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9 reasons why feng shui doesn’t work (and what to do about it!)

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Whether you’ve studied feng shui for a while, or you’re a total beginner, you might wonder – are there any times feng shui doesn’t work?

Is there a reason why feng shui WOULDN’T work? Is it possible to do feng shui “wrong” and cause it not to work?

9 reasons why feng shui doesn't work (and what to do about it!)

Let’s go through all of the reasons why feng shui doesn’t work (and what to do about it!)

To start, let’s talk about whether or not feng shui will work for you. 

Personally, I think that feng shui works for EVERYONE but the way it works for you might not be in the way you’d expect. 

Any time you make changes to your life with intention – meaning, you do something expecting a result of some kind – I believe you’ll get a response from the Universe. 

The problems come in when you’re expecting something specific (or NOT expecting something specific enough – don’t worry, we’ll get to that!) or you’re on a tight timeline and want it to happen immediately.

kitchen counter with cook top and cutting board

How does feng shui work?

Feng shui works by changing the energy flow in your home, and therefore changing the energy flow in your life inside and outside of your home. 

It works in tandem with your manifestation energy, personal energy, and belief system. 

The Universe can’t override your intentions. 

So if you use a feng shui tip, but you have the idea that it’s NOT going to work, the Universe can’t give you what you want, because your beliefs are telling the Universe you believe you can’t have it. 

I believe part of the reason feng shui DOES work so well, is because you’re taking action towards what you want.

And the act of changing your home to specifically help manifestations mean that once you’ve gone through all of the feng shui tips, you’ve done “enough” in your own eyes to help the manifestation happen. 

You’ve become the catalyst in your life.  The person making things happen.  The person CREATING, not just waiting. 

So let’s say you want to manifest a new romantic partner. 

You’ve joined all of the dating apps.

You’ve put yourself out there.

You’ve told all of your friends you want a new relationship and are open to being set up. You’ve done all of the things you can personally do to help it happen. 

But the people you’re meeting just aren’t the right “fit.” Or worse, no one is interested at all.

living room with shelves

Then one day you come across feng shui tips to help you attract love and romance. 

And you think: you know what, I think I’ll try this. So you spend the weekend implementing the tips.

And you feel AMAZING. You feel like you accomplished something. You’re hopeful that this is actually going to work for you! 

But even if it “doesn’t” work right away, you feel amazing about your home. You love your bedroom. You feel accomplished and excited about the future. 

Every time you look around your home, you feel proud of what you’ve done and you love being there. 

Then BAM – a few weeks later you meet someone! 

A lot of times, manifestations happen because your energy is “ready” for them to happen.  You feel like you’ve done “enough” to make it happen. 

Feng shui helps that feeling come more quickly. 

It helps you feel like you’ve done something to accomplish your goal. 

It anchors the manifestation into your life.  It shows the universe you’re preparing your life for the manifestation to happen. 

It also makes room for the manifestation to happen! 

Is it possible to feel that way without using feng shui? Of course! 

But feng shui can help those feelings happen in a very concrete, physical way. 

You can SEE the change happening, which helps the manifestation to happen more quickly.

living room with shelves and decorative objects

So let’s go through 10 reasons why feng shui doesn’t work.

do you believe feng shui will work for you?

If you don’t believe that feng shui will work for you, then it won’t work for you. 

The Universe can’t override your free will. 

You have to have at least a tiny little spark of hope that it will work so that the Universe can give you what you want. 

You have to at the very LEAST feel like “okay let’s try it. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. But it can’t hurt!” and give the Universe room and time to respond. 

Trust and activate your faith that you can have anything you want in life.

did you set a specific intention?

Sometimes, the reason why feng shui doesn’t work is because you didn’t set a specific intention.

You can’t just say “Universe, I’d like more money” because the Universe could send you a penny on the ground and that could be “more money” than you had an hour ago.  (Which means the feng shui DID work, it just wasn’t what you wanted!)

Instead, you want to set a specific intention:  Universe, I’d really like $100.

But again, you have to be specific enough that you’ll see it when it happens, but not so outrageous that you can’t believe it will happen. 

If you say “Universe, I’d like a million dollars” – can you BELIEVE that will happen? 

If so, great! If not, dial it back to a number you can believe.

Or if you have a specific bill you’d like to pay, tell the Universe THAT amount.

So you can visualize the bill being paid and feel the feelings of it being paid.  You already know that amount has a purpose, so it is more believable than just a random amount of money.

The other side of setting an intention is that you also have to not be SO specific that you’re disappointed no matter what shows up. 

Sometimes what we THINK we want and what would actually be the perfect manifestation aren’t the same things at all. 

Be open to the Universe surprising you with something amazing that you couldn’t even imagine! 

