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.