The Biggest Misconception About The Law of Attraction

The law of attraction is nothing new. It has been around for quite a while, but it has had many different names. Some of those who have argued in favor of the law of attraction didn’t even bother to name it. You see, how we call it is completely irrelevant.

However, in the 20 century a great deal of effort was put into defining clearly what we call now the law of attraction. More than ever before we wanted factual, rock solid evidence. But before trying to apply the scientific method to the effects of the law of attraction, we needed a name.

The Law of Attraction During the 20 Century

The most famous attempts to define the law of attraction throughout the 20 century started with Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (1937). But Napoleon Hill paid little attention to explaining what the law of attraction actually was, and more to how it worked. Later, Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) applied to everyday life the same ideas that were previously expressed by Napoleon Hill regarding entrepreneurship and wealth.

In the last half of the 20 and the beginning of the 21 century other important references to the law of attraction appeared through Jane Robert’s The Seth Material (1972) and Esther Hicks’ Ask and it is Given (2004). There were many other references to the law of attraction during this period of time, but in my opinion these were the most relevant until 2006 when Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret was published and released as a movie.

 

The Secret

If The Secret wasn’t the first time people talked about the law of attraction, why it caused so much more upheaval than before? Well, it actually didn’t. All other previous references to the law of attraction caused their fair share of disruption. The only difference this occasion is that for the first time we had the means to share information around the globe immediately. Something that Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent nor Jane Roberts had.
With The Secret, the law of attraction, for the first time, went viral. And as with most if this that become viral, it was also incredibly tergiversated.

 

Thoughts Become Reality

This is the biggest misconception about the law of attraction and is easy to understand why. The idea that we can control our reality and our physical circumstances with only our thoughts is heavily implied in The Secret.

Why? Because is easy to explain and more commercially oriented that the truth. And let’s not forget that The Secret book and movie are commercial products, with the end purpose of generate profit. This doesn’t mean such products has no value, but you must be as cautions about its claims as you would be with a salesman trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner.

The truth? Thoughts do not create reality; actions create reality. And what matter the most to us are not our thoughts, but our emotions, because emotions influence our actions. Of course our thoughts are important, but also are our emotional state and certainly our actions.

Only thoughts are emotions won’t get us far; actions without thoughts and emotions will get us to all the wrong places. But when we get to align our thoughts with our emotions so efficiently that they completely influence our actions, we are set for greatness.

 

Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

 

What create our reality are the actions and decisions we make and take. These actions are based upon our emotional state, and that’s the importance of taking care of our emotional vibration.

 

Emotional Vibration

Our emotional vibration simply refers to how we feel. Why is this important? Because if our predominant emotional state is negative, our actions will be influenced by such emotions, and therefore, the results of such actions will be equally negative, or erratic in the best cases.

If the predominant emotion in our life is anger, our actions will be erratic and uncontrolled. If our predominant emotion is depression, our actions will lack the strength to create a meaningful result. If it is hopelessness, our actions will fall short to what our goals require and we will get mediocre results.

If our predominant emotions are positive, we will be more energetic, creative and sharper. The effects of positive emotions in professional performance are more than proved by standardized science. In the same way, our relationships will improve greatly when we approach others while holding a positive emotional state.

 

Emotional Compass

Our emotions become a compass that we can use to assess if our actions are aimed towards our chosen goals and dreams, or if we are walking in the wrong direction.

It is my personal opinion –though not an original idea– that this is the sole purpose of emotions, to serve as a guidance system. For more about this you can read Ring the Alarm.

The part of emotions in the creation of our reality and the influence of our actions is way deeper, but for the sake of the point I’m trying to make with this article, I’ll leave it here for now.

To summarize: thoughts do not create reality, thoughts influence emotions, which heavily influence our actions (or the lack of it) and our actions create our reality.

So, if you sit in your coach every night to think about how much you want that new BMW or a new romantic relationship or to be out of debt, and do nothing about it, the law of attraction wont work.

Disclaimer: The links of the above mentioned books are affiliated links. I have read these books and even when I enjoyed every single one and found great value in all of them, this article must not be considered an explicit recommendation.

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26 Comments

  1. Siim Land

    The law of attraction works on the subconscious level. If we condition our mind to positivity and greatness it is inevitable that it will start to influence our actions aswell. The notion that actions create reality is what most people miss. Nothing happens without effort being put into it. I hope this post will be useful to anyone who has misunderstood it.

    • That’s right my friend, effort and action is a key component when creating the life we want. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Well done, good explanation of the misunderstanding most have. I find what is often left out however is something that blocks what the Universe has planned for us that is always so much more than we can wrap our little minds around. Detachment from the outcome. You must act on your guidance and then take a step back and be an observer. The serendipity of life is the great gift, the trickster with a wink that tells us our path is more spiral than straight. If we are open to every comment, every reaction- then we are truly open to life itself.

