The numerous new-age, Law of Attraction books that I have read all state that you have to detach from the outcome if you want your desires to be fulfilled. Recently, I read about the Law of Paradoxical Intent and had an epiphany concerning the progress of my voiceover career.
In her brilliant, thought-provoking book Secrets of Success: The Science and Spirit of Real Prosperity, Sandra Anne Taylor explains this law as follows:
This law says that the more desperate you are about achieving your goal, the more you’ll push it away, actually creating the opposite — or the paradox — of your desire.
So many people never even realize that it’s the negative energy associated with their own needy attachment that’s sabotaging the results they’re looking for. This is a very common phenomenon….
Picture of negative energy
When your desire becomes a large part of your life, it’s a natural emotional response to become hopeful about the outcome. It’s very important, though, to reel in any fear, urgency, or neediness because those vibrations are both resistant and repulsive, causing you to move out of the synchronistic flow of Universal manifestation.
You become attached to the result when you value the future over the present. This creates vibrations of desperation, jagged waves of energy that push against the current of abundance, sending away that which you desire most. Remember, the natural flow of the Universe is love and peace, but when you move in the direction of frantic worry, you counter that intention, magnetizing more effort and disappointment in the process.
You have to do things to progress your dream without being tied to a particular conclusion. You can’t expect the Universe to provide without taking appropriate action aligned to your thoughts. Before you roll your eyes and think “she’s writing about woo-woo stuff again”, let me give you some real-life examples of this principle.
While on my IRS job, I observed someone who desperately wanted a promotion. This person is the sole money-earner for the family and has a great need and desire to earn more money. This person was praying every day for a promotion and was convinced it would soon materialize.
You might think that this person was working extra every week, asking to help others with their work, and generally becoming an indispensable member of the team. Instead, this person is completely unreliable, taking leave every single week and not finishing the simplest tasks for months.
At first, the sympathetic manager wanted to find a way to promote the person. After further inspection of the person’s work ethic and leave patterns, though, the manager decided to cancel any move toward a promotion. In fact, the manager is now documenting the performance of the employee and may take an adverse action.
Sometimes it’s easier to learn from the experiences of others than to see how these Universal laws apply to oneself. I therefore was a bit shocked to discover I also had unknowingly integrated the Law of Paradoxical Intent in pursuing my voiceover career.
- I desperately wanted to be a full-time voice actor instead of working full-time at the IRS.
- Drew and I agreed that we needed to save $X in the bank in order for me to take an early retirement if one were offered to me. I had been desperate (there’s that word again) for an early-out for the last 5 years. (The early retirement thing is subject to a bunch of government rules that are out of my control and too dull to relate here.)
- I spent a lot of money on classes, equipment such as an ISDN box and marketing materials in order to make my voiceover dream happen. I added up my expenditures and found I actually had spent the equivalent of the $X we decided we needed to save PLUS another 20 percent.
- Since I spent the money, I no longer have it, causing me to feel more financially insecure.
- If an early-out were offered to me now, I wouldn’t automatically take it because I haven’t saved $X.
- Therefore, my choices might have prevented me from obtaining the thing I wanted most.
I wrote in a previous entry about the desperation I have heard in the voices of those wishing to enter the voiceover industry. These days, I’m also noticing desperation in the actions of fellow voice talent. Whether they are spending their days networking with voice actors and prospects on dozens of sites or chasing every low-paying lead on the pay-for-play sites, they seem to be desperate for the next client and the next job.
While you want and need to be focused on your voiceover career, I’ve learned that single-mindedness of purpose to the exclusion of everything else will invoke the Law of Paradoxical Intent. By relaxing and accepting my life, I not only have found balance, but voiceover jobs and new clients have come to me with little or no effort on my part.
Thank you for this (as well as your previous post). Both spoke directly to me. I don’t mean that in the crazy sense of speaking directly to me; I just mean that your posts came along at exactly the right time for me to read them.
Should I apply jumper cables to reverse my polarities, or will a fresh set of batteries do?
Just wanted you to know.
Hi, Christina! If you reverse the polarity, I am afraid you will end up in one of those hair-frying explosions; re-charging your batteries is a better idea. 🙂
I have a vision board about my VoiceOver career. One of the things on it is a quote from Eileen Hutton, VP at Brilliance Audio:
You don’t have to risk everything just to get what you want.
