Why The Theory Of Infinite Intelligence Is Harmful

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In 2007 Power Balance bracelets hit the market and soon became a massive success. The silicone bracelets contained a proprietary hologram that was said to “resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body.” 1

Allegedly, wearers of the bracelets could expect improved balance, flexibility, and strength.

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The product was a viral hit, and the brand sold millions of bracelets worldwide. Professional athletes, celebrities, and even the NBA signed endorsement deals with Power Balance.

But then, people started asking questions. Soon after, a list of scientific studies came to the same conclusion.

The bracelets were a hoax. Researchers discovered that the holographic technology inside power balance bracelets was no more effective than a placebo for improving performance.

What followed was a list of lawsuits claiming fraud and false advertising. During that time, company executives acknowledged that their claims to improve balance, flexibility, and strength were not backed by science. In the end, Power Balance filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a string of multimillion-dollar settlements.

Unsupported Claims About The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind seems to be the Power Balance bracelet of the self-improvement world. Because the subconscious mind is still widely misunderstood, many theories and myths have developed.

To capitalize on the topic, many ‘experts’ advertise remarkable benefits to those who learn how to control their subconscious minds. Examples include limitless supplies of wealth, happiness, and success. But unfortunately, these experts have designed their advice in a way that blames the student should they fail.

Sadly, these implausible theories turn many people away from self-improvement altogether.

This article aims to shed light on a popular unsupported myth about the subconscious mind—Infinite Intelligence. In the following paragraphs, I’ll explain how the theory can hold you back, then describe what leads to success.

The Theory Of Infinite Intelligence

Some claim that a source of “Infinite Intelligence” exists in the universe. Reportedly, this source has access to resources beyond the capacity and understanding of the conscious mind.

The theory states that humans can connect to Infinite Intelligence by programming their subconscious minds.

Those with a connected subconscious mind can supposedly: 2 3

  1. Receive any information they need from Infinite Intelligence.
  2. Let the subconscious mind work for them to achieve any goal they set in the fastest way possible.
  3. Create whatever reality they believe. For example, if they think rich people are selfish, they’ll only meet selfish rich people. But, if they believe rich people are generous, they’ll only meet generous rich people.
  4. Receive direct messages from infinite intelligence in the form of opportunities that will just “pop up.”
  5. No longer feel resistance to taking action when performing challenging behaviors like exercising, eating healthy, and working long hours.

Why The Theory Of Infinite Intelligence Is Biased

When you look at why experts claim people fail using the theory of infinite intelligence, it’s not long before you realize that the theory is biased. Here are some of the reasons why Infinite Intelligence experts claim people are unsuccessful with the method.

  1. You experience negative thoughts and emotions, like fear, frustration, and doubt. These thoughts and emotions vibrate at a different frequency than Infinite Intelligence and block the connection.
  2. You have a lack of faith in Infinite Intelligence and its practices.
  3. Someone you are working with doesn’t believe they are deserving of success.
  4. Hidden subconscious beliefs are blocking you.

These reasons for failure are convenient because they always put the student at fault. Anytime someone fails using the method, the teacher can easily blame the student’s mindset.

If that doesn’t work, the teacher can blame the thoughts of the student’s teammates.

Then, if the student insists that everyone involved had positive thoughts, the teacher can blame the student’s subconscious beliefs. And, because there is no way to prove what your subconscious beliefs are, the student can never win.

The truth is, Infinite Intelligence is a myth at best. No scientific research has proven its existence, let alone our ability to connect to it with our subconscious minds.

Unfortunately, this cycle of promising people the world and blaming them when they fail hurts more people than it helps. The following three reasons explain why.

Reason #1: Negative Thoughts And Emotions Are Normal

There’s no arguing that the right mindset can help you succeed. But it’s bold to suggest that negative thoughts and emotions block you from being successful.

The issue with this statement is it leads you to believe you shouldn’t experience negative emotions. This is terrible advice.

Negative thoughts and emotions are a normal part of the human experience. Our lives are an ever-changing variety of emotions, both good and bad.

The truth is, you cannot control your thoughts. Just Ask yourself not to think of a pink Lamborghini and see what pops into your mind.

Additionally, in certain situations, negative thoughts and emotions are not only appropriate but helpful. Our natural fear of heights and predators is a perfect example.

Quite frankly, you can be successful despite negative thoughts and emotions. The following quote by wildly successful author Maya Angelou proves this point.

I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.‘”

Despite these negative thoughts, Angelou still sold millions of books and received more than 50 honorary degrees.

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Reason #2: Motivation Ebbs and Flows

The theory of Infinite Intelligence claims that you should not feel resistance to take action when connected to Infinite Intelligence. Unfortunately, this statement makes you feel like something is wrong with you if you don’t feel motivated to work on your goals.

