Why the Law of Attraction Isn't Working for You (And What to Do About It)

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I think one of the most common things I hear about manifestation is, “Oh, I’ve tried to manifest, but it just doesn’t work for me!  I must be doing something wrong”.  Many people ask me why.  They do everything The Secret tells them to do but it doesn’t help.  In fact, sometimes it sends them in the OPPOSITE direction and you know what? I can definitely relate because I have had the same manifestation glitches myself.

Firstly, I want to start by saying one thing: you are always manifesting.  Always.  It’s just that sometimes, it’s not working for you.  In this list, I attempt to briefly cover some of the many reasons why as well as a few things to try to elevate your vibe and get you back on track.

One more thing before we get started. I presuppose that you know a bit about manifestation already.  If you don’t and you’d like to know more, for the sake of brevity I won’t go into it here but I recommend you head on over to my Free Love page and download my free course, Core: The Blueprint for Manifestation. I highly recommend reading through it before you proceed with any manifestation work.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links will take you to an external website and any purchases made by clicking on the link will earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Please see my Affiliate Disclosure for more information.

Understand that you are always manifesting

You are always manifesting.  ALWAYS.  It is never not working, even when it seems like it isn’t (confused yet?).  Here are four main reasons why it seems like the law of attraction isn’t working:

  1. It’s not working for your perceived benefit

  2. You’re not yet a vibrational match for your desires

  3. You are too attached to the outcome

  4. What you have desired, in your time frame or way, is not for the greatest good.  Alternatively, the Universe has something even better in store. (As an extreme example, you set an intention to manifest your soulmate a week ago and Ryan Gosling still hasn’t come knocking on your door).

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and break it down even more.

 

#1: It’s not working for your perceived benefit …

(a) … because you don’t know what you want

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.  

“Which road do I take?” she asked.

“Where do you want to go?” was his response.

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” 

– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Manifestation requires specificity.  If you want “more money”, all the Universe needs to do is orchestrate it so you find $1 in loose change behind your couch cushions.  Think of the Universe like a waiter in a restaurant.  When you walk into a restaurant, you look at the menu and you order the chicken carbonara pasta.  You don’t just tell the waiter you’ll have something with meat in it.  That could mean anything.  You can guarantee that he’s going to be in the kitchen sweating balls trying to guess what to make you.

Be crystal clear and specific about what it is you want to manifest! (And no, you won’t prevent something “better” from coming along by being too specific in your intention. We cover why in Core.)

 

(b) … or it actually IS working, you’re just missing the signs

“You can’t leave everything to fate.  She’s got a lot to do!  Sometimes you must give her a hand.” 

– Leonardo Da Vinci, “Ever After”

The Universe whispers subtly.  Often, we get so distracted by our own noise that we fail to listen and see.  We’re so busy looking for “the thing” itself we aren’t keeping our minds open.  We aren’t looking for the subtleties that lead to opportunities, synchronicities, people or events that point us to what we’re hoping to manifest.  The Universe doesn’t just drop things into our laps.  Our soul mate won’t come knocking on our door, we won’t wake up tomorrow in our dream home or in the Bahamas.  We have to be open and receptive to the gentle nudges the Universe throws our way and seize the opportunities.

The Fix: Without aggressively hunting them down, start to expand your awareness around events, opportunities, people, places and situations that revolve around what you’re trying to manifest.  Notice ads, conversations, emails, billboards, Facebook posts, et cetera, that talk about a subject related to what you’re manifesting. You never know what they could lead to.  Keep a curious, playful and open mind. Chase a few white rabbits and see where they lead.

#2: You’re not yet an energetic match for your desires because…

(a) … your subconscious has no point of reference

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” 

– Mark Caine

 

Sometimes the reason behind not manifesting something has nothing to do with what you are and aren’t doing and has more to do with the environment you’re in.  Say we want to make millions of dollars from our art, for example, but we had no models of this being possible in our childhood, we’re going to find it very hard to do just because our subconscious has no point of reference.  You might have grown up  in a family environment where everybody had stable, 9 to 5, “reliable” jobs and maybe there was a level of pressure on you to do the same, or to make sure you get “good grades” in school so you had something “sensible to fall back on”.

Without a subconscious point of reference, your subconscious thermostat is always going to be regulating what’s possible for you.  This is why it can be powerful to find “models” – people in your situation, or a similar situation, whose strategy you can model and use as a subconscious point of reference for your own success.

The Fix: Start to look for people in your situation who have gone on to get the results in life you want to get, and get in their head. Model the steps they took, get to know their story. The more references you can find for your subconscious mind to model, the better.

(b) … you don’t feel like you’re worthy of it

“Think highly of yourself because the world takes you at your own estimate.”

