The word manifesting, like the words “literally” or “gaslighting”, is often thrown around without people knowing what it really means. If you have been on social media lately, you have probably seen a post or two that have “literally” left you feeling “gaslit” by a vague sense of it being magical or mystical in some way. Did I get that right? Well, whatever your understanding, it seems to be a hot topic at the moment.
Manifesting became widely popular when the book The Secret hit the scene in 2006. Since then, inspirational figures like Gabby Bernstein, Deepak Chopra and Oprah have made it accessible and easier to understand. But it has gotten a little bit of a bad rap because we often think of it in a pseudoscientific way- just speaking your desires into existence. So, what is it? And is it real? Let’s take a closer look.
In simple terms, manifesting IS speaking something you want into existence and positive thinking is a big part of it. But this is where we lose folks. If you are thinking about it only in these simple terms, you are not really talking about manifesting. You are just making a wish. I love daydreaming as much as the next person but getting lost in my thoughts about marrying Shemar Moore in the 90s didn’t lead to our happily ever after. Phew! The same is most likely true for you and your fantasies. Manifesting is much more than a wish. It is aligning your positive thoughts, feelings and beliefs to turn your ideas into reality. It is a wonderful mashup of spiritual practices and evidence based practices. And it is not just magically going to turn your dreams into reality. You need to have the actions to back up the vision.
There is a ton of research out there that validates the power of positive thinking. This is the foundation of manifesting. These studies show us that when you believe you can do something, you are more likely to get it done. Furthermore, the studies show us that positive thinking can help improve your mental health by reducing depression, anxiety and stress. That’s a win-win situation right there!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most researched and evidence-based model in mental health treatment. Though CBT is not the same as manifesting there are similarities that help to validate the power of manifesting. CBT is all about the connection between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. We can improve your mental health by making adjustments to what you are doing and how you are thinking and this can impact how you are feeling. And often, thoughts need not be positive. Neutral thoughts or realistic thoughts can also help us feel better and more motivated. Of course, it is much more nuanced than that, but you can see how aligning your thoughts, feelings and beliefs to turn your ideas into reality is similar to this basic CBT concept. The way I approach manifesting incorporates these principles.
As a psychotherapist who has practiced for over 20 years, I wholeheartedly recommend manifesting. When I am empowering my clients to challenge their negative thoughts and reframe them, and then we create behavioral experiments to test their new thoughts, I am helping them manifest the new belief that they can overcome their social anxiety, or get past their childhood sexual trauma or reduce their depression symptoms.
So how do you manifest something into existence? Here are my 4 tips to help you manifest the life you desire:
- IDENTIFY WHAT YOU WANT Manifesting is all about self exploration and through this you can get a clear idea of what your priorities are and what is meaningful to you. Take time to explore who you are, what is missing, what you want to do and how you want to be impactful. Is this something you feel connected to or is it something society or your family is imposing on you? What are YOUR values? In the work I do with my clients, it always helps to make the therapy goals more values based. When your goals are in line with your values you will feel more motivated to work towards them. And you will be less focused on the goal and more focused on what you are getting out of the experience. This important step will help you identify what you want to achieve. In doing this you create a vision for your future.
- SET AN INTENTION An intention is a daily commitment to yourself to follow through with the actions needed to reach your goal and truly embody the life you want. By dedicating time to your intention you are strengthening your connection to your desire and bringing it more into your awareness. Make this commitment to yourself. Find a way to remind yourself everyday that this is something you want to achieve. This can be done mindfully with visualization, meditation, journaling, a vision board and more. There are lots of ways to set intentions. Heck, a good sticky note can even do the trick in a pinch!
- CREATE AN ACTION PLAN Sit down and figure out what the steps are to reach your goal. Make sure that you set goals that are achievable and realistic. SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. This is a good way to approach your manifestations too. Don’t say you are going to work out everyday in 2023. Make a realistic plan to spend 20 mins a day a few times a week doing something active so you can start to set aside time to work towards that goal. If you do not know how to start, seek a mentor or talk to a friend who has done it or find a coach that can help you.
- Embrace the challenges. As you execute your action plan you are bound to have obstacles in your way. This is where you get to choose to either learn from the experience or give up. Learn to love the challenges. This is where you grow. This is where your vision can become more clear. This is all a part of the journey.
- Celebrate the victories! No matter how small they are, I want you to take time to appreciate what you have accomplished. If you got out of bed 5 minutes earlier than you usually do, that is something to celebrate. You could have done the same old thing. Tough love is a sham! It feels motivating in the short-term but later on you internalize the negative messages. Cheer yourself on every step of the way and see how much more energized motivated you will feel.
- REVIEW WHAT’S WORKING What’s been helpful? What is not doing it for you anymore? Is this still what I want? Is it good for me? Don’t be afraid to tweek the plan. It’s ok to revise it. This is your life. You get a say in it and you get to decide if this is the path you want to be on. As long as you are an active participant in what you are doing, and not on auto pilot, you are the expert here. Trust yourself to make choices. And be open to what IS instead of trying to control your manifestation. You may be so focused on getting the thing you want that you miss out on something even better!
Are you ready to unlock your inner magic and manifest something wonderful? Join me for 6-week coaching program. We will explore the science behind manifesting, tapping into your spiritual side, interfering beliefs, identifying a goal, setting an intention, creating an action plan, reviewing the progress, being open to changes and opportunities and so much more. To learn all about how you can start manifesting the life you want CLICK HERE!