But the truth is, nobody feels motivated to do productive things all of the time. It’s also normal to feel bored, especially when the path to success requires repetition. So, there’s nothing wrong with you if you feel unmotivated.

Motivation vs. Time Graph—Infinite Intelligence
Motivation vs. Time Graph

In reality, you can find success despite feeling unmotivated. For instance, here’s what swimmer Michael Phelps had to say about his build-up to the 2012 games.

After ’08, mentally, I was over. I didn’t want to do it anymore. But I also knew I couldn’t stop. So I forced myself to do something that I really didn’t want to do, which was continue swimming.4

Despite feeling unmotivated, Phelps became the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

Reason #3: It Weakens Your Locus Of Control

The theory of Infinite Intelligence states you can fail if someone on your team has negative thoughts. Unfortunately, because you cannot control the thoughts of others, this statement teaches you that the outcome of your life is dependent upon the thoughts of others.

This belief affects your locus of control—a concept developed by psychologist Julian Rotter. Let me explain.

You either have an external or internal locus of control.

If you have an external locus of control, you believe external forces rule your life.

To explain what I mean, assume you’re stuck in a dead-end job with a terrible boss. With an external locus of control, you believe you cannot get ahead in your career because of your boss. In this case, your boss acts as an external force that controls the outcome of your life.

In contrast, if you have an internal locus of control, you believe your actions rule your life. So rather than worrying about how your boss is ruining your life, you’d concentrate instead on finding a better job.

Some of the most successful people in the world have an internal locus of control. That’s because they figure out what they want and then focus on what they need to do to get it.

Sadly, the theory of infinite intelligence influences you to have an external locus of control. That’s because it tells you that other people’s thoughts determine your outcome.

What’s important to recognize here is that other people’s thoughts do not determine the outcome of your life. Here’s a quote from Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks that proves this point.

Before every game, I throw up. I can’t stop thinking about letting my team down, letting the world down, the microscope being on me.5

Despite these negative thoughts, Brooks and the Eagles became the 2018 Super Bowl Champions. This fact proves that a team can be successful despite the thoughts of its members.

What Actually Leads To Success?

The theory of infinite intelligence says that you cannot succeed if you experience negative thoughts and emotions. But, the stories of Angelou, Phelps, and Brooks prove that this statement is false.

So, the question becomes, what did lead to their success?

Angelou, Phelps, and Brooks were successful because they took positive action despite how they felt.

Angelou wrote despite feeling like a fraud. Phelps swam despite feeling resistance to practice. And Brooks played football despite feeling anxious.

This is an important lesson. That’s because, without action, there are no results.

Thankfully, you can apply this lesson to your life. You can study despite feeling unmotivated. You can ask for a date despite a fear of rejection. And you can start a business despite a fear of failure.

You don’t fail because negative thoughts block your connection to Infinite Intelligence. You fail because you don’t take action. If you let negative thoughts and emotions prevent you from taking action, you will not succeed.

Note: Taking action in the presence of negative thoughts and emotions is challenging. Thankfully, studies show that mindfulness meditation can help reduce the effects of difficult thoughts and emotions. So, if you’re struggling to get started, try meditation.

Success vs. Action Graph—Infinite Intelligence
Success vs. Action Graph

In A Nutshell

Here are the key takeaways from this article.

  • There’s a lot of misleading and unsupported information about the subconscious mind.
  • Many experts promise limitless supplies of wealth, happiness, and success to people who learn to control their subconscious minds.
  • The theory of Infinite Intelligence has no scientific basis and often makes people feel worse about themselves.
  • The theory of Infinite Intelligence has three major flaws, (1) negative thoughts block people from being successful, (2) both people cannot win the same game, and (3) the thoughts of other people determine the outcome of your life.
  • The theory of Infinite Intelligence makes people feel worse about themselves because it leads them to believe (1) that negative thoughts and emotions are not good, (2) that you shouldn’t feel unmotivated, and (3) that other people determine the outcome of your life.
  • Successful people aren’t successful because they can connect to Infinite Intelligence. Successful people are successful because they take consistent action despite how they feel.

Books That Influenced This Article

The following book links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase a book after clicking one of the links, I will receive a commission.

7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
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ACT Made Simple
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  1. Power Balance. Wikipedia.
  2. John Rogers. What is Infinite Intelligence? WealthCreationMastermind.com. (December 12, 2018).
  3. Joseph Rodrigues. The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. (January 18, 2017).
  4. Tim Layden. After rehabilitation, the best of Michael Phelps may lie ahead. Sports Illustrated. (November 9, 2015).
  5. Shayne McGowan. Mental Edge: Coping with pregame anxiety. USA Today High School Sports. (June 8, 2019).


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