Awesome Ann wants to know: “I have always been gainfully employed all my life and recently I lost my job. I’m working on my manifestation skills to attract a new job and I just needed a clarification. One principle says to act as if you have already received it. So, when quizzed by my family and friends on my job search, should I say that I have already got a lovely offer, or would that be a lie?”
Dear Awesome Ann,
The whole “acting as if” concept is one that many people have trouble with. Should you run around telling people that you’ve won the lottery, that you’re happily married to George Clooney, or that you’ve already lost thirty pounds, even though you can barely afford a cup of coffee, George hasn’t replied to even one of your fan letters and you’ve noticed that your midsection is actually developing its own orbit of smaller objects like crumbs, paperclips and Chihuahuas? Wouldn’t that just be delusional? Does the Law of Attraction really require you to defy what you know to be true, what you and others can witness with your own eyes?
Well, yes and no. Let me explain.
In the post, Does the Law of Attraction Encourage People To Be Delusional?, I explained that no, you’re not required to actively lie to yourself. If you and George aren’t an item, no amount of telling others that you are will make it so. At best, they’ll think you’re a harmless nut job. The thing is: whatever you are telling yourself has to be believable to you. If you KNOW that you’re not spending your nights with Swooney Clooney, you can’t just tell yourself that you are. Your mind, that intelligent bugger, won’t let you. Just as you can’t just decide that gravity no longer exists, that dinosaurs aren’t extinct, or that you have money to burn when you clearly don’t. Yes, theoretically you could step into those realities, but practically speaking, it’s probably not going to happen.
When people wonder if the Law of Attraction is asking them to be delusional, it’s often due to a misunderstanding of how reality creation works.
Yes, you can change your current reality, but you can’t do it by defying what you’ve already created, or by lying to yourself.
When you defy reality, what you’re usually doing is looking at the physical manifestation of your current (or rather, past) vibration and protesting against it. You DON’T want to be fat, you DON’T want to be poor, you DON’T want to be single. And so, you declare that you WANT to be skinny, you WANT to be rich, and you WANT to be in a relationship. You can change those statements to I AM skinny, I AM rich and I AM in a relationship with Batman, but if you don’t believe those things (which you generally don’t), it won’t make any difference. All you’ll be doing is frustrating yourself.
The thing is, you have to dig deeper. Physical manifestations are not goals. I will say that again, because it’s important and because I know that about 90% of you just glossed right over that sentence (shame on you. These words are freaking gold, y’all): Physical manifestations are not goals. Ever. We think they are, we’ve been taught they are, we’d like to believe they are (they’re so nice and tangible and measurable and other people can see them), but they’re not. It’s ok to want a house, but there’s a reason you want it. It’s ok to want to be thin, but there’s a reason you want to lose weight. It’s ok to want to be in love, but there’s a reason you want a partner.
And this underlying reason, the WHY of your desires, is what that physical manifestation represents to you. This is what you REALLY want. And this is where your creative power lies.
It’s not a thing. It’s a feeling
Here’s the thing: You don’t really want stuff. The stuff you think you want is only ever a representation of a deeper desire. And that deeper desire, that REAL desire, will always be a FEELING.
You do not want stuff. You want the feeling that the stuff represents.
If you can internalize this lesson, your life will get better and easier than you ever imagined. It’s always, ALWAYS a feeling. If you haven’t identified the feeling you want, you have to dig deeper.
Why do you want George Clooney to be your boyfriend? Because he’s good looking and famous and charming and successful. If he looked at you with desire, you’d surely feel desirable (even though you currently don’t). You’d feel immensely validated (even though you currently don’t…). You’d feel important. You’d feel respected. You might also feel loved (but why do you specifically need George for that?). The problem is that no one, not even Mr. Clooney himself can contradict your vibration, which is a product of your current beliefs. If you don’t believe that you are desirable, no one can make you feel that way. If you don’t feel validated, no one can validate you enough to change that. Even if they try, you can’t hear them (ever have someone insult you, only to find out they were actually complimenting you, but you took it wrong?)