The Universe does know every little detail of what you want, so trust that it will bring it to you!

couch with green and white pillows

Let’s use the relationship analogy again. 

If you really want to date someone exactly like Brad Pitt, you might describe him down to the smallest detail imaginable. 

But what if there’s someone out there who fits everything you want even more perfectly than how you feel Brad Pitt would?

If you are looking for Brad Pitt and get upset every time you meet someone else because he’s NOT Brad Pitt, you could miss the best relationship you’ve ever had. 

Always tell the Universe you are open to what you want or SOMETHING BETTER! 

And be open to that something better showing up!  You are WORTHY of what you want and MORE.  Be open to getting more than you ever even dreamed possible!

bench with potted plant and windows

did you work the root of the problem or just try to put lipstick on a pig (and amplify the problem)

If there’s one thing I know about life, it’s that if you don’t deal with the root of the problem, it’s going to get worse. 

If you have a leak in your bathroom, you can’t just tile over it and think because you can’t see it, it’s no longer there. 

That’s going to make for an even bigger problem later! (That’s just putting lipstick on a pig!)

Feng shui is the same way.  It’s easy to think “well I can just put some purple in my feng shui money corner and I’ll manifest more money” or “this rose quartz crystal is good for love, I’ll just buy the biggest one I can afford!” 

Why can this sometimes make the problem worse? Because YES, the crystal or purple might actually work.  You might get more money or get asked out on a date, but if there’s something else going on, your problems are going to be amplified later.

I look at it this way:  If your whole house is full of clutter, broken things, trash, and expired food – do you have room for a new relationship? 

If you buy that rose quartz and you get asked out on a date 10 minutes later, you’re going to have to either hope that person never comes to your home, not care whether they do, or go home and speed clean and be frazzled and upset. 

Whatever feng shui cure or crystal you buy is going to AMPLIFY whatever energy you already have going on in your space. 

You might even find that you manifest money immediately, but you also manifest a bill for the exact amount. 

Or you get the relationship, but you lose your job. 

Or you get the new car you want but come home to an unexpected bill (this happened to me!)

I eventually realized that even though I WANTED more money and a new car, there wasn’t a lot of room in my life for that new thing! 

I had to let go of some things in order to have the mental, emotional, and physical room for the things I wanted. 

Like getting a new job: if you want a new full-time job and you already HAVE a full-time job — you’re going to have to be prepared to quit the one you already have work out some other way to make them both work. 

living room chairs with pillows

Something has to give. 

You can’t have your palm open for more money if you’re clenching your fist around the $10 you currently have. 

You have to be open to the change happening. 

Otherwise, you’re going to have that bright shiny tiled bathroom that leads to a huge flood later.

If you want feng shui to work, I always recommend doing the work to make space for your dreams WHILE doing feng shui. 

Create a feng shui money bowl, but ALSO go through your home’s money corner and clear out the old junk. 

Use a feng shui wealth crystal, but ALSO go through your financial statements and deal with whatever situation you have going on. 

Work on what’s already going on energetically WHILE preparing for the future. 

Clear out the clutter, fix the leaks, and take out the garbage before bringing all of this new energy into your life. 

Otherwise, the new energy has no where to go!

kitchen island with black chairs

did you give it enough time to work?

It’s possible that the reason why the feng shui didn’t work was because what we want is going to take some rearranging on the Universe’s part to bring it to us. 

Sometimes things will come even faster than we thought they would. 

But just like you can’t put a pot of water and some noodles on the stove, turn it on, let it cook for one minute, and have pasta ready to eat one minute later — you have to use feng shui in your life and give the Universe time to respond. 

Don’t just wash your front door and then expect your phone to ring one second later. YES, sometimes it will happen.  But also give the Universe time to respond. 

did you keep working it?

Let’s say it’s been weeks and the thing you want still isn’t coming.  What should you do?

Take another look at the area of your home that corresponds to whatever it is you’re wanting to call in. 

Could it use some sprucing up? Is there another level of clutter, dirt, grime, or pile of stuff you could clean up? Is everything still in tip-top shape? 

If so, I would keep working it.  Keep holding the faith.  Maybe even smudge the area, open a window, and turn a light on to amplify your intention.

If the area could use more sprucing up and another deep clean — then do that! 

Refresh all of the feng shui tips you used.  Bring more energy into the space. 

Or you could even work on another area of your home that corresponds to that area.  After all, each area of your home (and life) affects every other area. 

The more work you put in, the better off you’ll be because your energy will be clear and unobstructed.  (Click here to learn more about the bagua map and which areas of your home correspond to the different areas of your life.)

couch and coffee table with plant

did you pay attention to your results?

Another reason why feng shui doesn’t work is that you just weren’t really paying attention.

Life can get really busy, and sometimes you can use feng shui in your home and then just kind of forget about it. 

