Why You Attract What You Don’t Want

When you don’t attract what you want, pay really close attention inside on how you feel.

There are a lot of people who are skeptical about the Law of Attraction. They think that it doesn’t work or that it’s some sort of hoax. These same people are always using the Law of Attraction perfectly.

The just don’t realize how perfect it is.

You Attract What You Fear

A few Saturdays ago I started a new coaching program. My intention was to use this coaching program to get some hands on coaching experience.

During the first day I met some really nice people. I met one coach who had told me we were all going to be assigned 5 participants as part of the coaching program. She also said that one of the coaches was going to need to coach 6 participants. She didn’t seem to be too happy about this.

In her own exact words, “I hope I don’t get picked to coach 6 people.”

Later that same day we were arranged into a coaching circle. In the coaching circle one of the head coaches made an announcement, “We will need one coach to work with 6 participants”.

I sat quietly and observed the head coach. He announced that they had chosen someone to take on the 6th participant ….and guess who was chosen to be the lucky coach?

Yup, the same person who said, “I hope I don’t have to coach 6 people.”

If you take away the ‘don’t’ in her statement, this is what you would get,

“I hope I have to coach 6 people.”

No wonder she was chosen.  The Universe always gives you what you FEEL, even when you ‘don’t want’ it.

Become Aware of the ‘Don’t Want’

When you don’t want something you have to become aware of it, if you’re going to break the pattern.

You attract what you are is not quite right either.  It’s because you attract WHO You Are.

You have to know what it is and be conscious of it.  Being clear about a ‘don’t want’ will help you create what you do want.

For example, if I said, “don’t think of the color red,” what happens? You think of the color red. If instead I say, “don’t think of the color green,” what happens then? Same thing; you start to think of everything green.

Why do you think of the color green even when I tell you not to?

You think of the color green so that you can distinguish those colors that are not green. You would think that once you knew what green is, then you could put your attention on what green isn’t. That’s not always the case.

Distinguishing a ‘don’t want’ can be a little tricky. It’s very subtle and you need to pay attention to your thoughts. Most people aren’t aware they are placing their attention on the very things they don’t want.

The same thing occurred to me last week when I got really busy at work. There were these moments when I would get frustrated because the phone would continually ring off the hook. I kept repeating quietly to myself, “I wish people would stop calling me. I don’t want anymore phone calls”.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that I actually put more focus and emphasis on not having those calls. Since my focus was on not having phone calls, I attracted more of them.

“What you think about comes about.” ~ Jack Canfield

When you place your attention on the thing you ‘don’t want’ you manifest more of it.  As I got more frustrated and repeated to myself, “I don’t want anymore phone calls” I was affirming and attracting more phone calls to myself. The phone just started to ring like crazy.

You can read about a similar experience I had in Top 5 Lessons From a Part Time Blogger.

Attracting Debt

Accumulating debt can happen the same way. I often hear people say, “I don’t want more debt”. When I hear that I think to myself, “then stop placing your attention on debt!” Focusing on debt is the fastest way to attract more debt.

Recognize and be aware that you are focusing on debt. Once you’re aware of this you can create a plan to get out of debt. You could start by reading: How to Stop Attracting Debt, Forever!

It doesn’t always have to be about financial debt. ‘Don’t wants’ can come in many forms. You may recognize some of these,

  • “I don’t want to be sick”
  • “I don’t want to work”
  • “I don’t want to be robbed”
  • “I don’t want to get hurt”

All of these ‘don’t wants’ will place your attention on the things you don’t want. When you focus on what you don’t want you get more of what you don’t want.  Stop it! Become fully aware of your current thoughts. Once you do, you’ll be able stop attracting the things you don’t want and start to create what you do want.

You may also like: How to Apply the Law of Attraction.


  • Dave

    Reply Reply September 12, 2008

    Hi Steve. Good article. Just found your site through the Steve Pavlina forum. But I was wondering..

    Have you read Steve’s articles on subjective reality? Then I was just thinking about the example of the woman attracting those 6 people. You were not surprised by this, you said. But if the reality is subjective, won’t that mean that it was you who had the intention of her attracting the 6 people? While you were looking for “evidence” of the LoA working, that’s exactly what you got.

