The Beginner’s Guide to the Art of Manifestation

manifesting reality

Last Updated on May 8, 2024

Manifestation seems to be the latest craze, but does it actually work? Can you really improve your life just by wanting it enough? Let’s explain what manifestation is and how you can use it to improve your life.

What is Manifestation?

Manifestation has been around since the 19th-century New Thought movement. The idea is that your thoughts can influence the world, and the power of positive thinking can solve your problems. It sounds, on the face of it, like wishful thinking. But if that were all there was to it, “The Secret” would never have sold upwards of 30 million copies worldwide, and social media wouldn’t be packed with videos on how to manifest the things you really want in life. 

In truth, manifestation is a self-help exercise, not a magic spell. It doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s okay, but it does work for those who know how to do it. Basically, you focus your thoughts on your desired outcome, using meditation, visualizations, and mindfulness to make your desires into a reality. Whether or not you believe in some mystical law of attraction, focusing on what you want in life helps align your actions with your desires. It’s a way of drilling down hard on a goal or a vision for the future.

How do you Manifest?

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The first step, of course, is deciding what you want to manifest. Focus on what you want in life, and be very specific about what you want. Sitting around hoping for “a new job” is closer to praying than manifesting. Focus on one manifestation at a time and be detailed about what you want. So, instead of “a new job,” try asking for “a new job in SQL development in Austin.” Then, outline exactly how you envision the details of that job. Maybe you want to work from home, shoot for a higher salary, or have the potential for rapid growth. Whatever your desire, make sure you know exactly what you want and write it down very specifically. 

Some people like to manifest at a specific time, such as the dark of the moon. Some people write their manifestation down daily or say it as a mantra at a specific time, such as while brushing their teeth. One method is to write your desire 33 times for three days. Your exact script matters less than following one that feels right for you.

Manifestation is often connected with spirituality and mysticism but not with any particular religion. The fundamental belief is that generating positive energy will attract positive energy and events. Even daydreaming about good things instead of worrying about bad ones is a form of manifesting. Turning your worries into good daydreams consciously can also help with anxiety and intrusive thoughts.

Doing the Work

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Are you thinking about your dream job, finding the love of your life, or bringing other dreams to fruition? Manifesting requires that you align your actions, too. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.

In other words, manifesting isn’t some magical way to make things happen; it’s a way to align energy so the thing you want is more likely to happen. You still have to hit the job boards and send out applications. You must go on dates if you’re trying to manifest a new partner.

You have to do the mundane side of things as well. The idea is that manifesting will help get “luck” on your side. For example, it will help have your resume land on the recruiter’s desk when they’re having a good day rather than a bad one.

The biggest reason manifesting “doesn’t work” is because somebody thinks they can just write things down and they will happen. You have to prove to the universe that you want the thing. And sometimes the universe will give you something that isn’t quite what you wanted but turns out to be better. For example, if you are trying to manifest a promotion at work, you might instead attract a call from a recruiter with a much better option elsewhere.

Also, remember that manifesting takes time. You aren’t going to necessarily meet somebody tomorrow or get a new job this month. You need to be patient and hold your focus. One of the ways manifestation helps is it keeps that focus on the thing you want.

Express Your Gratitude

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When you do receive what you want, hold it in your mind. Oprah suggests creating a gratitude journal where you write down everything you are grateful for and anything that fits what you try to manifest at the end of each day. This might be someone telling you about an opportunity, or it might be that the neighbor’s dog bounced up to you with a waggy tail on the street and cheered you up.

One side effect of always expressing gratitude is that it will improve your mental health. In fact, if you are feeling down, it’s not a bad idea to reread some random pages of your gratitude journal to remind you that things aren’t always that bad. It helps with negative self-talk, too.

Some Thoughts on Things to Manifest

You don’t have to manifest something huge. Yes, you may be trying to manifest a new job, romantic relationship, or dream vacation. But those aren’t the only things you can manifest. Maybe you are tired of not having the confidence to go for things. Or you have a lousy relationship with your father that you aren’t sure how to fix.

You could even manifest reservations at a hard-to-get-into restaurant on Valentine’s Day for you and your partner. Manifesting travel can be particularly valuable because being specific about what you want can be just what you need to work out what you want to do.

In some ways, it’s a good idea to start with something small and “easy” so you can get a feel for how it all works and have a higher chance of quicker success.

One thing you should never do is manifest something that harms another person. Don’t try to manifest your annoying aunt falling down the stairs or stealing someone else’s romantic partner. Manifesting negative energy defeats the point and will bring negative energy (and thus bad things) down on you. Instead, always manifest something you want and need in your life. Remember to do the real work and focus on what you want. If you do that, manifesting can help you improve your life and attitude.

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