I wrote the last 2 posts with that quote in mind. I am glad something in my words was helpful to you.
Thanks for stopping by the blog, and best wishes for your success!
Web design UK says
We’re a web design and SEO company in the UK and I think you may be not far way from hitting a busy period for voiceovers on websites. The web is getting more human friendly and we are seeing more requests being made for voiceovers and web videos on websites.
Stick at it this could be a good time for you! 🙂
Hi, Steve! I’ve voiced several videos for web sites, and I’m glad to see you are actively promoting that service. If you need an American female voice talent for a project, I hope you’ll contact me!
Best wishes for your continued success!
An unrelated PS — I forgot to give credit for the picture of the battery in my article to Andrey Shchekalev, iStockPhoto.com
Thanks for the blog. I came across it today for the first time. Love the Paradoxical Intent entry. Sooo true. What would you suggest for newbies coming into this arena of voice talent. Like resources, books, classes and if there was one piece of equipment to get me started, what would it be? I have always had a weird liking to reading outloud.(I love the sound of my voice and inflections when I read). I love reading to children and doing character voices. I sing, and write. My intention is to use all of the gifts that the universe has given me and create a wonderful life. Thanks again for the blog. I will be following your words for encourgement, education, A-ha’s, and insight.
Hi, Monica. Declaring your intention is the first step toward changing your reality, so I applaud you for realizing what you want in life and having the courage to go after it! Like any other dream, success in voice-over requires continuous deliberate action.
Most people have nice-enough voices; it’s what you DO with it that matters. A voice-over artist needs to be able to be transparent when interpreting the author’s words and intent of any script so that you are the best service provider to the client. I think anyone who “evaluates your voice” would tell you that you have potential and then would be more than willing to take your money. A voice talent must be able to create their own characters rather than mimic someone else.
Voice-over is a business that is built on self-promotion and marketing. Like any business, you can expect it to have start-up costs. Before you can market yourself, you need to have a demo. Before spending time and money to make a demo, you need appropriate training.
I refer you to the wealth of information I have written on my web site and blog, especially this entry:
Note that it includes a link to my recommended reading list. I always recommend that people start first with a book to get a broad overview of the industry.
If you decide to get a class, this post has 10 questions you should ask a prospective voice-over teacher:
You may wish to contact the teachers I have listed on this page for their schedules and pricing:
Listed on the right panel of my blog are some national teachers. Susan Berkley and Nancy Wolfson do offer coaching via telephone. If you work with Nancy, please tell her that I referred you as I would get a free session. 🙂 I also list a few blogs that I like, but a quick search on-line will show you plenty more.
Although you will want to record auditions from home, I wouldn’t rush out to buy equipment immediately. I would first buy a digital voice recorder for practice. I have an Olympus WS-300M. Then, after you have developed some skills and are ready to market yourself, you can set up a home recording system. Pat Fraley outlines an economical setup in his The Gypsy’s Guide to Professional Home Recording Workbook and Companion CD.
Also, I know that it seems like voice-over is not work, but you should realize that it takes a lot of work to generate jobs and a steady client base! A voice-over actor must market himself and perform auditions continuously in order to get attention and jobs from others. This point is true whether you follow the path outlined above with specialized training, sign up with a site like Voice.123, and/or perform voiceover for presentations (e-learning, marketing, etc.) on your day job for no additional pay. You also can create your own recordings. Practicing in this manner has a lot of value in terms of artistry, improvement and self-esteem. These recordings may or may not be used for promotion or payment.
Actions like volunteering to read for the blind, contacting production companies, and getting a profile on pay-to-play sites like Voice123.com are also worth pursuing. No one can tell you the exact path you must follow, but just know that the dictionary is the only place where SUCCESS comes before WORK! 🙂 However, taking continual steps on your dream — whatever you decide to do — will bring fulfillment to your life! In any case, you must be the one to put forth action to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. If you don’t believe me, read this page with some advice from Barry Manilow:
One last piece of advice — read everything ALOUD and practice every chance you can!
I hope this info is helpful to you. Best wishes for your success in all of your pursuits!
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