What You Resist Persists – Meaning In The Law Of Attraction

what you resist persists meaning

Carl Jung’s famous saying that ‘what you resist, persists’ has a very deep and profound impact on our daily lives. The what you resist persists meaning comes down to the fact that your attempts to avoid something often gives it the energy it needs to not only persist, but to grow.

When you learn to drive a racing car and you have to take a 90 degree turn at 120 mph, the first thing your instructor will teach you is to not focus on the wall in front of you.

Your focus needs to be 100% on the road and following where the road goes on the turn. As soon as you focus on the wall in front of you then that is where your attention goes and you end up crashing into the wall.

This analogy can be applied to anything in our lives. Your intention might be to go somewhere but obstacles show up. We tend to place all our focus on these obstacles and because that is where our focus is, we end up crashing into it.

These obstacles are rarely physical.

They are almost always thoughts, beliefs and ideas.

From the law of attraction we know that whatever our thoughts are focussed on we will attract into our lives.

It may sound cruel, but the universe doesn’t give a crap about what you really want. Let me explain…

The law of attraction is universal and impartial. It works all the time and works exactly the same for everyone. It does not favour some or punish others.

It simply responds without emotion, interpretation or regard for what you want or don’t want.

Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.

– John Assaraf

This is actually a very liberating fact. Like electricity, you can learn how it works and then use it to light up a room or light up a stadium. The rules are exactly the same for both.

The Real Meaning of What You Resist Persists

The real meaning of what you resist persists is often illustrated with a simple example: try not to think of a pink elephant…

Now, all you can think of is a pink elephant. No matter how hard you try to not think of it, it sticks in your head.

When you are in debt, stuck in a terrible relationship or hate your job it can be incredibly hard to not think of the problem.

Because your mind gets consumed by the problem at hand, you tend to give all your energy and attention to the problem.

Because of that, the problem persists – even if it is the solution to the problem is what you really want.

What you really want becomes irrelevant.

What you resist is dominant and because it gets all your mental focus and attention it not only persists, but grows.

Focusing your energy on not wanting something IS NOT the same as wanting its opposite.

When your focus is on not being overweight then it is not the same as having your focus on being slim, fit and healthy.

It is the subject matter of your focus that is all important. Wanting to NOT be overweight still places your energy on the subject matter of being overweight.

What You Resist Persists and The Law Of Attraction

If you look at anything in your life that is persisting, then at some level you are offering resistant thoughts to it.

It is often easier to see these things in other people’s lives than to see it in our own lives.

We tend to be blinded by our own erroneous thinking.

The real challenge comes in when we are trying (often trying very hard) to create change but the act of trying in itself becomes the resistance and it only ends up creating more of the same in our lives.

This encapsulates the very meaning of what you resist persists.

As Carl Jung pointed out, it often not only persists but grows in size. This can be explained with the law of attraction.

What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.

– Carl Jung

The law of attraction states that whatever you place your energy and your attention on will expand and grow in your life.

You may have a lot of money issues in your life. Maybe you are always broke and never have enough money to do and have all the things you truly desire.

You have the intention to create wealth and abundance for yourself. You probably read a lot of books about it and you have bold financial goals to be financially free.

You have affirmations, you have goals written down and you are working really hard on changing your financial destiny.

However, you keep attracting the same ‘money stuff’. In fact, you may even be worse off financially than you where before you started using the law of attraction to create more abundance.

Why is that?

What you resist persists!

Consciously you may want more money but subconsciously you have resistance.

The very idea of not wanting to be broke and not wanting to always struggle financially and not wanting to always worry about money creates the resistance.

The Law Of Attraction doesn’t turn off and on, like a light switch. It’s not a subject to fate or fancy. It is a powerful but neutral force that is constantly operational.

– Joe Vitale

The universe DOES NOT distinguish between you wanting something or you not wanting something.

