manifestation not working

Manifestation Not Working? Here’s Why (& How to Fix It)

What do you do when you feel like you’ve done everything right, yet your desires still aren’t manifesting in your reality? In this article, discover the six major factors behind your manifestation not working, plus I offer some powerful tips and journal prompts that will help you release blockages to your desired manifestation today.

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Pin this! Manifestation Not Working? 6 Essential Reasons Why (And How to Fix It)

You Are Worthy

I often hesitate before writing these types of blog posts. Why? Because I don’t want to write something that reads like a top-10 list of everything you’re doing wrong in life. I don’t want you to read this and think that you’ve failed in any capacity or that you’ve taken a single wrong step in your journey. My goal is always to motivate, encourage, and inspire, and I don’t want to spark a single bad feeling inside you.

I want to write this blog post because I feel called to do it and I think it could be really helpful if you’re feeling lost or stuck in your manifestation journey, but I want to preface it with these words first:

You have not done a single thing wrong, and you have certainly not failed. Even if your manifestations don’t seem to be working. Even if you’re not receiving any signs or synchronicities from the Universe. Even if you feel utterly lost and unsure where to go next.

You. Have. Not. Failed.

This is all part of your journey. This moment, right now, wherever you are, is exactly as it’s supposed to be.

Mistakes are a gift. We have to make them in order to grow and learn from our experiences. We have to experience the downs to appreciate the ups even more.

Life is messy. Being a human is messy.

And in the messiness, there is divine beauty.

So wherever you are right now, embrace it. Love this moment. The Universe didn’t guide you to this blog post because it wanted to show you everything you’re doing wrong.

The Universe guided you to this post because it loves you deeply, wholly, and unconditionally, and it’s wrapping its loving arms around you and showing you that you are treasured, cherished, and adored. And, I’m guessing, it also wants you to stop being so hard on yourself.

So as we go through the bullet points below, please, please don’t read any of it and view it as proof of failure. Don’t berate yourself and think, “How stupid could I be? Why have I been doing this wrong the whole time?

Instead, think this:

I’ve been on a journey that’s been filled with ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m grateful for each lesson I’ve learned because it’s helped me to grow stronger and more resilient. I release all self-judgment and self-criticism, and I choose self-love. I am so unbelievably grateful that the Universe guides me to the people and resources to support my journey. This is exactly where I am meant to be, and my life just keeps getting better every day. All is really well.

Got it?

Then let’s begin!

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Manifestation Not Working?

If you’re reading this right now, I’m guessing you already know about manifestation and the Law of Attraction, so I’m going to skip the intro and dive straight into the good stuff: why isn’t your manifestation working?

There’s a list of reasons why your desires may not be manifesting in your experience immediately, and luckily, you already have everything you need within you to get yourself back on track.

I was going to write that I’ve been guilty of pretty much every single thing I’ve listed below at some point or another, but I think guilty is a pretty strong word. Because guilty connotes that I did something inherently wrong, and trust me when I say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you find that any of the items below ring true for you.

This is a journey. We have to go through the hard stuff to get to the good stuff. The lessons you learn along the way make you wiser, and ultimately, it’s going to make your future manifestations even easier.

Because we often learn best by doing, right?

So have compassion for yourself. You’re not guilty of anything. I’m just here to help you get realigned so you can unleash the incredible manifesting power you have within.

Below, I’ve listed six reasons why your manifestation may not be working. I’ve also included introspective questions/journal prompts that will help you release any blockages to receiving your desired manifestation, plus tips and exercises you can use to get past whatever hurdle may be blocking your desires from being received.

And I know you’re probably annoyed with me saying this by now, but I’m going to keep saying it over and over because it’s so important: if you find any of these reasons might be why your desired manifestations aren’t coming true, don’t waste a single moment dwelling in negative energy.

Simply thank the Universe for showing you what you need, say a few uplifting affirmations, remind yourself how awesome you are, and make a plan for how you’re going to shift your mindset going forward.

I believe in you. Wholeheartedly. Unequivocally. Without a single doubt.

You got this.

Reason #1: Not Listening to Your Inner Knowing

I have a lot of history with this particular reason for why my manifestations weren’t working, and I think this might be one of the hardest ones on this list.


Because sometimes, your intuition tells you to do some really out-there, seemingly crazy, out-of-your-comfort-zone things.

Like when my intuition told me to leave my steady job in the quaint town I lived in where I was pretty happy to move to a different state, where I’d have to find a new job and a new place to live, and I had zero guarantees of happiness.

Or when my inner knowing nipped at the edges of my mind for months, telling me to leave one of the best jobs I’ve ever had (that paid me the most money I ever made) to dedicate myself full-time to my writing career (which, at the time, was less of a career and more of a distant daydream) where I was going to be making $0 starting out.

In both of those situations, it took me a long time to finally listen to my inner knowing and take that next step. And that’s okay. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty normal. Why? Because we’re human, and listening to our hearts over our logical minds doesn’t always come easy.

