Angel Numbers? If so, I’m sure you started to see 1111 or 444 everywhere! That’s the RAS in action. Anytime we set our intention on a concept, the RAS helps us find what we seek.
If we spend time manifesting success, for example, our brains will help filter the world to show us avenues toward success. If we want freedom, our brains will filter the world to show us the people who can provide opportunity for more freedom. To find the magic, we need to get out of our heads and into the world through conscious action.
Summary: Thinking is not enough. We have to get out of our heads and into the world to find the opportunities that are waiting for us.
Step Four: Become
Manifesting is not a process of getting but of becoming. When you focus on what you want, take action on it every day, and stick with it as long as it takes, you will change. You will slowly align your energy with what you’re trying to achieve. With time, you will become the person you need to be in order to get what you want.
Summary: People are where they are because they are who they are. Take action to become the person you need to be to get what you want.
Step Five: The Universe Has Its Own Time Frame
The final step in manifestation is to have patience. I think it’s silly when people put time limits on the process (e.g., small manifestations take one week and big manifestations take years). The thought of the Universe abiding by a man-made construct such as time makes me giggle. But what’s worse is that when the Universe doesn’t adhere to the deadline we’ve created, we start shaming, blaming, and doubting:
- You didn’t hold your intention.
- You were (lazy, fuzzy, negative) with your intention.
- Manifestation is bullshit. It doesn’t work!
Ouch! Way to kick a girl when she’s down, right?
The result of looping into the shame/blame cycle is that we either give up before we achieve or we tap into our toxic masculinity. We start to assert, manipulate, and control to force things to happen. I know I’m asking a lot here, but once we’ve put in the work and taken action, we need to take a step back and let the Universe do its thing.
Summary: We can’t put a time limit on manifesting. Manifesting requires a touch of faith and patience.
Becoming who we need to be to get what we want takes time, and that’s okay! Remember, the Universe is magic. You are magic. Magic takes time. Before you beat yourself up for seemingly failing to manifest your dreams, take a look back to see what you have achieved. Have you embraced a shadow? Changed how you respond to life? Spent more time focusing on gratitude and joy? If so, perhaps you’ve already received precisely what you needed.