So what does it mean to manifest something? In this post, I answer that question, plus give you some tips and tricks to start manifesting your best life today!
Where did you first hear about the practice of manifestation?
You may have read about it while scrolling through Instagram, or maybe you saw a manifestation quote on your Pinterest feed that resonated with you. Maybe it was referred to in a book or article, or a friend mentioned that they’ve been practicing it with incredible results.
Usually, when one discovers manifestation, it isn’t because they’re actively looking for answers or a solution to help guide them in their lives; it’s because somehow, in some way, manifestation finds them.
My discovery came through a pull I felt in my heart that just wouldn’t go away.
Years ago, in high school, I remember a friend’s mom was reading The Secret. I have vague memories of this parent talking it up excitedly, and I listened with mild curiosity, but when I left that day and shut the door behind me, I left the memory of the book behind, too.
And then one winter, over a decade later, it came back to me.
I didn’t read about it in an article or social media post. None of my friends or family members had read it, at least not that they had spoken about. There were no mentions of this book anywhere in my current life.
There was just that one single memory of my friend’s mom in high school, someone I hadn’t seen in ten years.
It started out as a random thought I had in the middle of a normal day, but then it kept coming back over and over again. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I knew I needed to read that book.
So I purchased it, and I decided to read one chapter every morning as part of my daily routine. The funny thing was, I really didn’t even know what it was about. I had a fuzzy understanding that it had something to do with the concept that what you put out into the world is what you get back, but that was the extent of my understanding.
So little by little, one chapter at a time, I started reading this book. And while I’d love to say that it was a glorious and amazing experience, it wasn’t. At least, not always. You see, I’ve been a perfectionist my entire life, and when I discovered the concepts in this book, a feeling of dread overcame me.
If what this book said was true, I realized, then I’d been doing everything wrong my entire life. Clearly, I was attracting horrible stuff to me. How could I be living life wrong for so long? (Okay, I may have been a tad overdramatic. I’ve since learned that I never once lived life wrong. I’ve needed every single bump and fork in the road to get me to where I am today. I have always been exactly where I’m meant to be.)
The other part that I had a hard time with was the idea that I needed to have positive thoughts all the time. I loved this idea, but again, my inner perfectionist took it too far. I thought it meant I could only have positive thoughts 100% of the time and that a single negative thought would attract more negativity. I believed I needed to suppress any bad emotions deep inside. It turns out, this wasn’t true either, but I’ll talk more about that below.
The Secret didn’t teach me everything I needed to know about manifestation, but it introduced me to the concept. And afterwards, I was guided to other teachers who offered new viewpoints, perspectives, and teachings. But the greatest teacher has been my own life experiences. The more I believe in my own power to create anything I desire, the more it plays out in my daily life.
But first: what exactly is manifestation?
What is Manifestation?
So what does it mean to manifest something?
To manifest something means to visualize your dreams and desires and to vibrate at the frequency of your desires as if they’ve already come true.
So if you dream of finding a romantic partner, and you imagine that a romantic partner will make you feel loved, cherished, and adored, you wouldn’t wait until a romantic partner enters your life to feel those positive emotions; you’d choose to feel loved, cherished, and adored right now.
Like attracts like, so when you choose to feel these positive emotions throughout your day, you’ll attract more of this to you.
So if you want to attract abundance, become the embodiment of abundance right now.
This is, in essence, what manifestation and the Law of Attraction is:
What you think, you become.
What you put out, you get back.
You may have heard the phrase, “Thoughts become things.” And while this is partially true, it’s incomplete. The truth is, feelings become things. So if your positive thoughts cause you to vibrate positivity, you’ll attract more of that positivity to you. These go hand-in-hand, though, because it’s hard to have a positive thought and a negative feeling, and vice versa.
Now that you know the basics of manifestation, below I’ll go a little more in depth about how to manifest your desires.
Ask, Believe, Receive
The “recipe” for manifestation that’s often cited and followed is this: Ask. Believe. Receive. Here’s how it’s broken down:
In order to manifest something, you must know what you want. How do you get clear about what you want? Journaling is a powerful way to get in touch with your inner self so you can discover what you truly desire. Visualization is another powerful tool in your manifestation arsenal. Sit in calm and peaceful silence, and take some time to visualize your desires. See yourself walking through a day in your dream life. Feel all the positive emotions, and see all the little details that fill your heart with joy. When you’re done with your visualization, let it go. Release it to a higher power, and trust your path. That’s essentially how you fulfill the “ask” part of manifestation, but you can also ask through prayer or speaking/writing to a higher power.
One powerful way to ask is to visualize or state your desire, and then say, “And so it is.” By saying this, you’re saying that your manifestation is already coming true, and you’re able to let it go in faith, confidence, and trust.
After you’ve let go of your desire and released it to the universe, step back. Take a deep breath. Then smile, knowing all of your dreams are coming true. This step can be tricky because we often either over-complicate or oversimplify what it means. We over-complicate it by getting restless and impatient. We think our dreams haven’t been heard, so we ask and ask again. But asking over and over again shows a lack of belief, and it usually comes with some negative feelings within that can attract more negative experiences.
