Dear LOA: What Does “Acting As If” Mean?

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by Melody Fletcher on June 20, 2013

 

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.

Defying Reality

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.

Dig deeper

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. [Tweet this]

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. ;)

Bottom line

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?

 






{ 27 comments }

Just call me A. June 20, 2013 at 13:14

It would feel great, for sure. The point is to be happy anyway, no matter what the circumstances and that is how you’d get into the flow of things, and things will happen smoothly. At least that is what I have found and seen happen by gurus and others. Once in this flow, you can start making declarations, like “I’m going to marry that guy/girl” and such. I now see the technicalities of this process. To actually make a declaration, you need to already be in the flow of things, which requires belief, that’s the important thing.

Another thing that stuck out in this article is a very clear explanation of those with low self esteem. “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”. I have spoken with gorgeous friends who can’t get dates or sustain a relationship not for their looks but for the way they feel about themselves. One can break up with someone who does not feel good about themselves and this is very painful for the person in love with them, too. Because no matter how much one loves them, how can the relationship be sustained without self love and self validation? It hurts the one who loves them as well. And this is something for the individual to build on their own, another cannot do this no matter how hard they try. That is how they can get back together in the future, only if they work on these issues on themselves.

Ann June 20, 2013 at 13:47

Hey Melody… Thank you so much your for answering my question. The clarity and depth in your answer has already made me smile and yes I working on my feelings to feel as if I am already working in my new job. And now I am not dreading that phone call from home where I will be asked, ” Have you got yourself a job as yet?” because I know what to say…SMILES!!!

tony June 20, 2013 at 14:19

Hi Lady Mercy!

I have never paid any attention to this “acting as if” advice because I find it too indirect as an approach. I believe we all have the ability of alligning our energy automatically. I think this is a solution manifested by helpers to help others bypass their inhibitions.
“act as if”=your inhibitions are not helping, get rid of them, gently

Instead of “acting as if” I would recommend a different approach: “Stop running and let the dog bite you”. Be a good slave and wish the dog just wants to play. Surrender, go with the flow, perhaps tomorrow things will be better. If it doesn’t work, the non-physical awaits, huuuura! There’s no point in alligning your energy with something you will not allow to receive because you will feel like you have commited a crime and then you will feel your head ready to blow, struggling to keep pace with the flow of action in a race that never ends, feeling guilty you have engaged innocent ignorants into your creepy plans.

Brian May wrote it best:
What the hell we fighting for ?
Ah, just surrender and it won’t hurt at all

Lori Gosselin June 20, 2013 at 15:17

Melody, What a great explanation of one of my favourite positive thinking/LAO tools – act as if! You really nailed it – feeeeeel as if! So simple and yet so powerful!
:-)
Lori

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca June 20, 2013 at 16:27

Seconded! I totally agree with Lori here :) Keep ryzin’, Melody & friends ;)
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Nikki BARRON June 20, 2013 at 16:07

GRATITUDE, my dear is what I will be feeling. More importantly, GRATITUDE is what I am feeling NOW, for you and your eloquent and precise words.

Joanne June 20, 2013 at 20:11

THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU MELODY!!!!!!!!!
I Freakin love you! and my life is transformed…

Jonathan Holmes June 20, 2013 at 22:08

Awesome yet again Melody. You always seem to know when to do the right post at the right time. Many Shiny Puppy Hugs for you.

Josh x

Jennifer June 20, 2013 at 23:18

I have a dumb question: what happens if you don’t really know how you’d feel if you got X? Yeah, yeah, “use your imagination,” but sometimes my imagination just fails when I don’t have the experience to project the fake feelings.

For example: I haven’t been in love in nearly a decade and I just plain don’t recall what it was like to *feel* that any more. I cannot conjure that feeling in my heart or head much at all. Likewise, I don’t know how I’d feel at such-and-such a job or in such-and-such a situation I’ve never done anything like before until I actually do it.

nay June 21, 2013 at 14:57

would starting with little things help Jennifer? like imagining the thrill of receiving a love note text during the day, or the thrill of receiving a random little gift etc etc…

Mike June 21, 2013 at 19:24

Yeah, focus on the next best feeling & work your way up! You’re trying to go for a quantum leap which can be frustrating. You can’t access that ultimate feeling at your current vibration, but as you continue to reach for the next best feeling, you’ll work your way up the vibrational ladder (search that on here for more info) & it will become clearer :-)

Also, try surrounding yourself and studying people who are feeling how you want to feel and are in the position you want to be in, soak up their vibration, beliefs & actions.

Dusty June 22, 2013 at 08:26

Jennifer, this is just my idea so it is no reflection of this blog, I think you need to start working on feeling good with yourself. Not just saying “I am awesome” but daily finding things about yourself that make you feel good. Your gorgeous eyes, straight fingers, happy toes… whatever. Start by feeling good about you. Take 15 seconds a day to feel good. Focus on something that feels good and hold that thought for 15 seconds. (It’s harder than you might think. The minute you get there, your brain will try to take you to some other though. Go back to the good feeling.)

In my opinion, you have talked yourself out of wanting more for fear of disappointment. Give yourself permission to feel again. That will start the ball rolling. Then give yourself permission to feel good about little things. The great cup of coffee, the fantastic way you ….. (fill in blank- even if it is breathe) Enjoy you and as you do so, you will invite others who will enjoy you as well.

