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Do we attract what we think? It’s a little more complicated but mindset matters

July 31, 2022 - 15 min read


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What is the law of attraction?

How does the law of attraction work?

What are the ​​7 laws of attraction?

How to use the law of attraction to reach your goals

The disadvantages of the law of attraction

5 reasons why the law of attraction might not work

It’s not magic: it’s attraction and action

“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” Fans of The Wizard of Oz may appreciate Dorothy’s efforts to will herself home, even if they’ve never heard of the law of attraction. 

Dorothy does eventually get home, but, as we know in the movie and in real life, achieving our goals takes more than even the most heartfelt determination. It definitely takes more than repetition, the right shoes, and a few heel clicks. 

Still, an optimistic mindset matters and we should take the power of positive thinking seriously. 

Your thoughts have an impact on your life. Your mindset shapes your thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Behaviors tend to influence enters our lives and who stays, as a resource or a liability. Your thoughts and behaviors also shape how you feel about yourself and the world.

Fuelling your mind with negative thinking doesn't help your well-being or encourage flourishing, happy relationships. And it certainly doesn’t help you manifest something better.

On some days, it's hard to look on the bright side. No one should expect to always feel or be positive but a positive attitude helps. So does an optimistic mindset. Changing the way you feel about yourself and the world can change the way people think about and treat you. That can have real outcomes.

This is the essence of harnessing “the law of attraction” to change your life. Why not start learning today?

What is the law of attraction?

Let's be upfront about this: The law of attraction isn't a law in the scientific or legal sense. There's currently no scientific evidence to back it up. It's one of several manifestation methods that argues that your thoughts impact your reality.

It suggests that someone who focuses too much on bad things will have negative experiences. But if someone hones their thoughts and subconscious mind into thinking about positive affirmations, more good things will happen.

With that said, the law of attraction uses strategies supported by evidence. These strategies include positive self-talk, visualization, and changing our biases to create a world we want to live in. 

Positive thinking is linked to better physical health, longer life, and even a lower risk of heart disease. Research shows that keeping a growth mindset has mental health benefits, too. It can reduce stress, risk of depression, and aid in stress management.

This improved emotional state keeps you on track to build more skills, which will ultimately lead to greater success. And you’ll even see increased mindfulness, gratitude, and self-compassion

So what is the law of attraction? It states that whatever you focus your energy on will come back to you. By focusing on what you want to achieve, the law states that you’ll emit positive energy to attract those achievements to you. 

The law of attraction is treated as a natural law by self-help and self-care advocates, but we can thank the power of a positive attitude and an optimistic mindset. 

A positive attitude doesn’t mean relentless or toxic positivity. There’s space to acknowledge reality, and reality doesn’t always go our way every day. We have setbacks. We can rise above setbacks. In the same way, an optimistic mindset isn’t about believing that “everything will just work out” if you believe hard enough.

An optimistic mindset is a belief that there is a solution or a way to resolve a problem or challenge. It’s hope combined with action. 

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How does the law of attraction work?

How the law of attraction works can differ depending on who you talk to but it has several foundational behaviors. The first is a mindset, and the second is action. Some theories claim that you create a pull between you and what you desire in life when you focus intently.  

But really, we make that happen through growth and action, not wishful thinking. You must bring your whole self to everything you do, professionally and personally. Our mental fitness\demands us to set goals, create a routine, and go on a journey of self-discovery

That’s where the growth mindset comes in. Your outlook on the world can shape many aspects of your life. Actively looking for the positive side of an issue helps us grow our self-esteem, and confidence and become better leaders. We can throw away our toxic traits and be brave and open to new opportunities. 


That positive energy is infectious, too. Being open-minded and focusing on positive emotions attracts others who feel the same way. It helps entrepreneurs adopt an entrepreneurial mindset that helps them with their professional careers.

But for everyone, it helps us connect with people who share the same passion and goal of being authentically themselves.

BetterUp can guide you to develop a growth mindset full of grit, courage, and playfulness. Our coaches can provide the perspective and accountability you need to show up with positive energy and go-getter behavior.

What are the ​​7 laws of attraction?

Now to make things more confusing, when people talk about the law of attraction, they’re actually referring to seven sub-laws. While we don’t subscribe to any of these being natural laws, there are some worthwhile nuggets. See what you can find here in the seven laws of attraction:

1. Similar things are attracted to each other

This law explains that like attract likes. Negative thoughts attract one another, but positive thoughts do the same. If all we do is dwell on the negative, negative experiences that come our way. But if we seek out the positive aspects of life, our well-being will be more focused on finding good opportunities and experiences.

