You know what it is you want. You create some inspiring affirmations to get you into the vibrational state of that desire, and you spend time every day visualizing having that desire already.
But, you begin to notice in time that, very little is happening, if anything at all.
Or sometimes, it seems to actually be getting worse.
If you are honest with yourself, you realize that you are spinning your wheels, getting nowhere fast.
You might redouble your efforts, or you might give up altogether, thinking there is no truth to the law of attraction.
Does this at all sound familiar?
What has gone wrong? You focused on what you wanted, visualized having it already, and strove to think only positive thoughts about it. According to everything you've read, the law of attraction should have brought it to you by now.
There is an extremely prevalent misconception in the law of attraction community, and it is this: that positive thinking is the way to manifest your desires.
We hear messages like, “What you focus on, expands,” and “If you give attention to your problems, they will only get bigger.”
Just like any misconception, these are half-truths.
It is indeed true that what you focus on, expands. And it's also true, in a certain sense, that when you give attention to problems, they get bigger.
But we have to define these terms ”focus on”, and “give attention to”, because, these words do not mean what you think they mean.
Why is this so important? Simply, because it can mean the difference between effortlessly creating your own reality, and remaining stuck in a growing web of resistance.
So, if you want to discover why you haven't had the success you expected to have, keep reading.
The Problem of the Subconscious Mind
You have a powerful computer in your mind right now, called the subconscious mind.
The thing about this computer is that it comprises about 88% of your total consciousness. That means that without your awareness, it is running in the background, having more of an influence over your day-to-day thoughts, words, and actions than does your conscious mind.
Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to create some new habit, that you often fail despite yourself? You start out with the best of intentions, but yet you do not succeed.
The reason is because of this powerful subconscious computer.
This computer holds certain programs, which cause it to act in certain ways.
When you try to perform some action on this computer which conflicts with its programs, it simply won't allow that action to go through.
So when you tried to create that new habit, your subconscious computer wasn't programmed to allow that action to succeed.
It had some program that conflicted with that action, so it wasn't permitted, no matter how much will power you put into it.
This is why most people who lose weight, gain it right back. They were able to grit their teeth and make temporary changes, but eventually, the subconscious programming won over, and set them back to their preprogrammed default.
So, coming back to the law of attraction and positive thinking, what do you think happens when you affirm something like, “I easily make $1,000 more per month,” or, “I am in a happy and fulfilling relationship”?
If that's not your reality right now, then your subconscious mind will reject those suggestions out of hand.
Even if you try to focus on the positive, by focusing on the feeling of your goal, your subconscious mind will just continue to reject those suggestions, again and again.
Remember, the subconscious mind makes up 88% of your total consciousness, so it has a massive advantage. Do you think the puny 12% that is your conscious mind could possibly overpower the subconscious, even by constantly repeating your affirmation, visualizing your desire, or any other positive thinking technique you might throw at it?
If your subconscious mind is programmed to only allow you to have turbulent relationships, then that's all you'll get, as long as that program is in place.
Or if your subconscious mind is programmed to only allow you to make just enough money to get by, then that's what you'll get, as long as that program is in place.
Releasing the Old Subconscious Programs
So, you can't overpower it by force. No matter how positively you think, you can't override that subconscious programming.
So, the thing to do is to release those programs.
I mentioned in my post, What Is the Purpose of the Material World?, that resistance is actually your friend.
When you visualize, or say your affirmation, the subconscious mind doesn't contradict you out of spite.
It's basically telling you, “You say you want more abundance, but I'm programmed to remind you that you can't succeed. As long as I have this program, I can't allow the new program you're trying to install.”
The old, conflicting program conveniently comes up to the surface, so we can decide what to do with it.
If we decide that program has more power than this new intention we're trying to create, then the subconscious remains as-is, and disallows your intention.
If, instead, you release the old program, then the subconscious can start to take on the new intention. Or, it will bring up another conflicting program, so you can release that, too.
It's all completely up to you.
But, as long as you are striving to ignore what is—contracting what I called what-is-itis in a recent post—then these programs will just get triggered over and over again.
Healing the Inner Child
The subconscious mind doesn't act on logic. It really doesn't care what is rational or logical.
It is essentially your inner child.
The reason is that the subconscious is the part of you that was formed predominantly up to the age of 7, when you finally started having your perceptual filters installed. But before that, you took in everything, and considered it absolute truth.
If your parents told you that you were stupid, then your subconscious mind recorded that as indisputable fact.
Or, if you overheard them complaining that life was so unfair, then again, your subconscious mind made a note of it.
Though the most influential years are up to the age of 7 or so, I find that even up through your teenage years, you are incredibly susceptible to suggestion.
I was working with a client on Wednesday, who gave me permission to share a bit of her story here.
Essentially, she had been having some major financial problems. She told me it felt like things just kept piling up, and no one was here to help her. She felt abandoned by the world.
