The Law of Reversed Effort: The Harder You Try the More You Fail (Manifestation)

Ever been told that the harder you try, the more you’ll achieve? Well, what if I told you that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to manifesting?

In manifesting, the principle of least or reversed effort is very important. When we are manifesting something, we are working with the subconscious, and for this, a strong act of will is only a hindrance.

In this article, I will explain how strong effort calls forth the wrong power, how effort causes the idea to stay on the surface of the mind, and then how to apply the principle of “minimal effort” for manifestation.

Understanding ”Effort”

When you use effort, you are using willpower. Effort, in this context, is to use your willpower to perform a certain mental task. Effort carries the suggestion of struggle or exertion that there is something to be overcome.

The Importance of Reversed Effort in Manifesting

”Reverse effort” or ”converted effort” is an important principle in manifestation.

The conventional idea that we need a strong act of willpower when doing something can actually be more of a hindrance than a help. In manifesting, where we are trying to deliberately work with the subconscious mind, effort is ineffective and, in fact, counterproductive. When you use effort you call forth a barrier between the suggestion you want to give the subconscious and the subconscious itself.

Go for ease over effort. If things such as visualizations and affirmations feel easy and pleasurable, then it’s a good indication that you’re doing them right. When you feel that you have to force things or that you have to strain your mind to squeeze out energy, then you are using effort. Effort always leaves you feeling exhausted and drained.

The Law of Reversed Effort is a counter-intuitive approach. Instead of applying more effort, we actually aim to use almost none. It’s about learning to concentrate your attention on an idea with the least amount of effort. It’s about directing the Imagination rather than the Will.

A bit later on, I will explain how to apply the idea of reverse effort when you’re trying to manifest something, but first, let’s look at how, when using effort, you actually end up using the wrong power.

Effort Channels The Wrong Power

Effort doesn’t work because it calls upon the wrong part of our mind. Manifesting is about planting an idea in the subconscious, which then automatically executes that idea, and to this, effort or willpower only serves as a barrier.

Think of yourself as being constituted of two minds: One is the subconscious, and the other is the conscious. For practical purposes, you can almost think of these two minds as separate entities. The subconscious is the big intelligence and the true self, and the conscious is the small intelligence and the ”little” you. The Imagination is of the subconscious, and willpower is of the conscious mind.

If the Imagination is in conflict with the Will, the idea held in Imagination is always the one that is realized. This is the problem with using effort. Effort causes us to use the Will and takes our control away from Imagination.

When the Imagination holds an idea, then that idea will be realized independently of the Will. If the Imagination says, ”I can’t do this,” when faced with a task, then you will be unable to perform the given task. If you decide to ”try harder,” you are calling upon the Will, but you never actually change what you imagine. No matter how hard you try, you will be unable to do it as long as your Imagination thinks, ”I can’t.”

So to succeed in manifesting, you need to learn how to direct your Imagination. If you attempt to do this by using effort, you are directing your Will, not your Imagination. It doesn’t matter how many times you think, ”I am wealthy, I am wealthy, I am wealthy,” or whatever your goal may be; if your desire is still only held by the Will, nothing will ever happen.

For that reason, you need to follow the principle of ”least effort” and learn to direct your Imagination instead of the Will. We will look at this later on.

Strong Effort Gives The Opposite Result

When you find yourself needing to “try really hard,” it actually means that you’re suggesting to yourself that the task is a monumental challenge.

For instance, if your Imagination, or your subconscious, says, ”I can’t do this particular thing,” then increasing your efforts will only solidify and amplify that ”I can’t” idea even further. This is because the more effort you feel compelled to apply, the bigger and more insurmountable you imagine the obstacle to be.

Attention Without Effort

Instead of trying to hold a thought by your will, you need to learn how to direct your attention. Attention, as used here, is basically the focus of Imagination.

It may seem that directing your attention without effort is impossible. Perhaps this is true, but the fact still remains that even if you use a little bit of effort to direct your attention, you should still use it to a minimal extent so that feels easy.

The Law of Reversed Effort In Manifesting

The process of manifesting is this: 1) you pick some sort of goal, 2) you impress that goal on the subconscious mind, and 3) the subconscious mind externalizes the goal by altering both your circumstances and your behavior.

It is during the second phase that we use too much effort. Whether you visualize your goal or use affirmations, the mistake is in trying to force the subconscious to accept the presented idea.

Whatever technique you may use, do it with minimal effort. When you visualize, don’t use effort to hold the mental imagery. When affirming, do not try and cram the verbal statements into your subconscious. In both cases, it is better to sacrifice the “quality” of your sessions for the sake of it being effortless. It has to feel easy and enjoyable,

Again, this goes back to the principle of the Imagination and the Will. When you use effort, you are holding the idea with your will. If you are able to concentrate on an idea without effort, it’s more likely that the idea will be assimilated into the subconscious.

Things like feeling emotions of ”gratitude” or ”accomplishment” are also effective ways to send a desire to the subconscious. In the same manner, hold these emotions with the least effort. If you need effort to hold them, they remain on the surface.

Again, here it’s important to remember that if you feel that you are not visualizing or not affirming ”correctly,” then using effort in an attempt to do so will only make it worse. You are amplifying the idea that ” I am not doing it correctly.”

Instead, your approach should always be one of ease. This will feel strange at first, but will prove itself in practice.


The principle of reverse/least effort is about directing the Imagination rather than the Will. You want the desire to be integrated and accepted into your subconscious, and this is not an act of the conscious mind. Focus on ease over strain, using the minimum of effort to guide your Imagination.

When you do things such as visualization, affirmations, or simply feeling a sense of gratitude or accomplishment, do it with the least amount of effort. You should focus your attention completely on the particular idea you want manifested, but again, with minimal effort.

”Trying harder” when met with struggle only amplifies that struggle even further. The harder you try, the stronger the obstacle becomes.

Things like meditation make it easier to apply this principle. When you go within, your conscious mind naturally relaxes, and your Imagination becomes more responsive.

I want you to keep this in mind no matter what you are manifesting. If you feel that you are struggling or you’re constantly met with obstacles (especially mental ones), chances are that you’re trying too hard.

I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for reading!

Chris J.

Hi, I'm Chris. I have actively been practicing the art of manifestation for several years now, and have manifested many things in my own life. I have seen firsthand how powerful manifesting is, and how huge the result can be. On this website, I want to share my knowledge and experience from my many years of doing this and provide you with practical tips and techniques for the purpose of helping you manifest your desires and create the life that you want.

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