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Neville Goddard’s Ladder Technique in 9 Steps (I Will Not)

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With so many manifesting techniques, knowing where to start can be challenging. Neville Goddard’s Ladder Technique is the perfect way to test out manifesting and the Law of Assumption. Read more to learn how to use the ladder technique and discover the power of your subconscious mind. 


What is the Ladder Technique?

The Ladder Technique (the Ladder Experiment) was Neville’s introductory Law of Assumption technique. He prescribed this experiment to his newcomer students at his live lectures and insisted they test out the technique before trusting his teachings and philosophy.

The ladder experiment consists of two parts and takes three days to complete. 

For the first part, he instructed his students to imagine climbing a ladder before sleeping for three consecutive nights.

In the second part of the experiment, the students were to write and read “I will NOT climb a ladder” during the daytime. 

After rising, write, “I will NOT climb a ladder,” and post it everywhere. 

Then, throughout the day, read the phrase with conviction and refuse to climb a ladder. They must REALLY mean it when they declare they refuse to climb a ladder. 

Last, they were instructed to let it go and see what would happen when the experiment was finished. The students who climbed a ladder could return to his lectures at no charge. 

To their surprise, his students returned to class the following week and reported unexpectedly encountering situations where they had to climb a ladder. 

They were flabbergasted as the technique was revolutionary! 

How to Do the Ladder Technique [Step-by-Step]


Step 1: Lay in Bed

Step one is to get comfortable and ready for bed like usual. However, Neville said to take a position that you don’t ordinarily sleep in for this exercise. For instance, if you normally sleep on your back, lay on your side instead. 

Step 2: Get Into SATS

Step two is to slow down your mind and body and find SATS.

SATS stands for State Akin to Sleep, Neville’s term for a sleepy, drowsy, meditative state, equivalent to theta brainwave state. 

According to Neville, the best time to access SATS and reprogram your subconscious mind is when you’re drifting back and forth from wake to sleep, approximately 10 to 15 minutes before you fall asleep.

Step 3: Visualize the Ladder

Step three is once you’re comfortable and in SATS, create your imaginary scene and visualize the ladder of your choice.  

Visualize the details of your ladder. For instance, is your ladder metal or wood? How many steps does it have? It can be helpful to have this part planned before your first attempt. 

Step 4: Imagine Climbing the Ladder

Step four is to imagine climbing the ladder.

Imagine the scene in the first person. Meaning you are not watching yourself climb the ladder from a distance. Rather, you are in your body, climbing the ladder. 

Take your imaginary right hand and grab the ladder. Then, take your imaginary left hand and grab the ladder. Feel the ladder and feel how your imaginary ladder feels.

With your hands already holding the ladder, put one foot on the ladder and then the other foot, lift yourself, and start climbing the ladder. Climb up the ladder, then climb down the ladder. 

Step 5: Loop the Scene

Step five is to loop your scene. Climb up and down the ladder. 

Again, up and down the ladder. Keep looping the scene until you fall asleep, and your visualization takes the tones of reality.

Step 6: Write I Will Not Climb a Ladder

Step six is after you wake up, write, “I will not climb a ladder,” on notes, and place it everywhere. 

You can put it in your wallet, purse, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or on the screen saver of your phone. You can also put it on your walls.

Step 7: Read I Will Not Climb a Ladder

The seventh step is really important. Throughout your day, read, “I will not climb a ladder.” 

When you read it, Neville instructed that you must REALLY mean when you read, “I will NOT climb a ladder.” With all of your will and conviction, you must refuse to climb a ladder.

Step 8: Do the Exercise for 3 Days 

Step eight is to do the exercise for three consecutive days. Every night, imagine climbing up and down the ladder until the visualization takes on tones of reality. And in the day, affirm, “I will not climb a ladder” with utmost certainty.

Step 9: Let the Ladder Experiment Go

The ninth and last step is crucial. You must completely let the experiment go. Forget about it entirely. Also, don’t aid the experiment in any way. 

Meaning, don’t go to a place where you know have ladders, hang out, and find yourself coincidentally climbing a ladder, lol. Just let it go and see what happens.

What was Neville’s Purpose for the Ladder Experiment?


The purpose of the experiment was to prove to his students that your mind creates your reality. 

A few different theories are circulating the internet regarding Neville’s reasoning for the experiment and why he added the second half of the technique (I will not climb a ladder), but no one knows for sure. 

The first speculation, and the one most agreed upon, is that the experiment shows that the subconscious mind has more power over the conscious mind. 

In the experiment, you are training your subconscious mind to climb a ladder while training your conscious mind not to climb a ladder. 

Your subconscious plays a primary role, while your conscious mind plays a secondary role. Your subconscious mind is actually what manifests your reality. What you train your subconscious mind ultimately always wins.

The second speculation is akin to the Law of Attraction, which states that like attracts like. What you focus on, you attract into your life. 

So if you focus on things you don’t want, and in this case, “not” climbing a ladder, you will attract climbing a ladder. 

