A quick guide to manifesting - the latest wellbeing trend
Manifesting is the act of willing your dreams into existence - sounds magical right? The practice of transforming thoughts and ideas into reality, using intention to create an image of a goal you want to achieve and then taking action to get us there. It requires self-discipline and visualisation, positive thinking and gratuity, and probably a google search to really understand.
Since the pandemic began, all of us have been affected by uncertainty and stress, and it’s made a clear path for negative thoughts to rule our minds and possibly lives. So much so, in the last 22 months, there has been a 450% rise in potential clients seeking manifestation techniques on the Life Coach Directory website, while the hashtag manifestation has 13.9bn views on TikTok.
What exactly is manifesting?
This technique is about intentionally thinking, acting and living in a way that ultimately leads to what you want. Romance, money, the dream home, job, life - they say whatever you want!
In order to manifest, we have to trust in the process, stay positive and practice the law of attraction.
The law of attraction is fairly straightforward; by visualising our desires and focusing our thoughts on what we want, the universe will present us with those desires - see, magic! But there are a number of conflicting opinions over whether this is actually helpful or harmful, however, the point of the law of attraction isn’t to just wait for the universe to grant our wishes. We have to actively take steps to gain what we want, and that is pretty much always true. Fancy some cake but don’t have any in the cupboard? You’re either going to get out the scales and self-raising flour or pop to the shops, or you don’t get cake - there’s ‘active’ steps we need to take to get the cake!
Steps to start manifesting
Essentially, it's bringing something tangible into our lives through attraction and belief, if you think it, it will come. However there’s more to it than willpower and positive thinking. Here are 4 steps to get your manifesting practice started if it’s sound like a bit of you:
1. Clearly define your goals
Whatever your goal is you need to define it, to get it we need to know exactly what we’re trying to get. It’s not just wishing for a new job in a new industry. What exact job are you looking for, which industry, how do you want to feel in this job? The more specific the goals are the more intention there is, and the higher chance of sticking with and achieving it.
2. Ask the universe for it
Here’s where the eye-rolling likely starts. What on earth does asking the universe mean? Well, it can be whatever it means to you really, there’s a variety of ways to ask. From prayer to meditation, visualising to saying it out loud. Just ensure you’re asking for exactly what you want. A popular technique on TikTok right now is the 369 technique; write it down 3 times in the morning, 6 times in the afternoon, 9 times in an evening for 33-45 days (which seems quite time-consuming). But it could be as simple as writing a letter addressed to ‘The Universe’.
3. Take active steps
Don’t get the pedometer out just yet. We still need to take action to achieve our goals, set aside some time to plan the steps you can take to achieve the goals. Then build them into your routine. Sticking with the new job example, you might research some networking events to go to, prepare for job interviews, update your CV, and plan these into your week, day, routine however that looks to you.
4. Practice gratuity and mindfulness
We need to focus on the present when manifesting a goal, it’s about noticing changes and signs and acknowledging what you’ve got - no matter how big or small. Gratuity and presence is important to the manifesting process because to focus long term energy on a positive outcome we need to stay positive in the short term. Practising gratitude helps us shift our mindset from ‘lacking’ to ‘abundance’, even though we’re taking steps to get something we don’t currently have, we’re relying on what we do have to get there so we need to acknowledge.
It all sounds fairly simple to do, optimistic and bright. Perhaps for you this is something that gives a bit more meaning to goal setting and accomplishment. Perhaps it’s sounding a little unrealistic to many too.
Is manifesting unrealistic?
While it might not be totally unrealistic - there are many people who swear by this technique and use it regularly - but there’s definitely somethings to be wary of if you want to give it a go.
Positive thinking can become toxic. The idea that positive thinking brings positive outcomes to our lives and vice versa with negative thinking can be damaging as most of us have negative thoughts. Not because there’s something wrong with us, but because the brain naturally focuses on negatives rather than positives. This might lead some to worry that their lives will become more negative, or their negative thoughts will manifest into reality. We all face challenging situations, as a part of life, these situations that affect our mood, thoughts and feelings will happen regardless of positive thinking. Be compassionate with yourself in challenging times and remember thoughts are not always true, and they can only manifest by taking action.
There’s no magic wand for wellbeing. It’s a few simple steps, with fairly simple actions though? While this might sound like the fix you’ve been looking for to help you achieve your goals, it’s not. This process tests patience and commitment to our goals, and they won’t happen overnight regardless of how many times you ask the universe. And the action we take might not be mountain-moving, but tiny mole hills instead. If you’re giving it a go, practising gratuity and having patience will be your friend - and if that doesn’t sound like you, it’s probably not the technique you need.
As with positive thinking becoming toxic, there’s a risk of manifesting worsening our mental wellbeing. That is that we’re likely to make mistakes and fail when it comes to our goals, and it’s important to remember that it’s not a reflection on your character or worth. We all make mistakes and get stuff wrong, it’s how we bounce back and move on that counts. All the universe asking, gratuity practice, and positive thinking in the world can’t stop us making mistakes, pay attention to what you’ve learnt from those stepbacks rather than what it might say about you.
We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in this technique, your success stories, your not-so-successful-stories. Remember we’re all different as some things won’t work for us as they do others. That’s ok, it’s about creating your own toolbox to cope well and create success.
Trendy Wendy’s: We love a trend, we love to see what the fuss is about, try to fit in, we love the sense of community that we’re all in similar boats. But trends can get us hyper focused on what everyone else is doing, rather than what we want to be doing. If this isn’t for you, don’t force it to be because everyone’s seemingly manifesting their heart’s desires, it only adds unnecessary pressure and we don’t need anymore of that!