Does the law of attraction work? There’s a huge fanfare around the law of attraction; ever since the film The Secret came out in 2007. But does the law of attraction really work or is it just some new age “fluff” made to make a few people rich?!
In case you’ve been living in a cave, the law of attraction is the theory that thoughts become things. It’s not a new theory and books have been written about the law of attraction since 1877: In 1877, the term ‘Law of Attraction‘ appeared in print for the first time in a book written by the Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky.
Since then, writers and new age thinkers such as Napoleon Hill, Raymond Holliwell and Wallace Wattles have written classic books on the topic:
Think and Grow Rich, The Science Of Getting Rich, Working With The Law. See also law of attraction pdf for a number of free downloadable books on the law of attraction.
Does The Law Of Attraction Work?
So it’s not a new thing, the law of attraction.
Henry Ford – “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”
This famous quote from Henry Ford pretty much sums up a large part of what the law of attraction is. Of course the sceptics will start using impossible scenarios to throw doubt on this summation; “no, if you’re a 40 year old drop out, you probably won’t get to go to the moon”!
The Secret film was a huge inspiration for millions because it brought the idea of the law of attraction to the mainstream. But depending on your belief and ability to understand the idea more deeply, you may have lost faith in the idea. Many people claim The Secret was too fluffy and idealised the idea of creating your “dream life” without having to actually do anything. If that is the case you’ve probably misinterpreted the message it was trying to convey, as I did.
Why The Law Of Attraction Does Not Work
For many the law of attraction doesn’t seem to be working, when in fact is is! The same was true for me after first discovering the film. In my 20’s I was a big fan of self help books and had read many of the famous titles which taught this idea. The Secret film reawakened some of these latent ideas and I was instantly motivated! I started paying more attention to my thinking and visualised lots of money coming in! Before long, I lost belief in the secret and went about “business as usual”.
I think this is probably the fundamental mistake for many people when faced with the idea that we create our own futures. We accept the reality we are living in currently and as a result perpetuate it by continuing to live it out, day after day, giving attention to things we don’t really want. We forget that we can change things by changing our habits and beliefs.
Out biggest liability is that we think we already know all available possibilities for our future. When in fact there are infinite possibilities – we just don’t believe it!
Thoughts do become things because they build beliefs. Even though thoughts in themselves don’t have a huge amount of power, when we repeat the same stories to ourselves over and over in our head, they become true for us. So why not tell yourself a new story? Why not tell the story of success and happiness? Usually it’s because we are too heavily invested in telling a different story to ourselves – one of powerlessness, insecurity and poverty.
We are addicted to our stories and they become our identity.
Are You Doing It Right?
Are you using the law of attraction correctly? In the film the Secret, Jack Canfield discusses how he used meditation, visualisation and the law of attraction to attract success. See Jack Canfield’s Key To Living The Law Of Attraction.
But if you’re focusing in what you want, while simultaneously worrying about how to get it, or holding any counter-active thoughts, such as doubt, fear, jealously or envy, it’s likely you’re creating more of this, rather than what you want.
The Secret film was very focused on materialism and when you want something you send out signals of conflicting intention. If you’re holding ideas and beliefs which go against your desires, it’s possible you’re holding yourself from the very thing you want. These are ideas like:
Money doesn’t grow on trees, rich people are greedy, it’s not spiritual to have money and so on.
Beliefs can be deep-seated and hidden in the subconscious mind. Most likely you’re holding ideas deep inside your subconscious mind which you picked up as a child. These are far more powerful than can be overcome by a few visualisations about the things you want in life. Unless you believe you deserve it, you’re unlikely to attract a life which is in opposition to old deeply engrained beliefs.
Shifting Old Beliefs
Your thinking patterns are built around deep held beliefs which you will have created over many years. Often they will stem from your childhood. Shifting your ideas around money, love, relationships and success can take some time, depending on how you see yourself in each of these areas in life. One way to start this process is through using affirmations and mantras. See affirmations mantras and positive intention.
Keep in mind if you’ve been telling yourself a story for decades, it will take some time to shift your self perception towards a more positive self image. See psycho-cybernetics pdf.
Confirmation Bias And The Placebo Effect
Confirmation bias is the cognitive bias in which someone will look for evidence which backs up their existing beliefs and ideas.
The placebo effect is the effect of an inactive and inert (harmless) dummy drug. If the patient believes in the medication, this belief in itself is enough to heal a patient of an illness.
If you consider both confirmation bias and the placebo effect, it’s easy to see how the law of attraction works. With a strong belief, anything is possible. With little or wavering belief, it’s easier to fail and lose momentum in any given direction.
Do you believe in the law of attraction? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.