– Kurt Hahn

 Pay attention to how you’re talking to yourself around what it is you’re trying to manifest. Pay attention to how you’re talking to yourself around what it is you’re trying to manifest.  Your self talk is a key indicator for your feelings of self worth, which determine your level of subconscious alignment with your manifestation. 

Now how this works is actually quite tricky.  It’s not that you don’t actually deserve it or that the Universe “hears” you don’t deserve it.  The Universe isn’t Santa: it doesn’t have some sort of moral yardstick to measure who deserves to manifest something more.  This is a lack mentality.  The Universe brings you solely what you are subconsciously aligned to that will enable further growth. 

If there is any sort of pain, shame, fear, or guilt around what you’re trying to manifest, or if you feel subconsciously unworthy because of limiting beliefs and blocks developed in your formative years, it will block your energetic alignment with your desires. 

The Fix: The fix for this is simple but not easy.  Start to pay attention to self talk, especially around what you want to call in.  Get clear on where it’s coming from and what you need to heal around self worth.  It can be tough and painful territory to work through your shadow and I don’t recommend doing it alone.  Whether you talk to a therapist, or to a coach like myself, having a second pair of eyes to help you navigate the depths of your shadow can be invaluable.  If you want more information on coaching, head here for more information.

#3: You’re too attached to the outcome by …

(a) … being kind of a control freak

“The more you try to control something, the more it controls you.  Free yourself and let things take their own natural course.”

– Leon Brown

The Universe may need a clear instruction about what it is that you want but that’s all it needs.  That is, it needs to know how you want to feel and what you want.  When you show trust issues with the how and the when and the way it shows up for you and try to manipulate the Universe, the energy gets completely blocked.  Trying to control every little detail about how it comes shows the Universe that you don’t trust it.  As a result, this builds resistance, creating anxiety and tension around what you’re manifesting.  And after all, tell the Universe it’s something not to be trusted and it will respond by not being trustworthy.

Let’s use the restaurant example again.  Imagine that everything you could possibly want in the Universe is like an item on a menu in a restaurant.  You go to a restaurant, you place the order, and then you chill out with a wine.  Sometime later, the waiter emerges from the kitchen with your order, prepared the way they know how.  This is exactly how the law of attraction works.

Now imagine ordering a meal at a restaurant, giving the waiter a long list of instructions and demanding it on your table in 10 minutes.  Then you march into the kitchen, start picking apart how they’re preparing it and stress over how long it’s taking.  You’re going to get all the staff in that restaurant offside pretty quickly right?  Not to mention the other patrons will likely think you’re mad.

The meal’s coming.  You ordered it.  It’s not your job to dictate the how and the when and the wherefores.  Your job now is to relax with a wine and chill out and trust that it is coming.

I’ll be honest, this is my own personal biggest manifestation blocker.  I am a total control freak and I have dramas delegating.  I’ve found that I manifest way faster when I “set and forget” an intention.  The ones I try to manipulate, coerce and panic attack into happening take the longest or don’t work out at all.

The fix: Once you’ve set a specific intention, chill out and trust it’s coming.  Distract yourself.  Focus on other things and absorb yourself in other projects.  Be secure in the knowledge that what you have ordered from the infinite Universe is on its way.

(c) … being scared that it won’t work

“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.”

– Corrie Ten Boom

Your limiting beliefs, conscious or subconscious, about whether or not the law of attraction is a thing, creates resistance around it working.  This becomes a self-reinforcing doubt and creates a vicious cycle.  These limiting beliefs often come from a lack mentality or a feeling of the need to control the outcome.

Your beliefs are built by the thoughts that you repeatedly and habitually think.  Your thoughts are what the law of attraction is responding to.  The Universe is sending you evidence based on the thoughts you are thinking.  This will then reinforce those beliefs, which in turn creates more of the same.  We all have our own belief system which we often take as gospel.  In fact, the only reason your belief is “true” is because you believe it.

The Universe will send you evidence of whatever it is you believe.  So if you are fearful that it won’t work, and keep asking yourself, ‘What if it doesn’t work?’, guess what the Universe is going to do?  It’s going to send you evidence of it not working!

Often this fearfulness comes from a place of never having seen the law of attraction work in the past.  This especially happens when we’re starting out.  The idea of something coming to us as easily as thinking it into existence seems foreign, even a little absurd or fantastical.

The fix: The fix for this is easy – your brain has been searching for evidence as to why it won’t work. Hence, you just need to reverse it by stacking the evidence in favour of the law of attraction working.  Go out hunting for success stories!  There are LOADS on Youtube (I watch weekly for inspiration – this channel is my favourite), or ask people you know.  Or, go hunting in your own life.  Maybe you had been thinking of a particular person or dreamed of them and the very next day they called out of the blue.  Maybe you were thinking of buying a particular pair of shoes and found them on sale the next day.  That’s the law of attraction working for you!  Create an evidence bank those success stories!