But this step can also be oversimplified. Believe doesn’t mean sit around and do nothing. It means listening to your inner knowing and taking inspired action when your intuition calls you in a certain direction. This can be scary, but when you have trust in your path, you know in your heart that all will work out exactly as it’s meant to.
Again, this step can be both oversimplified and over-complicated. Technically, in this step, you don’t actually have to do anything except receive your desire. Which is pretty amazing, right? Except we often get in the way of our own receiving due to our deeply ingrained limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs might be a fear of success or a fear of failure. Due to these limiting beliefs, self-sabotage can be common until you’ve done the deep inner work to heal the root of what’s stopping you from receiving what you deserve. (Another limiting belief? That you aren’t worthy or deserving of your dreams. Which is always, always untrue.)
My Manifestation Formula
My manifestation formula is similar to the Ask, Believe, Receive combination I discussed above, but I try to break down what you should be doing during each part a little clearer:
Set an intention. Believe in yourself. Raise your vibrations. Listen to your intuition. Take inspired action. Trust.
Here’s a quick run-through of my manifestation formula:
Set An Intention
An intention is the desired outcome you wish to materialize in your physical reality. There are no rules for intentions. They can be big or small. They can be realistic or far-reaching. And they can be concrete or abstract. The only thing that matters is that they exist.
Sometimes, your intention might be for a specific concrete object like a new car or house. You might set an intention to find true love. Your intention might be set on your dream job or opportunities for travel. Maybe you want to positively touch the lives of one million people. Maybe you want to make one person’s day every day.
Know that intentions are put in your heart for a reason, and it’s your right to follow those intentions as far as they will lead you.
Believe in Yourself
This could arguably be the first step in manifesting anything you want in your life, but truthfully, self-belief doesn’t have a starting or ending point. It’ll carry you through the entire process. When it comes to creating the life you desire, it’s important that you feel able and worthy of your dreams coming true. But I promise, if you find that you don’t feel 100% able and worthy all the time, it’s okay; you don’t have to be stuck where you are forever. With a little bit of conscious effort and little steps every day, you can cultivate this inner self-belief until it becomes so ingrained within you, you can’t imagine ever feeling unworthy again.
Raise Your Vibrations
Manifestation means to vibrate at the frequency of your desires as if your dreams have already come true.
When you visualize, you see your perfect dream life right in front of you. And you also feel the positive feelings associated with that dream life.
But it doesn’t stop there: you can then carry all of those positive feelings with you throughout the day.
To manifest love, embody the feeling of being unconditionally loved. Feel joyful, grateful, supported, protected, and peaceful. Feel it now. The more of this positive energy you put out into the universe, the more it’s returned to you.
To manifest financial prosperity, discover the feeling of being financially prosperous within. If you associate financial prosperity with the feeling of freedom, allow yourself to feel free now. Today. And keep returning to that feeling as much as possible.
Another way this is often phrased is, “Live as if.”
Live as if you’ve already connected with the love of your life. Live as if you’ve already received financial prosperity. Live as if you have the dream car, the dream house, the dream wardrobe. All of it. Live as if you’re living the life of your dreams, and slowly, you’ll discover the life of your dreams is already yours.
Listen to Your Intuition
What is your intuition?
It’s that feeling deep within when you know something is or isn’t right. It’s that voice that tells you to send that email, pick up that book, or talk to that stranger in the coffee shop. It’s a gentle nudge from the universe that comes in the forms of feelings, images, sounds, and thoughts.
Many people write off manifestation and the Law of Attraction because they believe it’s simply pasting images to a vision board and hoping really hard it all comes true. But that’s not it. That’s why this step and the next are so important.
Everything you put on that vision board can come true, but you must learn to trust your intuition to guide you. That’s where this can get tricky. Because sometimes, your intuition can tell you to do things that seemingly make no sense. Like when I followed my intuition to quit my well-paying job to become a full-time writer, even though I had zero prospects and no idea how I’d keep paying the rent. But I trusted my inner knowing, and my dreams have manifested (and are still manifesting) in ways I never imagined.
Following your intuition requires trust. Trust the universe. Trust your inner knowing. Trust that you have all that you need inside you.
Take Inspired Action
You’ve set your intention. You’ve cultivated self-belief. You’ve vibrated at the frequency of your desires. And you’ve allowed your inner knowing to speak to you.
Now, it’s time to act.
Inspired action is the action you take based on your intuition.
This part can be exciting and exhilarating. And it can also be really, really scary.
This is when you walk into your boss’ office and tell her that you’re giving your notice.
Or when you turn down that job with the high pay that doesn’t feel right for a chance at something better.
This is when you set up your profile on that dating app.
This is when you approach that really successful person in your field and ask them to be your mentor.
And most of all, this is when you say “yes” to an opportunity that puts you out of your comfort zone.
Even though you may feel nervous about performing this action, you don’t question it. You know you’re doing the right thing because of the way it feels.
When your intuition is nudging at you, listen. Follow it. And then act on it. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you stop insisting things have to be done your way and open yourself up to the Universe’s plans for you.