    Yeah, I know. It’s very difficult explaining the LoA to others without using real life examples. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on my comments. ;)

    Thank you (and sorry for the bad English, I’m a foreigner.) :p

  • Steve

    Reply Reply September 13, 2008

    Hi Dave,

    thanks for dropping by. I think I understand what you’re saying but I don’t remember that specific example, (ie. the woman attracting those 6 people??)

    Maybe if you provided a link to the discussion, I could get a better handle on what you are referring too :o

    It’s great to hear from you,

  • Dave

    Reply Reply September 14, 2008

    Hi again, Steve!

    Oh, I’m sorry, I was referring to your own example in this article right here. You know, that woman who didn’t want to coach 6 people? ;) My bad for not being clear on this. And besides, this article was written on May 27th, so you’re excused :D It’s difficult sometimes to remember everything we say. I know this from running my own blog too, hehe.

    So, if you re-read the beginning of this article you will know what I was talking about. Now, I don’t know what you think about the subjective reality-theory, but in that model, you would be the one holding that intention, if I understand correctly.

    I just wanted to hear your take on this, hehe. Maybe because I’m a blogger myself and would like how to deal with this issue to my own readers. It’s good to get some outside inputs.. ehm.. even though, if reality is subjective, than I guess I’m just getting my own input. From “you” (me).. Wow, this was deep.

    Sorry for the mess! Keep up the good work with this blog!

  • Steve

    Reply Reply September 19, 2008

    Hi Dave and thanks for clarifying your question.

    As far as subjective reality, I do agree that my intentions hold true to create my entire experience. In this case I was directly responsible for my observation (ie. her attracting extra people she didn’t want to coach)

    The only way I could observe this is by validating my belief of the Law of Attraction.

    Now I’ve asked myself the same question, “Is this true for me or is this true for everyone?”

    And again, it’s difficult to say from a subjective viewpoint.

    That being said, I still believe (totally subjective) that there is a Law of Vibration that is above and beyond all local and global beliefs. This is not even a global belief (ie. applying to a whole community of people) it’s simply metaphysical; meaning it rises above common beliefs and applies universally to everyone.

    How can I prove this?

    That’s a great question that I don’t know the answer. It will take more than one comment to answer and I’ll have to give it some more thought. Keep an eye on the next few articles in my blog…

  • Leszek Cyfer

    Reply Reply March 9, 2009

    There was an interesting example given by Anthony Robbins in one of his books. He was learning to driving a race-car and his coach taught him to always look on the track, not on the wall. Whenever Anthony looked on the wall of the stadium, the coach would shout “Look on the track!” :) Through the course it became his unconscious habit, and very fast driving became joyful following track.

    He wrote that this experience strenghtened his understanding of goal achieving.

    It’s the same principle as in “keep your eyes on the ball!” line used by baseball coaches.

    When I’ve read this I understood some more about the LOA.

  • Eric

    Reply Reply December 24, 2010

    Throughout this article I was only thinking about what I don’t want. Does that mean I am going to get it now? LOL!

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply November 15, 2011

    “When you place your attention on the thing you ‘don’t want’ you manifest more of it”

    But in the example, the person was focusing on NOT getting phone calls. Not getting them is in fact what the person wanted..but got them anyway. Focus on what you want, fail. Focus on what you don’t want, fail. You can’t win it seems. lol

  • Steve

    Reply Reply November 15, 2011

    Hey Jeff… I said, “Don’t Imagine what a pink elephant would look like?”

    You probably start picturing a pink elephant and what it looks like – it may of come in a flash – very quickly, but you pictured it. Thinking about what you DON’T want puts your attention on that experience (what you don’t want). That’s how your brain works. Now start using it.

  • Kyle

    Reply Reply May 16, 2012

    Then how come I’ve heard if you put attention to what you do want then you don’t get it?

  • Kyle

    Reply Reply May 16, 2012

    I wish to not worry about going into poverty but I’ve noticed the more I try to not think about it the stronger the thoughts become later at weird times.

