Discover why the Law of Attraction cannot work for you unless you firstly change yourself.
Yet John Assaraf – one of the presenters of the film states that:
There is no other business that would admit a 99.9% failure rate and keep going.
My experience shows that the LOA train is still running even with its dire results because of the unique make up of the people fuelling the engine.
These people are “nice” - so much so that when someone points out to them that they are not getting what they paid for, their responses are as below:
So why are these people so “nice”?
It is because many of the people attracted to LOA are:
Found to be intuitive
Hold themselves to high standards
Overly responsible for others. They are found in high numbers to be involved in the caring professions – medical, therapy, coaching, counselling
They do not like conflict and confrontation. They do not want to “rock the boat”.
However, many are also:
Indulge in addictive/compulsive behaviours across the spectrum from drugs to workaholism
Prone to depression
WOW! Things have suddenly got dark. These issues are never addressed in the LOA community.
But my work mixes the vision boards and fairy dust of LOA with some vital, inescapable reality. Life is a mix of light and dark and I give evidence that until we address some bleak issues squarely, we cannot prosper and thrive.
I have conducted totally unscientific observations over the last ten years in the self development community and observed a phenomenon...
Significant segments of the population who make up the LOA community are “adult children”.
On the website “Out of the FOG” – an adult child website - adult children is defined as “a term commonly used to describe any grown adult who was exposed to emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child”.
Michael Samsel also lists the same characteristics I have attributed to members of the LOA community as characteristics of “adult children”.
The term "Adult Children" was first coined by self-help groups supporting the grown children of alcoholic parents. The term also includes those from a dysfunctional family.
Samsel states that adult children have a “pattern of self-disempowerment that arises from adapting from an early age to a tyrannical, capricious, and invalidating environment”. Further, adult children consider themselves “fundamentally flawed and inadequate”.
Samsel also states that “Adult children are strongly represented in the helping professions, such as education, health care, social services, therapy, etc.”.
They have good intentions [in most of their relationships]. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the care-taking becomes compulsive and defeating.”
There is a name for that behaviour – co-dependency – defined by Mental Health America as “people who have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. They find it hard to “be themselves.” Some try to feel better through alcohol, drugs or nicotine - and become addicted. Others may develop compulsive behaviours like workaholism, gambling, or indiscriminate sexual activity.
It is clear that a person who has been emotionally, physically or sexually abused, who considers themselves “flawed and inadequate”, and who lives from a pattern of self-disempowerment will not attract riches and glories but, instead, abuse, flaws and disempowerment.
I have considered celebrities that have reached the top and acquired fame and fortune and then seem hell bent on self-destruction. Is it their core belief of inadequacy holding them back?
We have to address the childhood trauma issues from which these core beliefs were formed. These beliefs are the traits we developed to survive our childhood home but they have distorted our thinking as adults and thus severely limited our “ability” to attract positive experiences in our lives.
Clearing Up The Mess
To begin to heal the mental, emotional and spiritual smog that is blocking us from attracting our desires, we need to look deeper at the cause.
So, in the next two coaching sessions we look at the child’s experience in a dysfunctional home and how the dysfunction affected our development, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Fundamental human needs must be met so that a child can develop and grow and learn how to develop relationships with itself and the people around it.
So what are some of these needs?
Survival, safety and security at the barest minimum. We needed to have someone ensure we had enough attention given to us to meet simple survival requirements.
Touching: Experiments with rabbits fed cholesterol inducing diets show that rabbits that are held and petted developed very low levels of cholesterol, whilst rabbits which are not held and petted developed high levels of cholesterol. The researchers concluded that being held and talked to helps keep the heart’s blood vessels clear.
In other words, receiving and feeling love is good for the heart.
Mirroring and echoing: This creates validation that we are being understood and has been found to be vital to a child’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Without this a child can grow into an adult with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain and suffering.
Listening, participating, and accepting: this is again about validation – this time someone validates and respects the feelings of the child’s real self. They allow the child the freedom to express themselves to be authentic and to grow and thrive.
Accomplishment: this strengthens the belief that we have the power to complete tasks, make a contribution, make the decisions, and take the actions needed to follow through and attract into our lives what we wish. Some people from dysfunctional families did not have any support to practice accomplishing tasks so have difficulty completing. Or they become high achievers in some areas, for instance – work, but are unable to achieve in relationships.
