Whether you believe in spiritual enlightenment and the intangible or stick firmly cemented in things, you can prove — you probably have an opinion on the aspirational trend of manifestation. Some people think it’s woo-woo, and others don’t start their day without. Or maybe you aren’t quite sure what it even means.
You may be surprised to learn that all of you are manifesting things every single day without realizing it. In many cases, we are manifesting things that are counterproductive until we focus our energy on embracing the power of manifestation.
Do you think the idea that you can wish something into existence is bonkers? I would like to invite the ‘because science’ crowd to step down from their soapboxes and acknowledge that most of the science we rely on is paid for by invested parties and conducted by paid-off scientists.
I believe that science has a purpose, but I also know its limitations, and I am honest enough with myself to admit both.
What Is Manifestation?
Manifestation is a method of aspirational thought that some believe has the power to transform circumstances and change lives. Believers in the methodology use manifestation to achieve their goals, covering everything from making more money to buying their dream home.
Manifestation is about controlling your thoughts, specifically about limiting negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts. Whether the intended outcome is produced by a spiritual connection to the universe or an influx of self-confidence, it doesn’t matter if it is working. Any tool that encourages success should be embraced.
But manifestation is about more than positive thinking. It is about building a connection with the universe — getting clear about what you want and asking for it. It is about bringing mindfulness to everyday activities and practicing gratitude. But most of all, it is about dealing with your emotions instead of repressing them and being intentional about what beliefs you choose to have.
Related: The Science Behind Our Emotions
Our thoughts are always present, so when we are not actively trying to manifest and direct that energy, our minds perseverate on trauma. We end up manifesting much darker energy. We develop clinical depression and anxiety disorders and claim to not know the causes. But if we are honest with ourselves, the cause is always an unhealthy emotional expression.
How Ordinary People Manifest
If you are not familiar with manifestation, you might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of ways that we manifest every single day without even realizing it. If you have negative thoughts about your appearance or body when you look in the mirror, you are manifesting negative energy. And because our belief systems can be limiting, repeating these ideas in your head only gets in the way of productive change and creates chronic stress. But not all ordinary manifestations are inherently negative — it depends on the energy of the individual.
Praying (religious or non-religious)
Venting or Storytelling
More than 80% of the world’s population identify as religious or spiritual. And Christians make up the largest segment of that population — making it safe to say that a lot of people use prayer to reinforce their beliefs. Most commonly, people pray to an entity like God (Christian) to ask for direction, forgiveness, and manifestation of dreams.
Why do we accept this form of manifestation as legitimate while dismissing spiritual manifestation? It’s not because we don’t believe in miracles or in the intangible. For most of us, it is probably because it challenges our central belief systems regarding religion.
What about other forms of ordinary manifestation? Consider how many thoughts go through your mind every day. What is the percentage of positive thoughts? And negative thoughts? When you think about yourself, are those thoughts positive or negative? How about your thoughts about your life and the people in it?
The average person has more than 6,000 thoughts every day. That is certainly a significant number, and if the majority of those thoughts skew to the negative, it could be casting a shadow on how we see the world around us.
A positive outlook influences your thinking patterns. When you feel positive about yourself and those around you, you will also feel more motivated to succeed. We believe this so strongly that the trend of social-emotional learning (SEL) has revolutionized K-12 teaching curriculums. In the classroom, teachers are focusing more time on learning to process emotions and practicing kindness, and building community because these foundational skills are essential for lifelong success.
How can we believe that SEL is benefiting our future generations and not at the same time believe that our thoughts manifest our actions?
And while we are talking about the power of our thoughts — it is not just the thoughts that have power. Think about how much time you spend replaying certain experiences in your memory. If another driver cuts you off and it raises your blood pressure, you might ruminate on that two-second experience for the rest of your drive. Similarly, if you have a displeasing conversation with a coworker, it could ruin your day or your entire week.
We tend to ruminate more on displeasure events, pretending in our minds that we can change the outcome to better suit our psyche. In one way, rumination is a delay tactic that our mind uses to keep us from processing our emotions. It is also a common manifestation tactic that produces negative results.
So we try to counteract those negative thoughts by focusing on more positive outcomes. Every November, social media threads fill up with gratitude posts, and every other day some guru has a new mindfulness technique aimed at solving all of your life’s problems.
Do these things work? Quite possibly, even if only by changing the narrative in your inner dialogue. See, when you manifest (intentionally), you place your beliefs in yourself and in your connection to the universe. You actively remove limiting beliefs from your thought-space, and you generate the confidence that you need to take action. That action, in turn, produces the intended results.