My preaching of the Law of Attraction and manifesting has always been accompagnied by disclaimers and a message of common sense/reality. At least, I hope so. I know I run a total positivity-for-president website, but still. I hope you noticed.
In case you hadn’t, let’s take a trip down memory lane:
- I have said “dudes, kids in Africa are NOT starving because they haven’t thought enough good thoughts.”
- I have dedicated a video to the fact that
it’s quite possibleI am a nutter and that nothing of the underlying mechanism is true, but the underlying mechanisms that make the Law of Attraction useful anyway.
- I have also said (in print and video) “I can only get partially behind ‘negativity attracts negativity’ and I mostly ignore it when I work with the Law of Attraction.” This comes from my general approach to anything: Take what makes sense to you and leave the things you don’t agree with.
- I have told you that it’s not just sitting, waiting, wishing until Something delivers your every heart’s desire: You will need to get off your ass for it 90% of the time.
- I have told you that I don’t use the Law of Attraction when I feel like I shit, because honestly, can I just wallow and be sad without worrying I am making EVERYTHING EVEN WORSE “QUICK GET ME THE UNICORNS AND SPARKLES STAT”
Lately, I have been re-evaluating how I think about the Law of Attraction. For me, it grew into an adaptive and beneficial cognitive strategy I use, more so than the whole “The Secret” of it all. Over the past two years, it has given me so much. Great focus on the things I love and the things I want, it helped me monitor my mood and mind and most importantly, it made me a happier person. It was a great continuous exercise in positivity and it has internalized (current moods excluded). That’s how and why I ‘believe’ in the Law of Attraction.
However, I’m not blind, deaf or stupid*. This theory has GAPING HOLES in it. I’ve been thinking about these inconsistencies a lot. More than ever, I understand the skeptics. That doesn’t mean you can just be a negative nancy without some self-reflection and at least some sort of attempt to govern your own happiness, but I do get why Law of Attraction related stuff isn’t always the best thing to use for everyone.
So I decided to give the Law of Attraction a complete, honest look-over. Putting my own twist on the Law of Attraction as I understand and use it aside, let’s look at Law of Attraction The Main Theory
for a little in this long ass article.
NOTE: I am not trying to convince you either way. I want to give you the information on the Law of Attraction (as I understand it naturally, but still) so you can formulate your own answer to questions about the subject. I actually think that is a lot more useful for you in the long run anyway.
So let’s start out with why (I think) the Law of Attraction quite possibly doesn’t exist. Bear with me for a second:
- [FACT] There is -still- no actual scientific empirical data on the ‘Law’ in the strict sense. There is some research to concepts that are a part of the Law of Attraction Theory (adverse effects of pessimism, positive effects of gratitude, positive thoughts and visualisation) but the Law-part has never been proven.
- [PERSONAL] While I was feeling like crap and being caught up in negative thinking I have seen ZERO evidence of ‘making it worse by my own negative thinking’. I wasn’t happy, obviously, but everything was pretty neutral and stayed as it was. That I was being a negative little shit about everything (and that this obviously wasn’t fun and didn’t make things better besides the point!) did not do any further harm for as far as I can tell.
- [OBSERVATION] There are lots of people who are negative little shits ALL THE TIME and who seem to do just fine without their negative thinking getting them in the way. They are not as happy as the positive people, but doom doesn’t follow them around the way it should according to the principle of the LoA.
- [OBSERVATION] There are also lots of positive people who despite all their positivity have horrible things happen to them. If you take the Law of Attraction 100% literal (pro tip: FUCKING DON’T) this means it is always a manifestation of what they were thinking or feeling. When they are little beacons of pure positivity, how come they have to deal with drama?
- [FACT] The world is fucking unfair. For me, personally this cannot be explained solely in terms of the Law of Attraction. This is something that’s just incompatible with my personal view of the world, other people and how things work.
- [PSYCHOLOGY] Confirmation bias: A psychological phenomenon where we only notice and/or remember things that confirm our own hypothesis or views and that we subconsciously disregard and forget the evidence that is not in line with our frame of reference. I will notice things I get from the Universe, but not so much the things I have also asked for that I haven’t gotten so far.
Sheesh. I think I need to go lie down.
No wait, my planet needs me.
Here’s why the Law of Attraction might still be okay to use:
- [FACT] The Law of Attraction exercises and practicalities include a lot of things that are good for a person. Gratitude, positive thinking, the belief something out there in the great beyond is rooting for you, trying to brush off negativity; you can’t tell me that that’s not good psychological behavior.
- [PSYCHOLOGY] Priming: The principle that when you give attention to a certain thing beforehand, by thinking about it, talking about it, looking at it, your brain will register that very thing in real life quicker and easier.
- [OBSERVATION] I don’t believe in everything, but I believe two things:
1) Just because we can’t explain or prove something yet shouldn’t mean it should be excluded completely all the time, especially not in personal use.
2) Energy. After my energetic healing sessions and the course I did afterwards, I know people, things and situations carry a certain type of energy. Maybe it’s made out of a 1000 tiny little signals or subconscious observations that create that energy or maybe it truly is energy itself; but to me energy is a thing. A real thing. And if I can manipulate my own energy by aligning my thoughts and feelings with what I love, want and what I think is good, I will damn well do it.
- [OBSERVATION] Law of Attraction teaches you that you are one of the most deciding factors in how your life is going to turn out and that you should take this responsibility serious, beyond just your actions but into your own mind (because that influences your actions). I like that.
- [PSYCHOLOGY] Self efficacy is the belief that you are able to do something, and psychological studies have been shown that just the belief you can do something will increase the likelihood you actually will pull it off, even controlled for your actual ability. When working with the Law of Attraction you can create this belief that you are able to do/have/be what you want, and this alone can increase the chances of you getting it.
- [OBVERSATION] I have had a lot of weird, special stuff happening to me (best friend, boyfriend, apartment, job, people coming into my life, finding things) that I could attribute to manifesting. I prefer this over being lucky because it indicates I at least could play some sort of active role by having put my desires out there. It increases my self efficacy (see previous point) as well as my motivation to be responsible for what I think and feel as well as my behavior.
When doing all of this analyzing of the LoA, I reread my own articles as well as my own e-book. To my great relief I still stand by what I say, and would still give most of the same advice to anyone. I was even a bit amazed at the examples I gave throughout the chapters – I had forgotten about a lot of them, especially some of the crazier ones.
So there you have it. My tl;dr analysis about the Law of Attraction. Short summary: I cannot say the Law of Attraction is an absolute truth in the tested-and-stamped sense. I wish it was, but it isn’t. I can say that it works on some levels, psychologically.
I came to the conclusion that despite the flaws and lack of evidence that I fully acknowledge, I still appreciate the Law of Attraction as one of the most adaptive, fun and beneficial strategies to use in life. If you do it
Self Help Hipster style right.
*Only when sleep-deprived, promise.