Scientific evidence of the effect of trauma on the development of the brain:
I stated earlier that adult children experienced disorganisation of normal and healthy growth, both neurological and psychological. We took a different developmental path to those children who did not suffer any trauma.
In this session we will look at research by Dr van der Kolk on the effect of trauma on the mind and body, and also research and evidence of the negative effect of neglect on children raised in orphanages.
In his book The Body Keeps The Score, Van der Kolk states that “childhood trauma is radically different from traumatic stress in full formed adults. To some degree their problems do overlap with those of combat soldiers, but they are also very different in that their childhood trauma has prevented them from developing some of the mental capacities that adult solders possessed before the traumas occurred.”
Because of his findings, Van der Kolk and his team proposed a new diagnosis to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV May 1994 – “Disorders of extreme stress, not otherwise specified” (DESNOS) or Complex PTSD.
His studies were excluded from the publication. The decision makers who shape the diagnostic system decided not to recognise the evidence. The damage caused by child abuse and neglect have been ignored.
Van der Kolk states the consequences of caretaker abuse and neglect are vastly more complex than the impact of accidents. Yet there is no diagnosis on which to treat “the fall out of abuse, betrayal, and abandonment”.
Van der Kolk did further research to compare adults who had survived natural disasters and adult children. He found:
“The adults who had been abused as children often had trouble concentrating, complained of always being on edge, and were filled with self-loathing. They had enormous trouble negotiating intimate relationships, often veering from indiscriminate, high-risk and unsatisfying sexual involvements to total sexual shutdown. They also had large gaps in their memories, often engaged in self-destructive behaviours, and had a host of medical problems. These symptoms were relatively rare in the survivors of natural disasters."
More than a decade of research on children raised in institutions shows that "neglect is awful for the brain," says Charles Nelson, a professor of paediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Without someone who is a reliable source of attention, affection and stimulation, he says, "the wiring of the brain goes awry." The result can be long-term mental and emotional problems.
They found there was damage in the areas of the brain which regulated “response to emotional stimuli”. This damage “altered functional connections” and “may represent the mechanism underlying “persistent behavioural disturbances”.
Dr Charles Whitfield in his book Healing the Child Within calls these “persistent behavioural disturbances” “core issues”.
These core issues include needing to control, “whether someone else’s behaviour, our own behaviour, or something else”. Difficulty handling and resolving conflict: either withdrawing or becoming devious and manipulative, inability to appropriately handle our feelings.
Dr Whitfield noted that these core issues arise when we are “going through major life transitions, have demands on our performance at work, home or play, and when visiting our family of origin”. While these are normal life experiences, for the adult child they steer us towards defensive behaviours, control issues, self-neglect, and the pain of conflict. We fear we will be abandoned if we do not match up. We lack the features of emotional intelligence and the basic life skills to channel emotions to problem-solving or goal achieving tasks.
Being left to their own devices leaves chronically traumatised children with deficits in emotional self-regulation. This results in problems with self-definition as reflected by 1) a lack of a continuous sense of self, 2) poorly modulated affect and impulse control, including aggression against self and others, and 3) uncertainty about the reliability and predictability of others, which is expressed as distrust, suspiciousness, and problems with intimacy, and which results in social isolation. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1992; 60(2); 174-184 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1592946
The theory of emotional intelligence captures these skills as self awareness, self management, social awareness and social management.
I highlight four for consideration and contrast. They are skills we will need to develop.
Self development programmes have put the cart before the horse. Positive thinking is a by product - one of the capacities or skills we acquire as the end result of integrating our god given abilities so we can heal from the chaos and confusion of childhood trauma.
Instead of sitting and wishing for the car or the house, or sitting and colouring in a book, we need to learn the skills to become more creative, complex individuals. We create a connection, a harmony in our goal setting. We need these abilities to see the big picture, visualise with the mind’s eye and then devise a strategy to achieve it. This will drive us to outstanding achievements and attract life changing opportunities that we are now able and savvy enough to take advantage of.
We have to strengthen our brain, healing the physical and mental damage caused by our traumatic childhood. We have to change the capacity of our brain to deal with life on life’s terms.
There is deep work to be done on ourselves to help us realise our goals.
Proponents of self development state we can do this by balancing our left and right brain. However no one explains why there is the imbalance in the first place.