It simply responds to your thoughts. When your thoughts and your energy is on not wanting to be broke, your energy is actually focused on being broke.

That is what will expand and grow in your life.

When you are desperate to meet your soulmate and have a beautiful relationship and your energy is on not wanting to be alone then ‘being alone’ is where your energy is really on.

The law of attraction is a perfect mirror that reflects back to you exactly what your dominant thoughts and emotions are.

The law of attraction does not interpret your thoughts, it does not alter them or try to understand what you really mean.

It simply reflects back to you EXACTLY what the true nature of your thoughts are.

How To Release Resistance & Manifest With Ease

This all might sound like a very subtle difference but it is a very significant difference. Your reasoning mind can deduct and understand the true meaning of your intentions.

When your thoughts are on ‘not wanting to be alone’ then your conscious/reasoning mind knows what that means.

It knows that you ultimately want to be with someone special and share your life with someone you love and someone who loves you.

Your subconscious mind and the workings of the law of attractions CAN NOT reason like that. It simply act on the ACTUAL thought, and more importantly, on the energy of the thought.

Your thought of not wanting to be alone is based on being alone. It creates images in your mind of you being alone and it transmits an energy of being alone.

That is what the universe and the law of attraction responds to.

The solution is simple – and quite subtle. It can probably be best illustrated with an example from one of the most enlightened people on our planet in the last century.

In the 1960’s there were countless protests against the war in Vietnam. The movement gained momentum and when they planned their biggest march, the invited many prominent people to join their cause.

They approached Mother Theresa and asked her to join their march AGAINST the war in Vietnam.

Mother Theresa immediately declined the invitation. She later explained that if they ever have a march FOR peace, she will be the first to sign up.

She understood the deeper meaning of what you resist persists. A march AGAINST the war would do nothing but strengthen the idea.

The energy needs to shift to what you are FOR.

Not what you are against.

How Does This Apply To The Law of Attraction and Your Life?

You need to pay very close attention to where you place your energy. Is your energy on what you ultimately DO want or are you caught up in the resistance of what you don’t want.

Knowing what you don’t want is important, but it is only important in giving you the contrast to figure out what you DO want.

Once you know what you Do want, you need to place all your energy and attention ONLY on the end result of what you do want.

If you are in debt, and your goal is to get out of debt then you will be in debt for the rest of your life.

Your goal needs to be on abundance and prosperity. You need to give al;l your energy and attention to being prosperous and on accumulating wealth. The debt will be taken care of and should not be a concern at all.

As long as your thoughts and your energy is on the debt, you will never get rid of it. What you resist persists!

The same goes for anything you want to manifest in your life. Sometimes your thoughts and your energy only needs a subtle shift.

There’s an easy way to tell if you are ‘on track’ and have your energy in the right place.

Simply judge it by how you feel. If your thoughts about manifesting abundance and prosperity makes you feel fear, anxiety, stress or even sadness then you need to make a shift.

You are probably thinking about what you don’t want and that causes your emotional state.

If your thoughts and your energy is on the ideal end result and you are completely focussed on wealth and abundance and already living the life where that is a reality then your emotions will be that of joy, gratitude and complete bliss.

Let your feelings and emotions be your guide. Let it be your constant reminder to shift your focus.

The what you resist persists meaning is very subtle in this way but very significant in its effects on your life.

To your conscious mind, thinking about what you do not want and thinking about what you ultimately do want is one and the same thing. To the universe and to your subconscious mind it is not.

The law of attraction reveals this to us through the results in our lives and what we end up attracting and manifesting.

If you’ve been trying to manifest something for some time and you keep attracting the opposite or things keep getting worse then this is most likely the cause.

At some level your energy and your attention is on resistant thoughts and that is what is manifesting.


With a passion for spirituality, self discovery, and understanding this life, Neod spends his time musing about what is, what could be and what might come about. After writing for 20 years he's still growing, learning, exploring and sharing with love, joy and compassion.

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