    • In my opinion, detachment from the outcome is the single most important factor when applying the law of attraction. The tricky thing is that as long as we keep focusing on the outcome, most of the time we are actually focused on the absence of such outcome, and therefore, taking action from a negative emotional state. Thank you for bringing up such an important point Christina.

  3. I like how detailed you explained the misinterpetation about the Law of Attraction. In the end it is the emotions and feelings, the way we look at everything, which induces us to actions. And those actions (or non actions) have consequences which show up in our lives again. Very good post!

  4. Thought is the first stage then other thing follows. After reading ‘The Secret’ and after watching the movie, what I understood was that the book too says that when you imagine and visualise your dreams and give out correct frequency of having it now, Universe starts sending the things, people and circumstances which would take you to your dreams if you act appropriately. Like for dream job, after doing visualization etc. we need to continue looking for job openings with positivity. So action is important. Though many people say that those books are commercial etc. but it is also appreciable that at least some knowledge is put forward in this world about power of mind and heart. Thoughts become things is reality but it includes other aspects as well like feelings, our beliefs, letting go and actions. The most appreciable part which I see in these books is they have said about gratitude and spreading love all over. That is the best in these books.?

  5. Thought is the first stage then other thing follows. After reading ‘The Secret’ and after watching the movie, what I understood was that the book too says that when you imagine and visualise your dreams and give out correct frequency of having it now, Universe starts sending the things, people and circumstances which would take you to your dreams if you act appropriately. Like for dream job, after doing visualization etc. we need to continue looking for job openings with positivity. So action is important. Though many people say that those books are commercial etc. but it is also appreciable that at least some knowledge is put forward in this world about power of mind and heart. Thoughts become things is reality but it includes other aspects as well like feelings, our beliefs, letting go and actions. The most appreciable part which I see in these books is they have said about gratitude and spreading love all over. That is the best in these books.?

    • I agree with you Gargi. I think the book and the movie have many positive lessons. Unfortunately, many people only see The Secret as a “get rich fast” type of book/movie. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  6. This is on point…I had this same conversation today on how what we feel about something determines what we do and what we project outward. And it still correlates with thought…you think, you feel, you act.

  7. Great quote by Gandhi. And my favorite line is the summary – sums it up so well! Very grounding. I often say (though not sure who said it first), “The universe meets us at the intersection of intention (thoughts + emotions) and action.” Both are super important.

  8. Love this article and the effort on this blog, lots of great insights into what success is really comprised of. Follow back if you would like.

  9. I particularly love the Ghandi quote. A number of people I care about are stuck in a pattern of self-defeating thought/word/behaviour that is so frustrating to deal with. No amount of encouragement to alter their perceptions/shift their mindsets seems to work. It is truly as if they are locked in a downward spiral, attracting every negative thing to themselves by virtue of that expectation alone. Not to say that everything would change miraculously were they otherwise. But they almost glory in their defeat. I wonder whether there are types of people who simply are negative. I still hope for them that they will see themselves through different eyes, that, in desperation one day, they may have a thought revolution that will alter their perspective.
    It is wonderful that the channels and opportunities that may allow new insights are increasingly available through a more open network.

    • You’re right that some people almost wish to fail, so they can get more reason to complaint and more excuses to use as a shield. When we argue with ourselves in favour of all the reason we have to fail, we have already failed.

  10. I loved this article! And i love the idea of using our emotions as an internal guidance system. We too often try to think everything through, instead of simply trusting what feels right.

  11. Stop the Press bugaboo, did I just read a man said: “go with your emotions?” Ladies…did you see this? The Law of Attraction for females has always been based on emotions, it is the males who try to intellectually rationalize things out and usually let the Love of their Life walk out and into the arms of another man. For a woman, Attraction is looks, character, integrity, intelligence, how does he make me feel, what do I feel when I’m with him, how does he treat me, how does he carry himself, and so on. Now, the question remains to be, Mr. GoodVader…”What is The Law of Attraction for you?”

  12. Emotions are of great importance, not only in connection to the law of attraction, but as a natural guidance system when we interact we other and even with ourselves. The point of the article is that emotion itself cannot create our reality if is not matched by action!

  13. Great article. A friend and I had a similar conversation just a few days ago in which I tried to explains some points you listed here. The LOA is nothing new as I’m reaching text on the subject that dates to the early 20’s, and they make reference to text from the early 1900’s. Also there’s not result unless there’s action. First comes thought, then action, then results.

  14. Focus and action of your heart….

  15. I have felt for some time that there is something off about the way the Law of Attraction is presented by some new age media. We only have partial control over our thoughts–many of them simply pop into our head, and we have to choose whether to validate them through action. It is comforting to know that nothing bad will happen to you simply because an upsetting thought pops into your head. It all depends on whether you act on that thought.

  16. Dear Julio, you and I are on the same page! I can relate to everything you talk about here on your blog. I love, love, love the quote about watching your thoughts. I published a book and put that quote in there. I have to be honest, when I read one of your other posts, I had to look up the word tergiversated (lol). Congratulations on being a law graduate! You are full speed ahead! Peace and love be with you always! ~dp

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