(d) … overthinking it

“Do, or do not.  There is no try.”

– Yoda, “The Empire Strikes Back” 

Manifesting something is not akin to moving something with your mind.  You don’t need to try, put a lot of effort into it or concentrate.  It’s not something you have to get perfect.  Often we can overthink the manifestation process.  We do a vision board, and we do our 17 second visualization, then we set up “act as if” rituals and do more visualization.  What this actually does is it creates RESISTANCE.  Why? Because all of a sudden, you’re generating an atmosphere of “difficulty” around what you’re trying to manifest.  It is a form of putting pressure on, or trying to control, the outcome.

The law of attraction is not and really doesn’t have to be complicated.  You don’t have to “try” or concentrate to manifest something.  In fact the more relaxed, easeful and playful you are around attracting something, the faster it will come.  Start to try, overthink, concentrate and create a frenzy of action and you actually infuse your vibration with an element of challenge and difficulty, which has a backward effect.

The Fix: Be playful! Whilst there is no order of difficulty in manifestation – you can manifest a parking space as easily as a thousand dollars – it can be helpful when you’re first starting to think small.  If I find I start to get a bit frenzied with my manifestation I  go back to basics.  I start manifesting the perfect parking space.  When I’m about a street away from the shop I envision the parking space I want and think “Wouldn’t it be cool if I had that parking space?  Thanks Universe”.  Then I put the thought away and keep bopping along to the radio until I reach the shop.  Nine times out of ten, I get that parking space.  If I don’t, it’s all good.  I thank the Universe and trust there’s a reason I didn’t get it and go about my day.

This doesn’t sound like much but it really helps to exercise my manifestation muscle. I ask playfully, I thank the Universe, I let it go, I receive gratefully and if I don’t get it, I trust that it didn’t happen for the highest good of all, I thank the Universe again and I let it go.  Being playful about the little things in everyday life helps to make me a more easeful and playful manifestor for the big stuff later on.  Give it a go!

(e) … giving off a desperate vibe

“It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Yes, desperation reeks even to the Universe.  You can want something too much.  This is related to many of the other points I have discussed above.  A desperation vibe, a neediness, an insistence that it has to happen right now, or in your way, or that you need this win creates a vibration of lack.  This lack vibration will bring… you guessed it… more lack.  Your attachment to the outcome and unwillingness to surrender it to the Universe is blocking it from manifesting.  This attachment is based in Ego and its need to control the outcome.  It prevents you from being a conscious co-creator with the Universe and allowing what you desire to come forward in the best possible way for the greatest good of all.

The Fix: First of all, surrender it to the Universe through prayer.  If you feel unready or hesitant, even repeating to yourself “I am willing to surrender” allows the Universe to bring you the tools to help you let go.  Remember, ask and it is given.  Additionally, find the things in your life for which you are already grateful.  This replaces your fear-based lack mentality with a focus on love and appreciation, which powerfully raises your energy.

#4: What you have desired, in your time frame or way, is not for the greatest good, or the Universe has something better in store

“The spirit of love arranges all meetings in divine order for the highest good of all concerned.”

– Alan Cohen

Sometimes, what the Ego tells us that we “need” right now is actually misaligned with the outcome that works for the highest good of all, including ourselves.  Even the most powerful manifestors have experienced disappointment.  This is an emotion that arises when there is a disconnect between the outcome and the needs of Ego.

Disappointment is not a “bad” feeling (I believe there are no “bad” feelings), and it happens to all of us at some point.  However, it is important to remember that sometimes what we think we need in the way and the time frame we think we need it is not in alignment for the highest good.  Perhaps in order for it to have come to us in the way and form and time we needed it would have caused harm to someone else, upset a balance, or even have prevented us from learning an important soul assignment we needed to experience first – or, perhaps it is because the Universe has something even better planned for us.

The Fix: When disappointment arises, acknowledge it – don’t try to force it aside or shun it as a negative emotion.  Say to yourself “I am feeling disappointed and it is okay” and then affirm with “The Universe is always providing my desires in a way that is of the highest good for all.”

Even the most experienced manifestors experience disappointment or have blocks with the law of attraction from time to time.  In summary, this usually arises from four main blocks: not yet being aligned energetically, being fearful of/trying to control the outcome, it’s not working for your perceived benefit or the Universe simply hasn’t brought it yet and/or has something even better in store.  By trusting the Universe, practicing surrender and focusing on what we are already grateful for and the things in our lives that bring us joy, we raise our vibration and move into a space of allowing the Universe to guide us toward manifesting our desires.

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