    Sorry if it doesn’t make any sense and I’ll try to clear it up if anybody is intrested in what I have to say but knowing my luck most likely not.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply May 16, 2012

    @ Kyle… you create everything in your experience… including what you clearly said in your last statement… “I’ll try to clear it up if anybody is intrested in what I have to say but knowing my luck most likely not.”

  • vivian

    Reply Reply May 24, 2012

    I dont want to get laid by three blonde hair blue eyed white chicks tonight.

    what i want- i dont want.

    what i dont want – i want.

    my life is motioned through contradiction.

    when i want to learn something, i put myself in the absence of that variable so therefore i know what to get.

  • sandy

    Reply Reply November 27, 2012

    Hi, so I want to gain weight. What do I do, do I just not concentrate/worry about it? Is that what your saying?

  • Steve

    Reply Reply November 28, 2012

    @ Sandy: what I’m saying is that if you want to gain wait that is where you would put your attention (not on the opposite: losing weight).

    • Merlin

      Reply Reply March 30, 2016

      ‘what I’m saying is that if you want to gain wait that is where you would put your attention (not on the opposite: losing weight).’

      Hi Steve – the above sounds like a contradiction to the general theme of this thread. You started out by saying ‘All of these ‘don’t wants’ will place your attention on the things you don’t want. When you focus on what you don’t want you get more of what you don’t want.’ So technically if you wanted to gain weight, couldn’t you just focus on ‘I don’t want to gain weight’ and achieve the same outcome? Is it not all about focus and will?

      So as long as you focus on something whether or not you want it……..you will get it?

  • Elizabeth

    Reply Reply March 21, 2013

    What about when you begin to notice the “same situation, different details” in your life? Like some experience that keeps coming back (though the particulars are different)and it feels like it challenges some core beliefs you have, negative beliefs? Are those challenges meant to help you shift out of that tendency to believe things you know in your heart aren’t true (but your self-doubt or insecurity might make you buy into belief)? The irony seems to be that these recurring experiences make me “feel” like life is confirming the negative beliefs. At the core is the beliefs; it is almost as if when experiences occur that differ from the beliefs, I shake them off and forget the positive aspects of them b/c on a subconscious level they don’t jive with my beliefs. You know how it is hard for some to remember compliments but easy to remember criticisms and judgments from others? Maybe b/c the latter connects to their self-beliefs more strongly? So how do I change the core beliefs? Is it the core beliefs themselves that are bringing in these repeating experiences that *seem* to further confirm them? I feel really beat up lately but there must be a way to shift the core beliefs so that the experiences I have don’t trigger that sense of defeat or doubt — and, so that I can attract positive-affirming experiences and start to really internalize those.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply March 21, 2013

    Hey Elizabeth… Read this article and pay attention to the key insight I share at the end: Why Being Happy With Yourself is Harder Than Being Miserable

  • Laurat

    Reply Reply June 16, 2016

    Great tips; now to establishing the mental discipline to not focus on the thongs that “you don’t want.”

  • Steve

    Reply Reply July 26, 2016

    Hi, really enjoyed the article as I have been studying the law of attraction for the past year or so with few results.

    Strangely, what started working for me is this affirmation regarding attracting money:

    “I don’t want any more money, it would only cause problems for me. Please, no more money for me, thank you.”

    Affirming this directly attracts more of what I “don’t” want.

    Strange but true.

  • Enrique

    Reply Reply July 26, 2017

    Yeah when i use I dont want to be healthy…i became healthy.The teory is that subconcius mind jump over words like dont.not. or never.

  • Reina

    Reply Reply December 1, 2017

    Hi let’s say if I say I don’t want this specific person in my life,will I be attracting more of this person into my life?

  • Amanda

    Reply Reply June 7, 2018

    The only problem is that if I focus on what I do want I either don`t get it at all or it comes many years later. If I focus on what I don`t want it`s almost instant.

  • Nkg

    Reply Reply November 10, 2018

    If you say things like I always have enough money you will always have enough money. When you say you want more money youre focusing on not having enough money that’s why you want more, so you will never have enough. Focus on already having a full life and your life will continue to get fuller.

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