2. Focus on the present

We should already live in the present, but this law explains that we should focus our efforts on our current situation. If we put in the work now, our futures will be more positive and full of opportunities. Worrying about the future won't help us, either.

3. Make room for the positive things in life

Some negative things in our lives can be removed or changed. Toxic workplaces, relationships that don't fulfill you, or a career that doesn't satisfy you can prevent you from living a meaningful life.

By removing those negatives, we can replace them with more things that help us be more purposeful with our lives. Having a clear idea of your purpose and personal values can help guide you to things that enrich your life.


4. Find balance

Some days might not go the way you wanted. You might fail. Here's the thing: That's part of life. It's good to acknowledge our failures because they're an opportunity to learn. Just as we celebrate our wins, we can recognize our losses. 

5. Remain unwavering in our desires

This law is all about staying focused on the goals and desires that will improve our lives. Clear, purposeful goals help us gain better health, succeed in our careers, and have healthy relationships.

Throughout the stages of our lives, we can experience many changes. But we need to know how we feel about our values and desires to stay grounded. And while our values or desires might evolve over our lives, having a clear sense of self will help us commit to our most important goals.

6. Create harmony around us

The harmony that we have around us can influence our energy. Tapping into the energy that surrounds us can help us as we try to stay positive while working toward our goals. When we have people around us that share the same mentality toward achieving goals, it only benefits us. They're a source of encouragement, support, and inspiration.

7. What goes around comes around

This law discusses that our actions affect everything and everyone around us. How we treat others has a direct impact on our lives. You could be an incredibly positive and hard-working person, but you likely aren't living meaningfully if you don't treat others with respect. And this will attract negative energy to you.

Choosing to offer a helping hand can go a long way, even if you don't think it directly benefits your life.

How to use the law of attraction to reach your goals

We can’t promise that manifesting will help you reach your goals. But some of the tenets of the law of attraction can’t hurt to try. Here's how to use the law of attraction in seven ways to achieve your goals:

  1. Understand burnout and how to recover from it
  2. Incorporate more positive affirmations and self-talk into your inner dialogue
  3. Look for the positives, no matter how big or small, in every situation you're in
  4. Practice visualization by keeping a manifestation journal or creating a vision board
  5. Look for coincidences and patterns
  6. Learn how to identify when you start thinking negative thoughts
  7. Practice journaling your ideas, values, and plans


The disadvantages of the law of attraction

The law of attraction doesn't work for everybody. Without the proper understanding of this concept, people may think that simply being optimistic will reward them. Some people fall into a kind of magical thinking. But in truth, discipline and clear objectives are what reward us.

While it may be true that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, that only works if you quickly follow your mind with some sweat and hard work. Intentional, effective effort makes a difference on the road to our goals.

So does a little luck or serendipity. And perseverance has to keep you going when nothing else is going your way. 

It’s not magic. 

Thinking positively but procrastinating on our actions won’t bring us anywhere. But now you know that a positive viewpoint can inspire and drive us to work harder to reach our goals. The right attitude is one thing, but our behavior is what creates change.

We won't achieve much without motivation, resilience, courage, and grit. When we lack those characteristics but still want to harness the law of attraction, we may become disappointed and lose confidence in ourselves.

5 reasons why the law of attraction might not work

The law of attraction isn't a fool-proof way of achieving your goals and living your dream life. If you find that it isn't working out as you'd hoped, take a moment to reflect on your actions. Think about your behavior and how you're viewing the law of attraction.


Here are five reasons that the law of attraction might not be working for you at the moment:

1. You lack objectives and a purpose 

2. You don't have any solid goals you want to achieve

3. You haven't been putting in the effort and hard work

4. Your self-esteem and self-confidence are poor

5. You're experiencing a lot of mental fatigue and stress, so you lack the necessary energy

It’s not magic: it’s attraction and action

Like many other aspects of your life, your dreams don't work unless you do. It's one thing to have a positive outlook on life, but that isn't what takes you places. And that's not what the law of attraction is.

It's all about the combination of action, planning, and positive thinking. The sustained efforts that you put into yourself now will benefit you in the future. And one day, you'll see for yourself what your positive and action-filled behavior has attracted you.

If you need extra help with balancing a positive attitude and sustained purposeful action, BetterUp can help you. Our coaches will work with you to stay focused on your most ambitious goals.

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Published July 31, 2022

Maggie Wooll

Managing Editor

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