Achieving Without Believing


I grew up reading about the power of believing, that you have to believe to achieve, that you have to “believe it to see it,” as they say.

Every “Law of Attraction” program I’ve seen (and I’m sure I haven’t seen them all, but I’ve certainly seen more than I can count) emphasizes the point that you have to believe – wholeheartedly believe, in fact – what you want to attract will (or in some cases has already) come to pass. They say you have to expect to receive it. You plan for it, expect it, and believe that it is yours.  Some people will further instruct you to then take some action toward its achievement. Religious works discuss faith or to “act as if.” I’m here to tell you that’s not necessary. I have no doubts that believing can work miracles (both spiritual and material); however, there is another (and possibly more effective) way.

I used to be confused when I would watch, hear, or read numerous interviews with celebrities in which they were asked if, before they were famous, they ever believed that they would [win an Oscar, Grammy, Tony, Emmy] or achieve [whatever incredible achievement they achieved], and most of them would say “No.” They couldn’t even have imagined the degree of success they would attain. Many insisted that they “backed into” their careers, they never expected the success they achieved, they never planned to have the fame and fortune that came their ways.  Some celebrities would say that they always knew they were going to be successful or that they expected to be where they are now, but most did not. How is this possible, if we are to believe the spiritual and self-help texts? How can history and theory be reconciled?

Were they lying? How could that be?

In fact, if you watch an awards show such as the Oscars or the Grammys, you’ll find many winners, when the camera is turned on them, are totally shocked. Some even cry. They often exclaim how they didn’t believe they had a chance of winning the award because the competition was so brilliant and talented.

If our beliefs govern all our results, what the heck is going on here?

Even hypnosis, we’re told, is based on belief and expectation. Later in this article, I’ll clarify, though, how this mystery is explained in the process of hypnosis.

A few years back, I had my own confounding experience of manifesting something I desired without believing that it could happen. I even dared not dream it would ever happen. I did NOT believe that this would come to pass, but it did, and I can now look back on it and see how it was brought about. Yet, it took me several years after that to really understand what I had done and how I could have created the situation I wanted. Not only didn’t I believe it would have, but I didn’t even believe it could have, happened.

Because of what I discovered, I initially entitled this article “A Loophole in Universal Law.”  However, I now believe that it isn’t actually a “loophole,” but that the notion you have to believe is really a misconception.  You don’t have to.

Here’s my story. I was in a job that I found to be “OK” – I had no objection to anything I was required to do and I adored the people I worked with, but I just felt it was time to move on. Actually, I didn’t want to work at all for a while, just have some time for myself to meditate and read and decide myself what I wanted to do when I got up each day (including WHEN I got up). There were two problems I faced. One, I felt great loyalty to the place where I worked and the people I worked with. Although I was certainly not irreplaceable, it would have been an inconvenience for them to find and train someone new. Secondly, even if I had no qualms about getting up and leaving, I didn’t have the funds to just “kick around” the way I wanted to.

One day I came into the office and just announced (silently) to myself and the Universe, “I would really LOVE to just not have to work or do anything for two months and still be getting the same paycheck I’m getting now!” I did not make any decision (consciously, at least) to “do it,” I did not believe it would happen, I did not expect it to happen. In fact, I never even “seriously” considered it because I had no idea how it COULD happen (unless I won the lottery or hit it big in Vegas). It seemed ludicrous to entertain such a thought and I released it from my mind. This was on a Wednesday. On the following Monday, literally just a few short days later, I was whisked into my supervisor’s office upon coming through the doors. My supervisor informed me that the company had been bought out by a competitor, who already had a staff corresponding to the positions in our department, and we were being let go. We would have TWO MONTHS’ (exactly what I stated) severance pay, to be paid to us AS REGULAR PAYCHECKS (also a precise part of my declaration)! No one saw it coming.

I was in total shock. This was too perfect! There was a brief transition period, then we were on our own. Actually, the new company gave us the option of being absorbed into the new infrastructure in different capacities, but I chose the severance pay. If it was going to be that easy, I was only sorry I didn’t ask the Universe for more!

So what exactly happened here? I stumbled into an ideal self-representation of what I wanted. If I had thought about my statement, made a conscious decision that this is what I wanted, and then proceeded to intellectually follow what I had learned, I could not have had the faith or confidence necessary to produce an outcome that was so completely out of my league at that time, if believing were the only way. My critical faculty, my self-talk, would have denied its possibility and negated any “belief” or “affirmation” I concocted before it had a chance to work. One reason it did work was that I didn’t put myself in the position of having to believe or disbelieve. If I had told myself, “I believe I’ll have at least two months to do anything I want to and still have the income I’m making now,” my critical faculty would have laughed at me! “What a dreamer! Ha! Like THAT’s ever gonna happen!” However, instead I said, “I would really LOVE to just not have to work or do anything for two months and still be getting the same paycheck I’m getting now!” My self-talk immediately chimed in with, “Yeah, that would be cool!  Just think of all the things we could do.”

Hypnotherapists know that when the will (usually represented by a conscious desire) and the imagination (a function of the subconscious) are in conflict, the imagination wins out. Willpower seldom works because we inadvertently create images that are contrary to what we really want, producing self-sabotage. I intuitively created a situation where there was no conflict. That’s why we have nothing to fear, but fear itself. When we imagine fearful events, even though we have no intellectual reason to expect them, bad things usually follow. When we think in terms of what we don’t want, rather than what we do want, we manifest more of what we don’t want. If someone tells you not to think of a blue bear, the image that immediately comes to mind is a blue bear. This also goes along with the technique of asking someone if they’ve ever been in hypnosis. They have to access a hypnotic state (“try it on,” as it were) in order to reply. When I made my statement, I created an internal representation of what I wanted. OK, so I didn’t believe that it would happen, but I didn’t doubt that it would happen, either. I opened myself up to the experience without fighting it, and then I let it go without denying it. Hypnosis works in just that way; it bypasses the critical faculty and engages the imagination, focusing on a desired outcome.

The biggest challenge to my believing in my statement would be HOW it would happen. Another way in which my statement worked, is that I did not specify how it would happen. That was left up to the Universe. I highly recommend that approach. I didn’t know how it would or could happen, and I didn’t have to. As it turned out, I had no guilt about other people losing their jobs, too, because everyone was given an option, so those who wanted to stay on, did. There may have been others like me, who wanted to leave but didn’t know how. I could not have consciously come up with such a perfect solution. The Universe, when allowed to, will pick a way that is for the best good of those concerned. However, if you DO specify, the Universe will accommodate you, as well (remember, I specified “two months”), or to the nearest equivalent, when what you ask is not realistic.

As I thought about it, I found that this was a pattern in my life. There have been many times that I have actualized events in my life unconsciously, and this is how I did it. I got an idea about something I wanted, I created an internal representation, I thought, “wow, that would be great”, and I forgot about it and went about my business. Then it happens.

I find this all very good news, indeed. Since most of us don’t have the confidence we need to consciously manifest on the level we desire, it’s nice to know that the Universe provides us with a loophole. You don’t have to believe, as long as you remain open to the possibility.