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The other day I was reading an email about how to get out of a low vibe from manifesting coach Mandy Morris.  And she said something along the lines of, “First ask yourself, what is your low vibe giving you?”  She went on to ask more questions to pinpoint what you might be getting out of the low vibe, and what you might have to give up to change it.

This might sound crazy to some.  Who would get anything out of a low vibe?  Who would find reasons to WANT to be in a low vibe?  But it did not sound crazy to me.  I know the seductive lure of a low vibe very well.

You can click to watch the video where I talk further about the topic (don’t forget to subscribe to me on YouTube), or just keep reading!

I also am constantly amazed about how the spiritual teachings (that I have found through my own schooling of reading books, finding mentors, my own therapy and coaching, and YouTube to name a few sources) align with the psychological teachings of my masters program (I have my masters degree in counseling).  


In Psychology there is something called “Secondary Gain”.  And it is the idea that an illness can bring certain advantages that can create subconscious (or sometimes conscious) resistance to getting better.  Think of the image of the kid holding a thermometer to a light bulb so he can stay home from school.

The APA Dictionary of Psychology describes “Secondary Gain” as the following:

“in psychoanalytic theory, the advantage derived from a neurosis in addition to the primary gain of relief from anxiety or internal conflict. Advantages may include extra attention, sympathy, avoidance of work, and domination of others. Such gains are secondary in that they are derived from others’ reactions to the neurosis instead of from causal factors. They often prolong the neurosis and create resistance to therapy. Also called advantage by illness.”


I will never forget when I first started as a therapist, I had a child client diagnosed with a terminal illness.  And while I knew and was seeing this child, her illness suddenly became not terminal.  There was a chance for treatment and maybe a cure.  It was great news.  This little girl’s world was about to change for the better.  But she had learned to relate to people through her illness, so having a cure to the illness brought some psychological stress.

As a new therapist, this was an extremely rewarding family to have the honor with whom to work.  I will never forget one session with this child (when she was still very sick), where she was trying to convince me that everything would be better if her parents would just buy her a puppy.  That was all she needed.  And that was all she wanted to talk about.  And if she could not talk about getting a puppy, she did not want to talk at all.

Her parents did not follow her demands to buy her a puppy.  If they would have, they would have been giving her a secondary gain, and it might have affected her motivation to heal and join the world. 

Some secondary gains are just unavoidable.  When you have a sick child, staying at home and getting attention is necessary to get better.  It’s just important to notice them for what they are.

And by the way, I love dogs and would totally encourage that family to get a dog!   Just not out of the child’s demands at that exact time.  It would not have been helpful.   But under the right circumstances and timing, of course an animal can be very healing.   This case is just an example.  And let me step aside my therapist-self to tell you that I wanted to give that little girl a puppy!   It took strong parents to not cave.


I believe secondary gains are usually subconscious.  We don’t consciously want to stay in a low vibe or be anxious.  Secondary gains can be like bad habits.  Sometimes it is hard to see them for what they are.  This is about empowering yourself to recognize and release your own secondary gains that might be holding you back from realizing your true highest vibe self.

Try asking yourself (and journaling about) “What am I getting out of my low vibe?”   Here are some examples of possiblitiiles:

  1. Get to stay in your comfort zone
  2. Don’t have to take risks
  3. Get to eat junk food
  4. Get to stay in bed
  5. Get to complain and stay close to friends who are also compliaining
  6. Get to miss work
  7. Get to blame others
  8. Get to not fully commit
  9. ?????
  10. ?????

You can also ask yourself, “What else would I have to give up in order to give up this low vibe?”  

Remember I am never ever talking about blaming yourself for a low vibe, especially in today’s world.  What I AM talking about is empowering yourself to change it.  Meet yourself with a lot of compassion with these questions.  Secondary gains are real life things that are natural and everyone has them.  So ask yourself the questions without judgement.  There is no room for that nonsense.

Again, this is not about blaming but EMPOWERING.  In her latest book, Girl on Fire, Cara Alwill says that “You can’t be successful AND a victim.”  When I first read that, I was kind of taken aback.  I was kind of like, okay that’s rude, because there are victims in the world.  They can’t be successful?

But when I thought about it, it is really true.  Success really is a choice.  We are all victims at some point in our lives, but it is our choice if we stay there.  Asking yourself the questions I listed above will help you to help yourself out of being a victim of your low vibe and into empowering you to live the beautiful life you want and deserve.

Peace, Love, and Higher Vibes Today,