You may be familiar with the term manifestation, or the laws of attraction. After all the process was the focus of a best-selling book. When the Australian Television producer Rhonda Byrne published the book in 2006 “The Secret”, book critics responded, for the most part, by laughing at it. Rhonda Byrne’s assertion that ‘positive things will happen if you think enough positive thoughts’ is something unscientific and no matter how much your brain knows about this being untrue, it feels like truth. Even though her central ideas fall apart for very obvious reasons, the book sold 30 million copies since its release and it is one of the most successful self-help books of all time.
It’s not a surprising fact that books like the secrets, the power of positive thinking, etc popular and successful. They provide an alluring and extraordinary scenario to the people that just thinking about becoming rich will make it real. On the one hand, where this scenario provides a boost of self-confidence, it can also be a cause of overconfidence and excessive daydreaming which has its own consequences.
After a decade of ‘The secret’ being released, the generation of the 21st century is having their ‘Rhonda Byrne’ moment and discovering new ways of positive thinking, positive life on social media. You may come across videos like ‘how to manifest your dream future’ on Youtube or a post like ‘if you like this post your day will go better on Facebook. The interest in manifesting stuff from aspirational thoughts on social media has been getting popular with and every day. The act of manifestation has tons of complicated rules, as told by people on different platforms. But what exactly manifestation is and how to manifest something?
What is manifestation?
Manifesting feels like a way to accomplish something we have control over in time when we are mostly powerless to affect any real change. But manifestation is not just some hippy rambling. The general understanding of manifesting is that we put out positive intentions in the universe through prayer, ritual, attitude, meditation, etc, and the universe will give us what we want in return. But then once again, that’s not how manifestation works.
Essentially, manifestation is bringing something tangible into your life through attraction and belief, i.e. if you think, and it will come. However, there is more to manifestation than willpower and positive thinking. As Angelina Lombardo, the author of “A Spiritual Entrepreneur” says “Manifesting is making everything you want to feel and experience a reality via your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and emotions.” While everyone approaches manifestation differently, Lombardo believes most follow the same basic principle. First and most importantly you need to know exactly what you want. You are the only one who dreams your dreams and the only one who can decide what the best is for yourself. Whatever you want or desire, the most essential thing is that you make your intention as specific as possible.
Rachel Astarte, L.M.F.T., a psychotherapist and a podcaster at Self-talk said that defining manifestation is in this way is implies that the universe is something separate from you. She says “But we are the universe and the universe is us. Spiritually and scientifically, you are one. Indeed, manifestation is an amalgamation of 1) Quantum physics 2) Neuroplasticity and 3) Confirmation bias. She explained the concept of quantum entanglement, talked about neuroplasticity which refers to your brain’s ability to adapt to changes in your thinking and behaviors by forming new neural connections over time. She also discussed confirmation bias which refers to the innate human tendency to engage in self-fulfilling mechanisms that reinforce your existing beliefs, whether conscious or subconscious.
How people are doing manifestation nowadays?
Manifesting works differently for everyone. One popular video claims that by simply coming across it, you have already manifested the video and in fact you have unconsciously manifested everything that has ever happened in your life. This statement is, for very obvious reasons, dumb because no one ever manifests trauma and many other negative things. Some say that manifestations will not work unless you have yourself to the spiritual world first. Some say manifestations work by scripting. Scripting means writing your desire or wish for the Number of times, precisely for 33 times, three days regularly, and at the exact same time. Manifesting is also associated with ‘angel numbers’ like 1111, 444 as they are sent from the universe as some people claim.
Manifesting comes with its fair share of paradoxes, where if you think about it too hard, none of it makes any sense. And yet its ideas have stood the test of time: The law of attraction, the belief that all thoughts eventually become things, and if you think positively, positive things will come to you, has existed since the New Thought spiritual movement of the 19th century.
How to manifest something?
Now that you know what manifestation is and how it works, how can you see that information manifests something that you really want for yourself? After all, changing your thoughts, behavior, and beliefs is easier said than done.
· Staying Present:
While it’s easy to get lost in reverie about what you want one day in the future, it’s important to stay present now. Staying present while simultaneously considering your future sounds contradicting, but it just requires balance. Make note of what you want (mentally, or in a journal whatever) and bring yourself back to the present moment, the only moment that you can truly control to get yourself there.