A different experience
Another way to look at this is to say that you don’t actually want different stuff, you want a different experience. You want to be happier, more free, more abundant. You want people in your reality to be nicer to you. You want things to be easier, smoother, less of a struggle. You want the experience of love and positivity and connection and validation and worthiness. And again, this is where all your power lies.
Because you can’t instantly change the physical reality around you. And as I already explained, simply defying it doesn’t work either. You can’t just look at a table and tell yourself it isn’t there. You know that isn’t “true” and even pretending that it is so won’t make it happen. Spending money you know you don’t have will not make you feel more abundant. In fact, it’ll probably just stress you out more.
Don’t ACT as if. FEEL as if
The trick is not to act as if, unless of course, doing so will help you get into the feeling of it. The key is to FEEL as if. In other words, even though you can’t instantly change the physical manifestations before you, you can instantly change your experience of those manifestations. And, if you change your experience to the one you want to have, the physical representations must mirror that experience back to you. Now, for most of us, telling others that we already have what we want doesn’t evoke the feeling of already having it within us. It just makes us feel awkward. So, for most of us, that won’t work.
What does work? Anything that helps you to get into the feeling you would have if you already had what you wanted. If you’re looking for a job, figure out how you want to feel about that job. Your mind, via the process of visualization, will come up with representations that feel the way you want to. This makes it easier for you to focus yourself into that vibration. But the visual representation is NOT the goal. Let me give you an example:
You say that you want get a great new job. You’ve determined that you want an awesome boss who actually respects you and listens to your input. You want freedom to construct your own schedule instead of working 9-5. You want to work on creative projects. You’ve heard that working at Google offers just that environment, and so, you decide that you’re going to work there.
The vision of working at Google represents the feeling you want to achieve in your new job. It’s not the ONLY way or even necessarily the BEST way for you to receive what you want (which is why it’s best to focus on the feeling and not get married to the representation of it), but just thinking of working at Google easily allows you to get into the matching emotional state.
Now, going around telling people that you work at Google isn’t going to line you up with your awesome new job, because you know it’s not true. And your awareness of their awareness that it’s not true will just underscore that feeling. But, you can easily daydream about working there, what it would be like, why it would be so awesome, etc. You could also define how you would feel throughout the day if you worked there, or someplace similar. Perhaps, instead of getting up in the morning, full of dread and despair, you would bounce out of bed, ready to start the day. Well, in that case, you can work yourself into a more enthusiastic state each morning by deliberately focusing on something that makes you feel good (may I suggest putting on rockin’ music and doing the “I work at Google” dance?).
You might realize that your commute to work would be fun if you were living the life you want to live, and so you begin to look for ways to make your journey to work more enjoyable. You might see yourself dressing differently, with more color or style (or more casually), to represent not only the new work environment, but how you want to feel. Of course, it may not be possible to change your entire wardrobe in your current job, but you could bring in elements, even small details, to help you achieve the feeling that wearing those other clothes would evoke. At the very least, you can wear fun underwear. 😉
When LOA teachers and spiritual gurus advise you to “act as if”, they don’t mean that you should go around telling people that you already have what you want. That’s called lying and it doesn’t work. What they mean is that you should act the way you would if you already had what you wanted. Or, to put it more clearly, FEEL the way you would if you had what you wanted, even if you don’t yet have it. If you would smile a lot more if you had a different job, then smile a lot more now. But a fake smile won’t get you there. You have to find more reasons for you to genuinely smile NOW, even though the thing you want hasn’t manifested yet. You have to smile because you feel like smiling, because if you had that new job, you’d feel like smiling more often. If you want more money, you don’t have to go out and spend a bunch of money you don’t currently have. But, if you had more money, you wouldn’t feel dread every time the bills come. You wouldn’t have that sinking feeling in your gut when you can’t afford something. You’d feel differently. Find those feelings now. NOW. Right NOW.
Act “as if” and they’ll call you a nut job. They’ll call you delusional. Feel “as if” and they’ll soon call you an inspiration. So, what would it feel like if you already had everything you’d ever wanted?