Sometimes I end up talking about manifesting reality with people who have remarkably skeptical views on the subject. Mention The Secret or the Law of Attraction, and you can see visible discomfort and sometimes even hostility. In thinking about these awkward moments, I’ve come to boil down the whole essence of LoA and manifesting to one sentence:
Successful People Have Successful Thoughts
This is the bottom line. Do you know of Olympic athletes who walk around claiming they’re going to do poorly only to turn around and win? Do you know of people who think negatively about their life and work who are ultimately happy and successful? Do you know of people who have unhealthy relationships with money who, in fact, actually have bags full of the stuff and are happy?
If you’re a skeptic, I encourage you to go down that rabbit hole and try to find examples of the above-mentioned people. If you can find examples of people who regularly expect to do poorly and instead regularly succeed, please share with me. I would be very interested in examining the circumstances of their unexpected success.
The reason why this is so important to me is that successful people, in my experience, ultimately expect to succeed. Whether you believe in the new-age mambo-jumbo of The Secret or whether you think it’s sheer nonsense, the underlying truth remains: If you want to consistently succeed, you have to imagine your success. You have to believe in your success. You have to expect it.
If you’re struggling to achieve consistent and lasting success, as many are, the key is for you to look at how your thinking responds to stimulus, positive and negative. Any time you discover disempowering reactions that leave your well-being and/or success to the whims of circumstance or, worse, other people, you’ve homed in on self-limiting beliefs. Self-limiting beliefs serve the purpose to either “protect” you or to affirm subconscious expectations. That would be fine except that these situations almost always arise from an inability to properly process a traumatic experience, which subsequently leaves us with faulty programming. Success, therefore, involves reprogramming these beliefs.
There are a lot of ways one can go about changing the way we think and it would be silly for me to think I know the best way for everybody. Different people have different tendencies. If you’re more a right-brain individual, then meditation and other “inner quiet” work might be helpful. If you’re more a left-brain individual, then you might find yourself enjoying talk therapy and other consciously guided processes. Personally, I like mixing both “being” and “doing” approaches.
For stubborn issues, I think NLP and hypnosis can be extremely beneficial. These approaches look to establishing the cause of a behaviour or thought and giving the client a fresh perspective of the initial causal situation. It’s my belief that enabling an objective perspective is the secret to solving virtually all trauma and restoring well-being. For self-limiting beliefs, these modalities can be wonderful tools for uncovering the cause, e.g., an authority figure telling a youngster that he/she would never amount to anything. (Such comments can be very persuasive in a developing mind for which the Critical Factor has not yet been established.)
The first step in your journey to thinking successful thoughts is to catch yourself thinking limiting thoughts. Try not to be critical of them. Just note them and carry on. As you become more practised at identifying these thoughts that bubble out of you in a negative context, take a moment and learn to put them into a positive spin. Even if your conscious mind objects to the untruth of the positive statement, take a moment to really experience how that positive statement feels.
As an example, let’s look at the following self-limiting statement and its positive counterpart:
“I never have enough money.”
“I always have more than enough money.“
First of all, take a moment to relax and then state the first sentence to yourself. Experience the sensation you feel in your mind and body with the statement of that first sentence. After you’re satisfied that you’ve experienced it fully, take a nice breath and carry on with the next, positive sentence. As with the first one, state it to yourself and then take the time to experience the resulting sensations fully. When you’re done, take a cleansing breath and carry on reading.
I didn’t tell you what to expect from the experience because I didn’t want to colour your expectations. I can, however, share with you what I’ve experienced. When thinking the initial, negative thought, I experience anxiety and a certain “heaviness”. When thinking the subsequent, positive thought, I experience a lightening and calming effect. For me it’s clear that positive thoughts are better thoughts. They make me feel good, physically and emotionally.
Practising thinking positive thoughts can be reinforced by daydreams. They can also be worked through by engaging in desensitizing pastimes. For example, I spent most of my life feeling that I couldn’t afford expensive things. One of the more useful tools I discovered was to window shop for extremely expensive properties, completely disregarding the idea of whether I could afford it or not. After a while, I got so accustomed to looking at multi-million dollar properties that when I started actually looking at something I might want to buy for real, the prices seemed ridiculously cheap.
Other ways of changing perspective can be found in various tapping modalities, such as TAT and EFT. If you’re so inclined, pure energy healing can also be applied. For the old-fashioned skeptics, couch sessions and talk therapy may be helpful. At the end of the day, how you get to thinking successful thoughts isn’t important. What matters is that you think those successful thoughts.
Once you get into the habit of describing yourself and your situation in terms of what you wish to accomplish, you’ll find yourself accomplishing greater things. It is a tried and true fact of life that those who are consistently successful expect to be so. So forget about worrying about the mechanics of it all. Don’t get bogged down in skepticism and worry about whether Law of Attraction is real and whether The Secret amounts to hocus-pocus. It’s just not important. The only thing that truly matters is whether your thoughts support what you wish to create in life.