Sasha Jackson, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., a licensed therapist, and the social worker says, “Manifestation requires your ability to be in the present and detach from the future. That means you have to be intentional about what you put your attention towards. If you are distracted, have difficulty focusing, or even have constant thoughts, it can be hard to pay attention. This is why relaxation techniques and meditation are vital parts of manifesting. It’s important to have a clear mind to tap into what you want to create.”
· Take concrete steps:
Always remember that manifestation is more than just laying it all out on the table. You can break down manifestation into four simple steps, according to Danielle Massi, a licensed psychotherapist, and owner of the wellness collective in Philadelphia.
- Set your intention
- Create a sensory experience around the intention
- Take aligned action
- Suppress any thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the intention
“If you decide that what you want to manifest a higher-paying position, you begin with creating a vivid sensory experience”, explains Massi. “Close your eyes and imagine what life would look like if you had this higher-paying position. Where would you live? Who would you be with? What car would you drive? What clothes would you be wearing? What food would you be eating? Get as specific as you can get. When you do this, you are giving your brain a brand new experience.”
Once you have set the scene for yourself, change your behaviors to follow suit and match the reality you conjured in your mind. Doing so well, reinforces those neural networks, in other words, you have to act like your desired future is your present.
· Keep your vibration high:
According to the Law of attraction, you attract what you are sending out. To attract more of what you want, you have to raise your vibration. Vibrations are like radio signals you are continuously sending out to the universe. You must tune your signal to a vibration worthy of receiving it. All you have to do is feel joy. By spending 10- 15 minutes a day, at least doing something that makes you feel good, anything from watching a YouTube video or meditating, you are ensuring your vibration stays high.
Remember, a rotten mood means you are going to be rewarded with rubbish. Staying positive is the easiest way to be certain good things are coming. Oprah said “Energy is everything. The energy we put out in the world is the energy we get back” which means if you are continually sending out negative energy, either through your thoughts or feelings, you will attract the same energy back to you. On the flip side, though, if you are able to shift your energy (a practice sometimes referred to as raising your vibrations), you will also attract more positivity, which will help you realize your goals.
Lifting your energy is actually quite simple: Just focus on the activities that cultivate feelings of joy and happiness, whether that’s doing something kind for someone else (helping a friend or family member, volunteering, etc), starting each morning with a meditation session or a quick yoga class, spending time in nature or even treating yourself some well- deserved self-care.
· Work towards your goals:
Manifesting is the art of co-creating with the universe. Working towards your goals increases your chances of receiving what you want. It’s also fun. Write down three actions you can do today to bring you closer to the goal. If you don’t know what to do, use Google to figure out what actions you can take. It’s likely someone has struggled with the same issue and has written about it. Let yourself be inspired by what others have done.
· Trust the process:
As you work towards your goal, it may question if manifesting actually works. You might get discouraged and frustrated. If you are sitting in the struggle and wondering when things are going to happen, you are not trusting the process. When you question manifestation, you are telling the universe to prove manifesting doesn’t work. The Law of Attraction obliges by sending you experiences that keep you stuck. To manifest anything in 7 days, you have to trust the process. Whenever you find yourself doubting, catch yourself and say “I am getting closer and closer to my goals every day. The universe has my back and it’s awesome.”
· Be mindful and thankful for what you receive:
While you may not get everything you envision in the order and time frame you want, you should receive and acknowledge what you do get. No matter how big or small it may be. According to Lombardo, “Gratitude is the key”. The universe is always giving you help, but it’s easy to miss the signs (especially when they come in unexpected ways). When you start to acknowledge and receive signs from the universe, the universe will give you more of what you want.
To do this, consider creating a gratitude journal. Before bed, spend five to ten minutes writing down a few things for which you are grateful, as well as anything that happened that day to bring you closer to whatever it is you are trying to manifest. Maybe you want to save enough money for retirement and you receive a call from a cable provider about a way to lower your monthly bill or you come across an informative podcast that inspires an idea for a money-making side hustle.
· Let go of any limiting beliefs and resistance:
In addition to changing your mindset and behaviors, you will need to remove any obstacles or limiting beliefs that may cloud your vision, including fear and negative self-talk. Oprah says “Telling yourself that you are not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not worthy enough, it’s a tape that is playing for lots of people. If you are not conscious of that, then you end up acting out of that belief system and not what you know to be the truest or want to be the truest for yourself. You don’t become what you want because so much of wanting is about living in the space of what you don’t have.”
To move past your limiting beliefs, it’s essential that you first identify what exactly they are. To take it a step further, the next time you find yourself questioning your worth or saying “I don’t deserve this” pause and think of all the reasons why you are deserving.