Moonsparkle July 7, 2013 at 21:52

This is a good idea Dusty. I think I’ll try it. :)
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Natalie June 21, 2013 at 00:14

I love this post.
I long had a problem with the ‘act as if’ or “fake it ’til you make it” concept. I took an assertiveness course where they recommended it. I couldn’t conceive of how to go about that. Then, admittedly after I had gained some confidence, I realized I could imagine how others FELT when doing that thing I dreaded. Just like you recommend here. But I still needed to work up to big things slowly. I would practice developing the feeling in regards to small things, like initiating a conversation. I was extremely shy, so just saying “Hi, How are you” was a challenge.

I lost my job and manifested a new one paying 30% more by generating the feeling of how happy, proud and respected I’d feel.

DawnStar June 21, 2013 at 01:08

Ah yes! As a rather famous family group once sang, ‘Can you feel it? Can you feel it? Can you feel it?’

Why do our brains have to make things so hard for us?

*Brain sitting in an over-sized leather pedestal chair stroking a pudgy faced cat whilst watching numerous CCTV screens ~ also speaks with an accent faintly inclining towards Azerbaijan, ‘Hmmm….since age 5 you have programmed me to believe that beans always make your body fart uncontrollably and at the most unfortuitous times. Over many years and hundreds of bean-related experiences I have succeeded in hard-wiring this twoddle into my ventromedial prefrontal cortex so completely, that you are now wholly at my mercy. And so, even though you have tried everything to re-wire my neuron firing into associating beans with the fragrance of rose petals and jasmine I cannot be thwarted. I control the limits of your belief system puny mortal and I will continue to elicit farts from your meat-like self when it is most embarrassing, like when engaged in quiet conversation with your mother in law or during deep and meaningful love-making! I have you my pretty! Mwwwhhhaaaahhaaa!’

Or something like that…..

:]

Eve June 24, 2013 at 11:53

Fantastic! That explains my perplexing bean aversion brilliantly.

David June 21, 2013 at 01:21

Thank you for clearing up the LOA concept for me in a manner that now makes perfect sense. I was struggling with the other teachings, because the concepts just did not click. What was missing in my mind was the FEELING component.

Like many others, You have helped my greatly today. Thank you so much.

Dave L

Timo Dolator June 21, 2013 at 03:32

Melody, this post is awesome!! I’ve never seen this topic so well explained, thank you so much!!! I’m already forwarding this article to my friends, it’s finally time we all get our s**t together.

Love,
Timo

PS: Ich bin übrigens aus Deutschland und momentan als Backpacker in Neuseeland unterwegs. Deine Schriften erreichen mittlerweile die entferntesten Ecken der Welt :-D Mach weiter so, du bist wahrlich inspririerend mit deiner Art!

Jayne June 21, 2013 at 05:53

Hi Melody, it’s lovely to see you haven’t lost your witty charm over the course of the last year since I dropped off the planet (so to speak).

I loved the explanation .. and all the quips that went along with it. It was a fun and valuable read.

So… how’ve you been?

I am just in the process of getting geared up to do a blog renovation and start blogging on my personal blog again. Had lots of fun projects going on these last few months and something had to give… so the blog it was.

I finally got my hypnotherapy cert and I’m starting local and doing a little online with that. it’s been fun and I can ‘feel’ it’s about to get even better.

Hope you are well and I’m looking forward to hanging with you more often in the not so distant future. I’ve kinda missed my online family.

Take care and talk soon,

Jayne

viji June 21, 2013 at 06:03

Hi Melody,

Its wonderful timing of your mails that makes me love you all the more. thank you .

With Lots of love
Viji

Just call me A. June 21, 2013 at 18:07

guys,

I just heard these lyrics on the radio, and had to add here to this topic:

“If you feel it
It must be real”
Say the word and
I’m gonna give you what you want
If you want it
You’ve already got it’

from the song “4 minutes”. Sounds like the universe talking….

Marjorie June 22, 2013 at 07:51

Oh my gosh it totally does! Don’t you love it? :)

Mike June 21, 2013 at 18:54

By far, my favorite LOA concept. The best is when you get other people to play along. Makes it even more realistic!

Cheryl June 21, 2013 at 21:08

Melody, thank so much for you intelligible, common sense way of explaining these things. I’ve been trying to understand the “doing-things-in-a-certain-way” concept, from The Science of Getting Rich, and I think this essay finally clarified it for me. Hugs.

Nathalie June 22, 2013 at 16:12

Awesome post, and oh-so-timely, as per usual. :-) Thanks for this one Melody, I really needed this reminder today… frustrated with something that I’ve been dealing with lately and this post was like a smack in the face wake up call (of the nicest possible kind, of course, lol). Much appreciated.

Emilio June 24, 2013 at 21:10

While I will completely agree that staying positive will produce fruitful results, it is also human nature to want to remember and experience happy evens – unless you get off on being depressed. Add enough emotion to something and your subconscious cannot help but take notice. People see what LOA calls synchronicities / evidence and all that is, is your subconscious being super-aware of what you have been thinking about and it kicking you in the butt when you come across it so that you take note of it. There is no goblin in the sky that orchestrates events for you – religion has proved that for over 2000 years – what makes LOA any different? Or more correctly, what are the similarities? Let me count the ways.

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