The third speculation is similar to LOA but based on a neurolinguistics programming (NLP) belief that the subconscious mind cannot understand negatives. 

The subconscious mind will disregard “Not” and manifest “climbing a ladder.”

Also, here’s a link to David’s YouTube video. His grandfather, Elmer O. Locker Jr., attended Neville’s live lectures at Wilshire-Ebell Theater in Los Angeles and described the ladder technique and the whole process in the video. 

What Happens After I Succeed at the Ladder Experiment?

Once you succeed at the ladder experiment and manifest climbing a ladder, you can use this same exercise to manifest anything you want. Kudos! 

You can replace the ladder with anything you desire, such as a million dollars, a loving relationship, or your dream career. Nothing is off-limits. 

Also, if you work in a field where you regularly climb ladders, you can replace the ladder with things you wouldn’t usually come across, like a specific flower or an article of clothing. 

What Happens If I Don’t Succeed at the Ladder Experiment?

If you didn’t succeed at manifesting a ladder the first time, don’t worry. It could mean that you missed a step or that you could work on your level of belief or visualization skills. 

If you are new to visualizing and need help with the exercise, I have included five tips below that I discovered while trying the ladder experiment. 

5 Useful Tips for the Ladder Technique (+ Creative Visualization Tips)

woman-in -white-sitting-on-chair-next-to-plant-and-ladder

1. Preplan Your Visualization 

If you have trouble visualizing a ladder, it is helpful to preplan your visualization so that your mind has a direction when you begin. Below are some ideas.

  • Write out the description of your ladder. 
  • Draw a ladder by hand. 
  • Google a ladder image (or use the ladder images in this article) to get a mental picture of your ladder. 
  • Study a live ladder in person. 

2. Break Your Visualization Into Bite-Sized Chunks 

If you feel overwhelmed by the different parts of visualization, break it up into chunks before you begin the actual three days of the experiment. 

For example, on one day, work on the visuals. On another day, work on touch and feel. Next, work on spatial imagery. And then do the three-day experiment.

3. Count Steps During Your Visualization 

If you are new to visualizing and your mental images are blurry, often it’s because we are vague in giving our imagination direction. 

Counting the steps will help the ladder and the scene become more apparent, rich, and lively. The clearer you direct yourself, the more vivid your visualization will be. 

4. Discover Your Limiting Beliefs and Ways You Might Sabotage Yourself

Uncovering how my subconscious plays out my limiting beliefs was a game-changer, more than the exercise itself. Let me explain. 

Climbing up the ladder was fine, but climbing down the ladder, I would fall, miss a step, fumble, and land on the ground. This went on for a couple of weeks. 

It clued me in on my inner self-trust and self-esteem issues, which I was already aware of.

However, seeing my subconscious play out my internal negativity through imagery was eye-opening. 

At a very deep level, I have been sabotaging my abilities and imagine myself failing at pretty simple tasks. 

So, of course, in the past, I’ve unnecessarily undermined and delayed success in endeavors at a very unconscious level. 


If you experience this, remember that YOU control your imagination. Keep visualizing until you get it right. 

 5. Bring Your Attention to Your Body

Some people have trouble seeing images in their minds, especially if their thoughts are crowded. 

I see more vivid imagery in the emotional body. 

If you don’t see images in your mind, try breathing and bringing your attention down to your body. 

Who Was Neville Goddard, and What Was His Main Philosophy?


Neville was a beloved spiritual teacher who taught people how to change their lives with the Law of Assumption

The Law of Assumption states that your assumptions create your reality, and what you internally assume to be true manifests in your external reality. 

Based on Hermetics and the 12 Universal Laws, the Law of Correspondence states that the external world is your mirror. As within, so without. 

Neville wholeheartedly believed that a person could manifest a new reality through the power of imagination. 

He advocated that to change your life, you must fully turn your attention away from the external world and focus completely on changing your inner world (your assumptions). 

Neville’s manifesting techniques will teach you how to do just that: use your imagination to change your assumptions.

Neville Goddard’s Concepts to Be a Powerful Manifestor 

Neville mastered the human psyche. He studied the human mind from all angles and discovered numerous entry points into the imagination. 

I’ve compiled a list of his best manifestation techniques. Read my blog post, 17 Best Neville Goddard’s Manifesting Techniques List, to help you attract your desires. 

Closing Thoughts on Neville Goddard’s The Ladder Technique

There you have it. Now you know how to use Neville Goddard’s The Ladder Technique. I would love to hear how it goes, and please let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help.

Wishing you many blessings, so much love, and joy!

You might also enjoy: Abraham-Hicks’ Emotional Guidance Scale & How to Use It

If you liked the article, please consider sharing it on Pinterest and connecting with us on social media. Happy manifesting.

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Hi, welcome! I'm Susan, the creator and writer of Manifestaire. My mission is to help you explore the powers of your being so you can create a magical life you love! Here, you can find articles on manifestation, spirituality, metaphysics, yoga, wellness, and so much more.
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