Taking Action: The Law of Attraction Is More than a Mindset

fourleaf-cloverThe principles of the law of attraction have been around for many years: they work to manifest our intentions, hopes, and goals. I know a lot of folks who are working the law of attraction into their lives by reading the books, focusing their thoughts, and writing them down.  How many have felt disappointed if those goals didn’t manifest as one hoped they would?

Believing in and focusing on the law of attraction to manifest goals is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need to do something.

Action as Energy

I believe that the universe listens to the thoughts and feelings as well as the actions that follow from your intention. If you want something, show the universe that you are doing all that you can to get there. Action is the energy behind your intention; it is the gas that fuels the law of attraction. In other words, it is not enough to solely focus your intention. You must also take action by doing whatever must be done to reach that goal in reality.

It is easy to believe that the universe has not heard you if the law of attraction failed. Then it becomes: “Something is wrong with me,” “I can’t do it,” or “I’m not important enough.” Those beliefs perpetuate a cycle of negativity and are counterproductive.  Negative experiences persist with the perception that “I thought positively, and it didn’t work.” Unfortunately, we can’t just receive—we must balance it with doing something.

Recognizing Goals

You may be thinking that this is more easily said than done, right? At one point, I felt this way, too. I had a goal and knew I had to put my money where my mouth was about this law of attraction stuff. I had even believed in it for years and saw life through that lens, but when it came to my largest goal, I was afraid that the fear would take over.

I wanted desperately to be in private practice. I finished my graduate degree, got my licenses, and worked in the public health system. However, it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

I sat in the small dingy office that I shared with a number of other therapists and stared at the mismatching furniture and the piles of ridiculous paperwork. I started getting burned out, while I dreamed of a private practice and the freedom it would give me. I could see what my practice would look and feel like. I had the intention. I also had a ton of fear.

Finding Freedom

I had enough self-awareness to know that something wasn’t working for me anymore. I finally got off of my butt and decided to jump in with what little information I had. I also made the silly choice to tell my supervisor that I was going to start a part-time practice: We had budget cuts and I got laid off the next month. Of course, so did many others. To make it worse, the small practice I started tanked.

It was dreadful at the time. In hindsight, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. In that moment, I realized that I had passively expected my goal to just arrive because I wanted it. That assumption was completely driven by my ego and not based in reality. I hadn’t done what I needed to do to make it work. It was my responsibility that I failed, not the universe’s. I had to own my part in it.

Of course, my goal kept nagging at me. I tried again. I was still terrified. I also knew a lot more because I had failed once, but I had to make that decision to really, and I mean truly, dive in. I had to create action, even with fear. It was when I actually dove in that the universe saw my true intention, even though I was terrified.

I won’t bore you with all of the experiences I had to go through, resources I had to find, risks I had to take, the ups and downs, and the mistakes I had to make. But I must have done something right; I made it, and I have the freedom of running my own practice. So can you.

If you are a therapist who wants to start a private practice and feel that freedom, drop me an e-mail.

© Copyright 2008 by By Sarah Jenkins, MC, LPC, CPsychol, therapist in Tempe, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Therapist Anchorage

    Therapist Anchorage

    July 7th, 2008 at 11:41 PM

    Hi Sarah, I love this topic about the law of attraction and I really liked how you used an example from your own life to demonstrate how we can get in our own way of manifesting what we want. Have you read the secret? I didn’t read it, and maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the authors accounted for the influence of one’s inner world or unconscious mind. My experience is that one can believe in oneself, practice creative visualization, speak positive Affirmations, and even take action toward goals, and yet still harbor unconscious parts of oneself that believe or feel otherwise. And it is because of the law of attraction that the parts of us that hide in the shadow and out of our awareness will have just as great, if not greater influence on the outcome of our lives. So I think that the real secret about the Secret is that the authors really don’t know what the secret really is: healthy psychotherapy. Besides getting it wrong, the Secret seemed like one big greedy and commercial money making ploy that led many people astray and cause lots of harm. Are there any other thoughts on the Secret or about the Law of Attraction?

  • David

    David

    July 9th, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    This article was so inspiring! It is the power of positive thinking, just in a manner that is a little more motivational for me. I have always believed that in order to achieve it you have to believe it, and this just sealed the deal for me on that. Thanks so much for those words- you have made me want to continue focusing on my goals and working to achieve them and make them a reality.