I state the imbalance for adult children occurred due to the trauma in our childhood. Focussing on healing this imbalance is the key to attracting a life of purpose and achievement.
I have spent a lot of time in the problem. Now it’s time to start to look at the solution.
I will lay out the evidence and give you material to use to heal and prosper.
In this coaching session I want to discuss neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to change based on stimulation. This is the new hot button in science and the self developmental field.
I want to spend some time on it for three reasons:
1. It is not new as claimed by many today. The theory is over 200 years old.
"Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain." Santiago Ramon y Cajal (1915)
This news may help you embrace more readily the concept that the brain can change. That means we can become what we want to become, regardless of what we have experienced in our past.
2. Marvellous research undertaken in the last fifty years mean people are alive today who have benefitted from and can testify to the strength of the theory.
Again this may give you hope based on a solid foundation and help you decide to draw on your tremendous innate potential to heal and grow immediately - and not think you have to wait until it is “proven”.
3. A huge flaw of self development is that it does not address our different needs and abilities due to our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Also there is the transient nature of some of the modalities such as “getting into state” to walk on fire. This involves manipulating the brain for short periods of time. Hyping yourself up would increase blood flow and chemical reactions in the brain to emergency levels, basically fooling the brain into thinking it is in danger.
However, after you get out of state you can no longer perform the task. Or after you leave the high energy seminar you fail to follow through because you are no longer “in state” of the excitement of being with 100s of other excited people.
As adult children, this behaviour is stressful to the brain. It is likely to precipitate our core issues because it over-stretches our capabilities.
What the manipulation does prove is that we have access to “super” powers – think of the analogy of the woman who, in the heat of the moment, found the strength to lift a car off her child. However, with neuroplasticity and being aware of the need to be gentle due to our negative childhood experiences, we change the brain permanently little by little. We forge new neural pathways in the brain. We then develop the ability to build new skills, resilience and self-mastery. Each time building on the next and we exponentially benefit from residual progress.
This coaching presented evidence of why the law of attraction is not working for adult children.
Adult children have a fundamental problem with their outlook on life. This outlook stems from damage to the formation of the brain due to childhood trauma during its developmental stage.
Remember the first coaching session: 10 years after The Secret “many people from all over the world” state the film was nice but the law isn’t working for them.
I would wager “many people from all over the world” have suffered from childhood trauma and/or have self esteem issues that are blocking the flow of information to them that would create abundance in their lives.
The ACE study showed that adverse childhood experiences are vastly more common than recognised or acknowledged and that they have a powerful relation to adult health a half-century later. The study unequivocally confirmed earlier investigations that found a highly significant relationship between adverse childhood experiences and depression, suicide attempts, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, domestic violence, cigarette smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, the more adverse childhood experiences reported, the more likely a person was to develop heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, skeletal fractures, and liver disease. Am J Prev Med. 1998; 14(4): 245-258 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635069
If you genuinely want to move forward in life as an adult child, you have to accept you do not have the wherewithal to take advantage of the Law of Attraction.
It means connecting with our anger, sadness, rage, loneliness, hurt and anxiety. This will help us get in touch with our feelings and strengthen mental and emotional muscle.
No more time for wishy washy. There is deep work to be done.
Charles Whitfield states the basic work can take two years to complete.
12 step programmes state the work will be necessary for the rest of your life.
Sounds overwhelming? Too much?
The rest of your life has to be taken one day at a time.
People are healing themselves doing childhood trauma work and 12 step programmes every day. We can’t wait another 200 years - heck not even another 10 minutes!
This work is not about revenge or retribution. The focus at all times is to be on yourself. It is about understanding how our childhood experience is affecting us today and so we can decide what steps to take so we lessen our suffering.
It is a private, personal, self-soothing process that will help you achieve a new freedom and a new happiness.
The work is worth it.
Every day of even minor adjustments in your feelings, behaviours, and relationships can bring huge benefits of accomplishments and joy.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow states:
“Being in control of the mind means that literally anything that happens can be a source of joy”
“To achieve this control, requires determination and discipline...one must develop skills that stretch capacities, that make one become more than one is.”
Ready to take the first step in clearing up the emotional mess? Sign up below for the FREE eBook!
Ready to take the first step in clearing up the emotional mess? Sign up below for the FREE eBook!
The book The Secret came out in 2007 and has since sold over 30,000,000 copies.