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Does the Law of Attraction Really Work? A Look for Those Looking to Become a Life Coach

Understood as the concept of thoughts and feelings influencing reality, the Law of Attraction has been around for centuries—with some asserting that it goes as far back as Biblical Times (Scott, 2020). In order to better understand what the concept entails, a deeper look into its origins and philosophy is required. 

The term “Law of Attraction” was first coined by Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky in 1877. However, the concept itself can be re-attributed to New Thought, which began in the 19th century as a “mind-healing movement” with a focus on the metaphysical aspects of life (Britannica, 2018). The movement was heavily influenced by ancient philosophers and religions, drawing from Platonism, Hegelianism, Orientalism (including Eastern religions), and Transcendentalism—all of which feature elements of Idealism and spirituality (Britannica, 2018). 

Despite its complex and long history, the Law of Attraction has continued to capture public interest. Continue reading to learn more about the Law of Attraction, its claims, and its purported benefits.   

The Scientific Research Exploring the Law of Attraction

Simply put, the Law of Attraction claims that if a person thinks positive thoughts, then positive results will manifest themselves. Those with life coach careers might be interested to know that a study was in fact conducted to observe happiness in response to positive thinking and gratitude. Participants in the experimental group of the study reported lower gratitude and happiness levels during the “pretest” and went through a “29-day lecture-training about the Law of Attraction’s 28 practices” (Albina, 2018). Interestingly, the findings showed a consistent and significant increase in the participants’ happiness and gratitude levels “immediately after the [training] and during the one-month, and two-month follow ups” (Albina, 2018). As a result, the study made a link between training on the “steps to harness positive thinking and gratitude towards happiness” and the manifestation of those actual feelings and responses. However, while this study does appear promising, it’s important to note that few studies have properly explored the subject and that more research is required to prove the efficacy of the Law of Attraction in this regard. 

The Law of Attraction depends on positive thinking and gratitude

Important Considerations for Those Looking to Become a Life Coach

According to proponents of the Law of Attraction, the benefits of positive thinking extend far beyond a potential boost in mood. Many proponents of the Law of Attraction make further claims, suggesting that positive thinking could help manifest career opportunities, material success, solutions to important challenges, and more (Farber, 2016).  

Individuals who want to become a life coach may want to be cautious with regards to particular claims surrounding the Law of Attraction—many of which have been critiqued as metaphysical pseudoscience that relies on “erroneous, unfounded, and often incorrect assumptions” (Farber, 2016). This is because such beliefs might discourage clients from setting goals or putting in the hard work necessary to achieve their ambitions, believing that positive thinking alone will manifest the success they would like to experience. 

Setting goals can positively influence our performance, with research showing that “goals affect performance by directing attention, mobilizing effort, increasing persistence, and motivating strategy development” (Locke et al., 1981). Contrary to these findings, the Law of Attraction avoids goal-setting actions (like establishing deadlines) in favour of positive thinking (Farber, 2016).  As a result, the Law of Attraction continues to be a hotly contested topic, with many arguing for and against its use. 

Are you interested in going to a life coach school?

Contact Rhodes Wellness College for more information!

Works Cited 

Albina, Albert. (2018). The Law of Attraction Positive Thinking and Level of Gratitude towards Happiness. 22. 15-22.

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2018, May 1). New Thought. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/event/New-Thought

Farber, N. (2016, September 18). The Truth About the Law of Attraction. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from 
https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-blame-game/201609/the-truth-about-the-law-attraction

Kilner, J. M., & Lemon, R. N. (2013). What we know currently about mirror neurons. Current biology : CB23(23), R1057–R1062. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.051

Locke, E. A., Shaw, K. N., Saari, L. M., & Latham, G. P. (1981). Goal setting and task performance: 1969–1980. Psychological Bulletin, 90(1), 125–152. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.90.1.125

Ressler K. J. (2010). Amygdala activity, fear, and anxiety: modulation by stress. Biological psychiatry67(12), 1117–1119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.027

Scott, E. (2020, December 28). Using the Law of Attraction to Create a Stress-Free Life. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from 
https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-use-the-law-of-attraction-in-your-life-3144886