But then, if you take a few moments, you’ll see that it actually DID work (and sometimes in unexpected ways!)

For example, you might have asked the Universe for more money.  And it looked like nothing happened. 

But a few weeks later you go through your mail and realize a company has credited your account for the exact amount you asked for. 

The Universe came through, it just wasn’t with actual cash.  Once I asked the Universe for more money and didn’t realize a check had been in my mail pile for over a month! 

It just seemed like the Universe hadn’t responded (but it had!)

did you give it space to happen?

Like I said before, sometimes you don’t have room for the manifestation to come through because you’re either too busy, you don’t have time, or you’re too busy “watching and waiting” for the Universe to bring you what you want. 

Just like a watched pot never boils – if you don’t give the Universe space and time to bring you what you want, then it’s going to seem like what you want is never coming! 

The same is true of clearing space for your dreams. 

If you ask the Universe to bring you something but you’re constantly feeling stressed and out of time and like you have no room (either mentally, emotionally, or in actual physical space and time) then how is the Universe supposed to bring it to you? 

This is why a lot of feng shui is about clearing the space and energy in your home (and life.)  

Click here to learn more about making space for your dreams!

kitchen island with black stools

is there something “hidden” you haven’t gotten to yet that’s “blocking” your energy?

Do you REALLY want what you say you want?

A lot of us have contradictory energy that is holding us back. 

Like we say we want a new job, but we’re scared to leave our old job. 

Or we say we want more money, but the thought of more money makes us scared it will be taken from us or that someone will ask us for it. 

Those things can block your energy and cause the manifestation to not happen (or be taken away in some way once it does happen.)

Other things to check for in your home that can be the reasons why feng shui doesn’t work:

  • Clutter stuffed in closets, attics, cabinets, or garages
  • Broken items or items you have negative attachments to but can’t seem to get rid of
  • Artwork that doesn’t represent the life we want
  • Old pictures on display that show us in old relationships or old jobs or that represent where we’ve been and not where we want to go
  • Old financial documents or bills that we haven’t addressed
  • Old books that represent difficult times in our lives or things we want to move past, or that have negative connotations
  • Unfinished projects that we can’t seem to finish or move on from that hold us back energetically from moving on
  • Leaks or home repairs that are needed
  • Things blocking our front door or hanging over our heads when we enter our home
  • Lots of things stored under your bed that have no purpose (storage items that you know you should get rid of but can’t seem to – not things you use on a regular basis or have a reason to store there)
  • Dirt, grime, mold, piles of items that keep building up in a certain area
  • Dark, damp, unused rooms or areas of your home that make you feel uncomfortable
  • A shed on your property that needs to be cleaned out
  • Yard work that’s unfinished or a yard that’s unkept, dead, or dying (dog poop that should be cleaned up!)
  • Is there something you KNOW you need to do, but you’ve avoided it forever?

This all may seem like a lot — you might look at that list and think “I have all of those things, this is never going to work!” but the truth is — YOU are cause over your own life. 

YOU are in control. 

If you’re using feng shui, you most likely know exactly which area of your life you’re working on. 

Check for those items in that area of your home and see if any of them exist. 

Fixing even ONE of those items can have a huge impact on your life and energy! 

And often, when you read through that list, something may have jumped out at you that made you think “ohhhh, it’s that one.”  Start there and fix it asap! 

Do one thing, give it a few days or a few weeks, and then do another. 

When you make deliberate changes you will always get a response!  So choose one thing and give the Universe a chance to show you what it can do!

If you really feel like whatever is blocking you is more emotional or mental rather than something in your home (though often it’s both!) you can try journaling or meditating on the block and see what comes up for you.

Get out your journal or sit down and meditate for a bit on the following questions:

  • Is there any reason I don’t really want this?
  • Is there anything in my life that is blocking this from coming?
  • Do I believe I can have it?
  • Do I believe I deserve it?
  • Is there anything else I should know about what’s blocking this manifestation?

Other ways you can find out what might be blocking you if you don’t like journaling or meditating:  If you like, you can use manifestation cards, a pendulum, or ask the Universe to show you what’s blocking you right before you go to sleep. 

Often the answer will come soon so you can clear it! 

Or you might find that you really have done everything, there is nothing blocking you, and you just need to give it more time to work!

One last thing: Sometimes the only thing holding you back is thinking:  “it’s not working, it’s not working, see? it’s not working!”

If you’re constantly thinking that your manifestation isn’t coming, and the feng shui isn’t working, and life isn’t happening for you the way you want — those thoughts themselves can be why it’s not working! 

Take the time to clear your energy and hold the faith that what you want is coming. 

Now that you know the 9 reasons why feng shui doesn’t work, you might want to know:

9 reasons why feng shui doesn't work (and how to fix them!)

9 reasons why feng shui doesn’t work (and what to do about it!)