Law of attraction and manifestation are (probably) not what you think... myths debunked, and how to actually master your reality
Grandiose statements about the Law of Attraction and manifestation are plastered all over the internet. They are often convoluted and misleading, but, hey, it sells!
Without more background on how LOA really works, sweeping claims of the benefits can cause more damage than good, as people can go into self blame if they fail to get the results they want, or worse, shame others who may not be having success with the same techniques.
Positive thinking can kickstart a new way of being and produce instant results, but it is not what creates lasting change. Those that force themselves to keep their focus only on what they want, drilling themselves with positive affirmations and visualizations, are bound to experience great heartache when results take an undesirable turn and the high wears off. Our thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what truly drives manifestation. Our consciousness includes so much more than our thoughts. If we (both thoughts and vibration) are not in alignment due to unresolved trauma, a distorted sense of self, poor emotional boundaries, or unhelpful thinking patterns, we will have mixed results until these are addressed.
1) "Your thoughts create your reality!"
This is often touted in the new age spiritual community and you may have seen it pop up incessantly while you're scrolling social media. Consciously creating your reality is far deeper than changing your thoughts. Although positive affirmations can jump start miracles in your immediate reality, what comes up, must come down. If you are not skilled with self-awareness, a crash is inevitable. The reason LOA newbies tend to experience a roller coaster of results is because the underlying belief systems, and feelings (which may be disregarded with positive thinking) are the true catalyst for reality shifts. A sloppy (emotional) vibration will attract messy results. Suppressed emotions are much more disruptive if avoided than if they were allowed space to be felt, resulting in them being transmuted and released. This is a learned skill. What we really need to do is learn how to confidently experience our feelings, build self esteem, heal from past trauma, and learn healthy interpersonal skills. More often than not, this is best done with support of a coach or therapist.
Take for instance a crying child. If we get the child to stop crying but do not address what upset him/her in the first place the unaddressed emotion will continue to bubble back up to the surface. If we don't address our belief system and underlying feelings (our nervous system), we will continue to attract circumstances that mirror them back at us. No amount of positive affirmations are going to give you healthy boundaries, a strong sense of self, and skills to navigate the challenges of life. That takes deeper work.
2) "You just need a positive mindset and good things will happen"
Mastering manifestation is about knowing yourself, knowing how to be present with your individual beliefs, coping mechanisms, and tendencies. It involves being mindful when interacting with your inner voice and the people around you. As you strengthen these skills, your energy begins to shift, creating an atmosphere of receptivity and flow. This allows for a more desirable future to come into focus and materialize to match you. There are so many more nuances in conscious creating than thinking it into existence. To be a true alchemist, it takes a commitment to self development, and lasting results are only experienced by those that do the deep inner work. SELF LOVE is key to a fulfilling life. This is a practice which does not happen overnight.
3) "Everyone can have x/y/z too, if they just believe it to be true!"
This is a statement made from a blindly privileged perspective, steeped in spiritual-bypassing. Not everyone gets the same lot in life, and some are more blessed in some areas than others, but how we experience our reality is entirely up to us. Social conditioning, past experiences, and even our DNA can influence how we adapt moment to moment if we leave these factors unaddressed. For example, there are wealthy people who never truly feel happy because they are not in alignment with who they are at a core level and do not have a healthy relationship with themselves. On the other hand you could meet an impoverished person that never stops smiling because he or she has a real sense of what matters in life and has an orientation of gratitude day to day. Life is not about competing with or comparing ourselves to others, it is about leveling up from old versions of ourselves and achieving our own goals.
4) "You are GOD of your reality, no one else exists"
This is a deplorable and delusional perspective I have seen many YouTubers pitch on their manifestation channels and social media. For some, this is a distorted attempt at "we are all one," and for others, it is truly a narcissistic angle that vulnerable people looking for change easily latch on to. This is a dangerous mindset to have that threatens a healthy society. Other people very much exist, and they all have free will. We cannot control others but we can control the way we respond to them, implement healthy boundaries, and choose to invest solely in mutually supportive relationships.
5) "Make a vision board or use a guided meditation to envision what you want. Keep focusing on what you want, and it will come true."
Keeping our mind focused on what we have decided we want comes from an egotistical motivation. The universe is benevolent and wants to deliver the best possible outcome that is available to each of us. We cannot sit idly by and just visualize what we want. An integral part of conscious manifestation is following our intuition and taking inspired action. If we keep our mind focused on specifics (or worse, someone else's vision), we are energetically blocking even better experiences, people, and things that are outside our imagination. When we can relax, get into a place of healthy, self-loving, empowered living, we become more receptive to the magic of the Universe and the abundance of unknown blessings. We open ourselves up to miracles that are better than we could have imagined.
In Summary - to be successful with the law of attraction and conscious manifestation we must master self-love, skilled coping mechanisms, meditative practices, and healthy detachment. This offers the mental health benefits that are required for more flow, harmony, and miracles in our lives. Once these foundations are cultivated and nurtured we can get into a receptive state and consciously create the best lives that are available to us.