Failing at Manifesting? Here Are the Common Traps That Spell Your Downfall

For years, I thought I was doing everything right, and I had no idea why I couldn’t manifest everything I wanted. One of the most common questions I’m now asked is, “Why doesn’t the law of attraction work for me?”

I get plenty of people in my inbox complaining manifestation simply doesn’t exist. They think because it doesn’t happen for them, it must be a lie!

If you’re one of those people, I can help you. Something is going wrong, either in your process or your behaviour. There. I said it. You need to take responsibility for your lack of success at manifesting.

Using the term “wrong” is a little unfair to you. Like anything in life, attracting everything that we desire is a learning curve. The more you practise visualising and believing in what you want, the more success that you will see.

When we decide a lack of success indicates the law of attraction doesn’t exist, we are blocking the universe. We make things worse for ourselves.

Of course, I did not take kindly to people telling me that I was ‘failing’ at the law of attraction because of ME. Eventually, I started to listen, and it was at that point that manifestation became evident to me.

There are many traps that can hinder your success, and here are a few of them.


I’m not talking about the ‘thank you’ uttered for someone holding the door for you, or an unexpected gift. This gratitude is far deeper than that.

I am talking about being grateful to the universe for everything that it gives you. It might be a small win – a penny on the street – or something bigger, but everything deserves your thanks.

The more I manifest larger things, the more that I receive the smaller ‘bonuses’ along the way. My latest unexpected bonus, for example, was an Amazon gift card for filling out an online survey. I don’t believe I was picked at random to receive it, I believe it was the universe showing up for me.

Imagine if you gave gifts to someone, and they never thanked you. You’d stop sending them things, right? The universe is simply this on a far grander scale.

Why would the universe keep giving you things, if you’re not acknowledging them?

I have a gratitude journal, and I also have a manifestation notebook. The former records everyday gratitude, and the latter records what I manifest and other gifts from the universe.

If you choose to see small, unexpected good things as ‘flukes’ or ‘random’, you’re blocking the law of attraction.


My self-identity isn’t perfect. I still have all those negative labels sitting in my core, and dictating my approach to life. However, I now recognise them and I am increasingly using my five-step process to eliminate them.

If your internal beliefs are opposed to what you are manifesting, the universe will step away. The universe doesn’t want to confuse you by giving you something in opposition to your core identity.

Learning about my self-identity was key to me manifesting financial abundance. I realised that I was trying to force the universe into a fight with my subconscious!

Subconscious belief: “You only get money by working hard.”

Manifestation: “I will win some money on the lottery.”

Within days of dropping that subconscious belief, I won money on the lottery!

Previously, the universe was questioning how I could ‘get’ money by winning the lottery when I believed money required hard work. The universe was as confused as I was by my money mindset.

The universe hears the labels we apply to ourselves and finds ways to make them true. You won’t, for example, manifest a lottery win until you drop the label of “I’m broke.” The person with the lottery win is not the person who says, “I’m broke” and so the universe doesn’t give you what you desire.

We need to ask what identity we need in order to attract what we desire.

Negative Bias

What’s your reaction when a train turns up ten minutes late? Is it all ‘effing and jeffing’, stomping up and down the platform? Or do you accept it as a part of life and use the time productively?

If it’s the former, I suspect I know the major mistake you’re making. You are pushing away the benefits of the law of attraction with your negativity. You’re focussing on the lack of manifestation, rather than being open-minded about what’s coming.

When we focus on what we’re lacking, we attract more of the same.

Lack attracts lack.

Negative attitudes attract negative circumstances.

When I was diagnosed with dysthymia, I believed that I was forever going to be depressed. I accepted the low moods, telling myself it was ‘right’ to feel depressed because of the syndrome. I saw the world in a pessimistic way, and my manifestation dropped dramatically.

As soon as I chose not to subscribe to that label, I became more successful at attracting joy than ever before.

This is not suggesting we must be positive about everything. Many situations in life are frustrating or sad. The difference from the old me to the current one is that I see the joys, alongside the negatives. Toxic positivity is rife on the internet, and this is just not authentic, as no one has only good moments.

You get to choose what to focus on. I now choose to focus on optimism, hope, and abundance.


When you first start out using manifestation, you will have a degree of skepticism. I definitely did, however, I let that skepticism drop once I saw that manifesting worked for me.

For the small things, the first steps into using the law of attraction, some skepticism is fine. It’s as though the universe expects it. Aren’t we all skeptical of most things that are new and come with some pretty exciting promises?

If you’re experiencing a moderate level of skepticism, it should be accompanied by open-mindedness. This will avoid entirely blocking manifestation. On the other hand, if your skepticism runs deep, you’re going to find it difficult to attract what you desire.

I consciously remember the day that I decided to go ‘all in’ with manifestation. The day I gave up skepticism, I unexpectedly received two bottles of vintage Moët et Chandon. They were sent to me by a company as an apology for sending an incorrect order. This was the message I needed that I was doing the right thing by trusting the law of attraction.


I’ve written previously about the myths of manifestation. The most major one I outlined was that many think we can visualise, believe, and then do nothing.

If you are taking action, can you honestly say that it’s totally aligned with your manifestation? If your actions are not supportive of what you’re manifesting, you are confusing the universe.

Actions, like thoughts, can block manifestation if they’re not aligned with your desire.

Everything we manifest requires action. Sometimes steps are simple (buy a lottery ticket), sometimes more complex (building a funnel), but they are always necessary.

Your schedule should be a to-do list of actions that contribute to the biggest thing you’re manifesting. If it isn’t, you’re probably not doing enough for the universe to make it happen for you.


You want everything you’re manifesting yesterday, right?

Yup, me too!

Manifestation does not mean immediate fulfilment – it means that what you desire will come to you when you are ready. Everything happens on the universe’s time since it knows what timing is going to be best for us.

I would love my podcast to have a million downloads, but I’m not ready for that yet. I know it will happen someday, but I also know that the universe has my best interests in mind. So I hold on until it happens, continuing to take the aligned action.

What I can’t manifest yet, I can’t handle yet.


Are you sure you’re not missing some of the universe’s actions? Sometimes the things we see that alert us to manifestation’s existence are almost imperceptible.

The universe leaves very small gifts and hints to tell you that you’re on the right track. It may simply be that you’re not noticing.


Were you clear enough in your request for the universe to understand what you want?

Last week, I asked for a lottery win. I bought the ticket – £2.50. And I manifested a lottery win.

What size was this lottery win, you might ask? It was the princely sum of £2.20. My lottery ‘win’ was actually a total of MINUS 30p!

I laughed out loud when I realised the universe was having a joke with me and teaching me a very important lesson. I was not specific about how much I wanted to net from my successful gamble! Whenever I teach others about the law of attraction, I always underline the importance of specificity, but I forgot.

I may not have got what I’d wanted if I’d specified a larger number, but I would have let the universe know my exact desire.

Be very careful what you wish for if you’re not specific in your request!


I hope that these tips on unsuccessful manifestation have been helpful for you. Remember that you’re not alone, and we all fall into these traps – look at me with the specificity trap just last week!

Like everything, manifestation takes practice. If you keep practising and learning, you will see success.

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