Eventually, we dug up an old memory from her childhood, from when she was 10 years old.
It was a memory that she thought was completely healed, but as we went over it again, it became definitively clear that it wasn't even close to being healed.
In fact, the emotions triggered by this memory were exactly the emotions she had been feeling recently, proving to me that this memory had, in fact, been controlling her life for years, without her even knowing about it.
By facing and fully allowing the emotions that came up, and clearing them with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), she was able to start the path to healing.
There was certainly more work to do, but it was obvious by the end of the session that we had made progress.
Now, if we hadn't gone looking for this memory, how much longer could she have gone, allowing this old hurt to control her unaware?
For reference, it had been 40 years since this event took place. But, still it was responsible for the decisions she made and the results she manifested.
You have to allow your inner child to vent its anger, hurt and frustration. There are safe ways of doing this that won't cause you to express these powerful emotions in destructive ways, but nevertheless, they have to be met with love and acceptance, before true healing can happen.
Positive thinking will often just cover over these negative emotions, which are nevertheless still present. It won't allow for their authentic expression.
Positive Thinking Is Not Manufactured
Positive thinking is not something you try to do.
You must understand that your true nature is one of pure freedom. Once you clear the negative programs that your subconscious mind has taken on, positive thinking will naturally become much easier for you.
In my book review on The Sedona Method, I used the analogy of drawing heavy curtains over the window.
Every time you take on a new negative program, you're blocking out a bit more of the natural light that shines through.
In order to make it lighter, you don't need to do anything. You just need to open the curtains, and there the light is already.
Your true Self is like a light that never diminishes, regardless of the circumstances. With every subconscious program you clear away, that light can shine through more brightly.
You need do nothing to create new light. You just need to clear a path for the existing light to shine through.
And so, you don't need to try to constantly immerse yourself in positive thinking. Your natural inclination will be to think positively, once you clear away those subconscious programs.
It is literally effortless.
If you find yourself constantly trying to redirect your thoughts to the positive, all you're really doing is further repressing the resistance that keeps you stuck where you are.
Sometimes, to reach the light, you must embrace the darkness.
Because, once you arrive, you will see there was never any darkness to begin with. “Light” and “dark” were just two sides of the same coin, both pointing you in the same direction: to your freedom.
Don't Fear Your Resistance
People often ask, “But if I feel my negative emotions, won't that create something negative in my reality?”
And the answer is, no.
That negative emotion was already there, repressed in the subconscious. All you're doing is allowing it to come to the surface, and fully releasing it from your mind.
The path to releasing is by complete allowing.
So when you feel that emotion, you aren't creating more of it. You are making a path for that emotion—along with the resistance it represents—to leave, so that you can create what you want.
You see your resistance as a failure on your part. But, it is actually a sign of success. It means that you have successfully set your intention, and now have the opportunity to clear out the resistance that is blocking the way.
If you find a wall blocking your path, you don't simply ignore it and hope it goes away. You also don't turn around and go in a direction you don't want to go, just because this way is blocked.
You remove that wall, brick-by-brick, until it is no more.
Then, you continue on your way, free of another obstacle.
When you meet a wall on your path, don't let yourself believe it means you've failed at manifesting, or that you have to think more positively.
Realize that you're on exactly the right path, but you just have to remove that obstacle.
Celebrate your walls, instead of avoiding them.
They are the only way to your ultimate success.
What You Focus On, Expands
I mentioned that it is indeed true that what you focus on, expands.
So, how can this still be true, with all the above in mind?
Well, let's return to our wall in the path analogy.
If you're walking down the path you want to take, and you meet an obstacle, that doesn't mean that you're focusing on the negative.
All it means is that you had some pre-existing resistance that you must now release, in order to continue down your path.
What it means to focus on the negative is to take a path that you don't want to take. It means to take that job that you really aren't passionate about, or staying in that relationship just because it's comfortable, even though you aren't happy.
It's not having the courage to take your desired path, because you're too afraid of what might happen.
Thinking negatively is to get stuck in the “what ifs”, so that you're paralyzed by fear.
By no means do I recommend you harp on your negative stories. That is all true.
But neither should you force positive thinking, when it's simply a façade.
The law of attraction doesn't call for you to be fake. It just calls for you to deliberately choose the path you want to take in life, and then to take that path courageously.
If you're having a bad day, admit it to yourself.
But then, don't just stay in that place. Do something about it. Use your method of choice to clear away that resistance, and let through the light of your true Self.
But, never blame yourself for being in a bad place. It's just another wall along your path, and just like all the walls you've encountered before, you can remove this one, too.
By the way, tomorrow's class will go into much more detail about this very subject. I'll be outlining the process of using the law of attraction from the ground up, and a novel new way of looking at it, which will help you understand it much more clearly.
How About You?
Now it's your turn. What are your thoughts about positive thinking? Have you tried escaping the negativity that is really there under the surface? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.