Many of us were introduced to the concept of the Law of Attraction from the 2006 book and movie, The Secret. After seeing it for the first time, for me, it went a little something like this:

Law of Attraction: Metal.  Me: Magnet.

I simply couldn’t get enough and couldn’t look away. Vision boards became a permanent part of my landscape and the catchy phrases became daily mantras:

  • Energy goes where attention flows.
  • Thoughts become things.
  • What you think about, you bring about.

That said, something about it didn’t sit right. A piece was missing.

The Law of Attraction (LOA) is a universal law that dictates, Like always attracts Like. In other words, positive always attracts positive and negative always attracts negative. LOA experts say it’s working for you whether you believe in it or not. Whether you use its powerful attraction with intention or not, this universal law is at play. It helps to think of it in the same way you regard gravity, regardless of your belief in gravity – if you jump, you will always fall. The LOA is built on three fundamental steps:

  1. Ask: Create a clear picture of what you want and desire.
  2. Believe: Believe with all your heart that the universe is working diligently to deliver.
  3. Receive: Feel the feeingls of gratitude for having received your “ask” even before you actually get it.

When I discovered the LOA, I was in the midst of divorce and heavily involved in a complete overhaul of my life. The mere idea of this universal law existing gave me a visceral level of hope. I dove head first into the deep end of the LOA. However, as I asked, believed, and received, I couldn’t help but feel like there was a huge step missing. Act! Ask, believereceive, and ACT! Perhaps this is the life coach in me talking but I felt uneasy with the idea of simply sending my ask out to the universe and letting it do all of the work. The joy is the journey. I didn’t just want the outcome, I wanted the process of creating the life I envisioned. I wanted the wisdom that comes with failure.

I learned I wasn’t alone in this thought. Additionally, I discovered that the LOA success rate was, well, pitiful (0.1%). According to Neil Farber, M.D, Ph.D, author of The Blame Game and firm proponent of the Principal of Attraction, an evidence-based occurrence that blends positive psychology, goal achieving research, and neuroscience, “The Principle of Attraction allows you to plan, prepare for challenges, take responsibility for establishing your goal-setting journey, and adopt an optimistic/realistic perspective rather than being unfulfilled when you don’t achieve perfection. Believing in the Principle of Attraction is empowering” (2014.)

Essentially, the Principal of Attraction states, Like TENDS to attract Like. Vise Versa, dislike and negativity tend to bring about more of the same. Attraction is not a universal law – it doesn’t hold true 100% of the time. This principal makes room for failure without it being a direct response to our inability to manifest hard enough or good enough. When we empower ourselves to ask, believe, receive and act (AKA, work your buns off to make it happen), we are much more likely to:

  • Think positive and gain all that comes with that:
    1. Research shows positive people have higher rates of success in relationships, health, finances, career, and altruistic endeavors.
    2. Positive people tend to surround themselves with positive like-minded people.
  • Invoke less shame and blame (on yourself and others) when situations occur outside of one’s control. War, cancer, and car accidents are not a result of being clear enough with your vision. Sometimes, shit happens. It just does. Although plans change, optimism remains.
  • Stay mindful of the process, not just the outcome. We maintain awareness of our goal and make daily decisions about action steps.
  • Align thoughts, feelings, and actions with goals. When we do this it directs our brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS) to “sift through millions of bits of sensory information to focus on your goal. Thus, like often attracts like is a phenomenon that occurs within each of our brains, not due to a universal law” (Farber, 2014).

The Principle of Attraction is incredibly powerful. When we focus our attention, efforts, thoughts, mantras, vision boards, and vibration—we direct our infinite energy toward something and create the energy and the circumstances for that thing to manifest. There is science and research behind the concepts that support the Principal of Attraction. In my own life, I stand witness.

Here’s a story from my own life.

After spending 16 years on the same piece of land – cultivating it, building two homes by hand, birthing my baby, growing 1000’s of pounds of food, and truly, growing up on it – my husband and I decided we wanted to spend less time commuting, live closer to my parents, and offer more diverse activities to our child; We moved to town. Although my body was in town, my heart was still in the country, and I was sure we would be packing up the U-Haul after six-months and moving back to our beloved land.

My first call to the universe was that we find the perfect renters for our hand-crafted home and property. I asked for someone who would fall in love with it, someone who would respect it, soFullSizeRendermeone who would lease it for a year and on the financial terms we requested. Check, check, check, and check! From 3,500 miles away, we received a call from a couple that wanted to live in our home on exactly the terms we had asked for.

After a year, I realized that although my heart was, and will always be on that land, I actually LOVED living in town. We decided to sell the property but I knew it needed to be just the right situation for such a magical, loving place. Again, I put the call out to the universe, detailed and specific, including a closing date and price. I gave my trust to the process, worked my buns off, and felt the gratitude (in advance) for the perfect situation that was coming our way.

Within two weeks, acquaintances of our neighbors called to talk about the property. Within three months, we were in escrow – selling our home at our asking price to the perfect couple. The deal closed just 9 days past the date I’d put on my vision board.

Tiffany is a Transformative Life Coach and Consultant with Evolutionary Consulting. She offers vision board workshops to public and private groups.

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Farber, Niel, January, 5 2014. The Law of Attraction Revisited. Psychology Today.

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