This is another step that really encompasses the whole journey from beginning to end. Manifestation takes trust. You can’t manifest something into your experience without trusting that it’s coming to you. Otherwise, it’s likely you’ll give up before you’ve really even started.
Trust that everything is working out for you.
Trust that the universe has your back.
And trust yourself.
You are capable of so much more than you realize.
Is My Manifestation Working?
I like to think that when your manifestation is working, you know it deep inside. One of the signs your manifestation is working is a sense of deep inner peace. There’s a moment when everything just clicks, and you’re able to step back and surrender control, knowing that everything is working out for you.
You may also experience signs and synchronicities along your journey. Signs and synchronicities are signs of alignment. For instance, you may repeatedly see the same number pattern over and over again. A book may fall off the bookshelf in front of you. Someone you were just thinking about calls you. You start to find money on the ground.
If you’re not seeing any signs, you can also ask for a sign. One way to do this is to say, “Dear Universe, please send me a clear, gentle, loving sign that I’m on the right path and my manifestation is on its way.”
Finally, one last sign that your manifestation is working that may seem a little weird is that everything suddenly seems to get . . . worse. Now I know, it’s nobody’s favorite thing to hear. I’ve manifested love, abundance, and my dream job, and I experienced heartbreak, pennies in my bank account, and failure all before things turned around. So if you feel in your bones that you’re on the right path, and things suddenly take a turn for the worse, don’t panic and turn back. Don’t give up and decide manifestation just doesn’t work for you.
Keep going just a little bit further. You’re almost at the top of the hill, and everything you’ve been dreaming about is on the other side.
- Related: 5 Times I Experienced Signs and Synchronicities (Plus 12 Common Signs of Alignment for You)
- You Might Also Like: Manifestation Not Working? 6 Essential Reasons Why (And How to Fix It)
Tips & Tricks for Manifestation
Gratitude is the highest vibration you can offer. Whenever you find yourself sliding back into negative thought patterns, take a deep breath and think about all that you have to be grateful for. Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, focus on what’s going right. This will lift your vibrations and help you to cultivate a feeling of deep inner peace.
A magical sentence that I’ve discovered time and time again to be true is this: the more you feel grateful, the more positive things you attract into your life to be grateful for.
Release the “How”
I had a hard time with this one for a long time. I had dreams and visions, but I believed I knew the only path that would get me to what I wanted. I didn’t trust there could be other paths that I just didn’t see yet. The truth is, the how doesn’t really matter. The Universe will figure out the how, and it’s often in unexpected and surprising ways. Your job is simply to listen to your intuition and follow it when you feel that inner nudge telling you where to go next.
Live “As If”
I mentioned this above, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Live as if your dreams have already come true. Live as if everything you desire is already yours. Live as if you are everything you want to be and more.
Give to Receive
Do you want to manifest love? Give love to others. (And yourself.)
Do you want financial prosperity? Donate and give money when you feel called to.
Do you want unconditional happiness? Give your smile freely to others. Make someone’s day. Be a light in someone else’s world.
Everything you put out in the world is what you get back. Know that what you give will come back to you, often in miraculous and extraordinary ways.
Common Misconceptions About Manifestation
That It’s All About Looking at a Vision Board
Not true. It takes positive vibrations, trust, self-belief, following your intuition, and taking inspired action. The vision board can be an awesome tool for helping you to visualize your dreams and lifting your vibrations, but there’s more to manifestation than simply staring at pictures.
That You Can’t Have a Single Negative Thought
This was my misconception after I read The Secret. I thought ALL negative thoughts would do me in. Again, not true. Suppressing negative emotions isn’t healthy, and it will only keep that negative energy inside you. In order to release it, you must let yourself feel it. Don’t fall into the trap of toxic positivity.
That It’s Hard
Manifestation can feel hard sometimes, but that’s usually when you’re impatient or don’t really trust that you can actually create your own reality. At the heart of manifestation is living a joyful life, focusing on gratitude, and aligning with your highest and truest self. And when you know that your manifestation is coming, it doesn’t feel hard; you feel truly peaceful. So don’t give up on manifestation if people tell you it’s hard. Instead, go into it with the mindset that it can be easy, joyful, and fun.
Further Reading and Resources
If you want to learn more about resources that can help you with manifestation, check out these blog posts:
- 10 Must-Read Books for Manifestation
- 12 Manifestation Journals to Raise Your Vibrations
- 11 Powerful Crystals for Manifestation
- 65 Positive Affirmations for Manifestation
- 10 Journal Prompts to Manifest Your Dream Life
And here are some helpful articles from other sites:
- “What it Means to Be a Super Attractor” – gabbybernstein.com
- “The Do’s and Don’ts of Manifesting” – gabbybernstein.com
- “7 Things to Do When Waiting for Your Stuff to Manifest” – sarahprout.com
- “Neville Goddard’s Manifestation Technique” – lizinlotus.com
- “Manifesting 101: Mastering the Art of Getting What You Want” – drwaynedyer.com
Do you still have questions about manifestation? Have you ever had success manifesting anything into your reality? Leave a note in the comments below!