  • Steve Hopkins Therapy

    Steve Hopkins Therapy

    July 14th, 2008 at 6:45 AM

    David you are right. Many times the paths that we lead in life are very much determined by thinking in a positive manner and then pursuing those. There are many times when it is admittedly easier to give up than to remain in a forward thinking mode but this article really hits home in that it encourages everyone to continue pushing toward their goals and making something of their lives. I think this insight is great for anyone and every age group no matter where they may be in their lives at this point in time.

  • upstatesc

    upstatesc

    July 15th, 2008 at 2:15 PM

    The statements that refer to just passively expecting the fulfillment of goals to arrive applies to so many young people today. I see that a lot and I think that those who do this are only setting themselves up for future disappointment.

  • Lisa, Believer

    Lisa, Believer

    July 17th, 2008 at 1:14 AM

    Abraham says to let your every thought, word, and deed be about what you want, and it must come. And if you can’t do that, then let your every thought, word and deed LEAN in the direction of what you want. :)

  • Sarah Jenkins

    Sarah Jenkins

    July 17th, 2008 at 5:46 AM

    Thanks for the comments on the article. I am truly glad that several of you found it inspiring, for your own lives. Therapist Anchorage, I am familiar with The Secret. But, not as well versed in it. I got into the Law of Attraction through the Abraham Speaks series (Esther and Jerry Hicks). I remember reading it and it immediately resonated with me. I adopted the principles quite early on in my life. Certainly, it’s not always easy, and there are bumps along the road. Yet, I believe that we can shift out of that unconscious process and being “hijacked” by those thoughts that attract what we don’t want.

  • Cynthia Psychtherapist

    Cynthia Psychtherapist

    July 17th, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    There is a lot of good reasonong out there about this thought process and the idea of attracting the things in our lives which are positive through the power of positive thinking. Great article.

  • Margo Marriage Counseling

    Margo Marriage Counseling

    July 20th, 2008 at 11:03 AM

    I have experienced many clients who come in wanting to know exactly what happened in their marriage to lead them to the point of seeking counsleing. One big issue that I have noticed time and again is that the couple has simply gone in two different directions, with one who is willing to sit and quietly watch life go by while the other partner yearns for so much more and is wiling to do the work to make it happen. That is just one scenario that this article reminds me of. People often want different things from life and there are only so many divergent paths that you can take to make these things happen. I encourage everyone to be a go getter and to not let life passively go by you. There is so much more to be gleaned from it when you and your partner are both active participants.

  • Shannon

    Shannon

    July 22nd, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Sorry guys but I am not all that sure about this law of attraction stuf. I truly do believe that for the most part we reap what we sow, but by the same token I do feel that there are some people who just downright sometimes get lucky and with no work at all they attract good things. Fair? NO. But that’s the way it is sometimes.

  • Sarah Jenkins

    Sarah Jenkins

    July 23rd, 2008 at 6:12 AM

    Shannon,
    Trust me, that is a truly common statement about the law of attraction. That is a lot of peoples’ experience of it. But, even if that feels true, perhaps trying the Law of Attraction stuff out can’t hurt, eh?

  • Sandy

    Sandy

    July 23rd, 2008 at 8:26 AM

    I agree. Why not just live a more postive lifestyle and see if it makes any difference in your outcomes? I bet that after a while you will really be able to tell a difference.

  • Stephanie W

    Stephanie W

    July 27th, 2008 at 4:39 AM

    How do you encourage someone who makes a habit of living in the negative to just do a complete 180 and in turn begin living with more positive thoughts instead of being negative all of the time?

  • Lisa

    Lisa

    July 31st, 2008 at 7:58 AM

    Stephanie, it seems that working with internal dialogue is often a key to turning around a soul who is working in the negative most of the time. Often helping a client change what he or she says to himself or herself is a huge step in the right direction.

  • Bree Kalb, LCSW

    Bree Kalb, LCSW

    August 27th, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I wonder what a mother in Somalia who has no food for her starving children would think of these theories.

  • Robert R.

    Robert R.

    March 23rd, 2015 at 7:57 PM

    Hi Sarah, really enjoyed your article especially the section on goals. The Law of Attraction and goal setting go hand in hand. Manifestation comes about from goals and focus. Thanks Robert

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