Sometimes, you have to sit in the uncertainty for a while before you can move forward. For me, it took months of sitting in that uncomfortable comfort zone before I finally took a leap. For you, it might take less time, or more.

And that’s okay. Like I said, we’re all human. I think it’s more than okay to question that little voice in your head and make sure this is truly the next right step for you.

The important thing isn’t how long it takes. The important thing is that ultimately, you do listen.

Because you know so much more than you think you do, and you owe it to yourself to live the life you know you’re meant to live.

You deserve to live the truest, most authentic, most beautiful life you can imagine.

You deserve a life of unconditional joy, love, peace, prosperity, and abundance of all good things.

You deserve to be truly, truly happy.

You just have to take that first step.

And that first step often entails following your inner knowing, even if it’s taking you somewhere that doesn’t seem to make sense. Just follow it. You can take that first step and still be afraid; that’s okay. My first steps are usually more tentative and shaky than confident and steady.

But you owe it to yourself. You owe it to yourself to create the life you truly love, and that’s going to take some trust and faith. Just know this: the first step is always the hardest. But the more you do this, the easier (and more fun) it gets. I promise.

Learn How to Trust Your Inner Knowing

So how exactly do you start trusting your intuition for these really big things in life?

I learned that in order to trust my inner knowing for the big things, I had to start with the little things.

Start with a normal day when you don’t have anything out-of-the-ordinary scheduled. Set an intention to follow your intuition throughout the day.

When I started this practice, I’d start with my morning runs. As I’d run around the neighborhood streets and sidewalks, I released expectations of my route and let my inner knowing guide me on my route. My intuition told me whether I should turn or go straight or even slow down.

And most of the time, nothing happened. Which was kind of the point. I wasn’t following my intuition on those runs in order for something to happen. I was simply honing my intuition so that when the day came that I did need to listen to it, I’d be ready.

And that day came.

One day, I was running around a neighborhood several blocks from my own when I felt a tug in my heart telling me to stop running. I didn’t know where it came from, but because I’d been doing this practice for a while, I didn’t question it. I listened and stopped.

About three seconds later, a car pulled out from the driveway directly in front of me. The car was obscured by a treeline, so I wouldn’t have seen them and they wouldn’t have seen me. If I had kept going, it would’ve hit me.

I encourage you to find small moments where you can hone your intuition. Maybe when you’re at the grocery store, instead of going aisle by aisle, you can let your inner knowing guide you through the store. And remember, nothing actually has to happen for it to work.

You’re simply sharpening your skills and learning how to trust your intuition for the little things so that you’ll trust it more for the big things.

Journal Prompts

Below, I’ve listed 8 journal prompts to help you work through your doubts and uncertainties. If you don’t want to write down your answers, I’d recommend finding a quiet and safe space where you can have a conversation with yourself as you work through these questions.

  • What is my inner knowing telling me to do?
  • What’s stopping me from taking that next step?
  • What’s the worst thing that can happen if it doesn’t work out?
  • What’s the best thing that can happen if it does work out?
  • Is the worst thing that can happen worse than living the rest of my life always wondering what could’ve happened?
  • How do I feel in my comfort zone? Is it truly comfortable, or is it a discomfort zone?
  • What’s one kind thing I could do for myself to make it easier to take the next step?
  • What could I ask of the Universe that would help me in this moment? (For instance, you could ask the Universe to send you a sign or message.)

Reason #2: Lack of Trust

This one kind of piggybacks off reason #1, but it’s different in many ways.

Lack of trust can come in all kinds of forms.

Lack of trust can be not following your intuition, like I talked about up above.

Lack of trust can be not truly believing that any of your desired manifestations are going to work out for you.

Lack of trust can be taking unnecessary steps to try to control the outcome instead of surrendering to the Universe’s plan.

Lack of trust can also be constantly asking the Universe for signs because you’ve let anxiety and stress take over, and you need constant reassurance that everything will be okay.

Now, I want to make a couple things very clear:

Trusting the Universe, especially at the beginning, can be really, really hard.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you’ve had a difficult time releasing your worries to embrace more trust.

Your personal relationship with the Universe (or God, Source, All That Is, the Divine, or any name you prefer to use) does not grow to its fullest potential in a single day. It’s a journey. And your spiritual journey is unique and belongs solely to you, so don’t compare yourself to where other people are on their respective journeys. Just focus on your own.

How do you know if a lack of trust might be blocking you from receiving your manifestations? Consider these questions:

  • Do you listen to your inner knowing, even when there are no guarantees of positive results?
  • Are you able to surrender to the Universe, or do you try to control every situation and outcome in your life?
  • Do you feel anxious and worried when you think about the future?
  • Do you do anything that doesn’t align with your inner knowing, but you feel is the “logical” thing to do?

Whatever your answers are, don’t be hard on yourself. Nobody ever said trust was easy. And if they did, they’re wrong.

There’s also a strong possibility that it isn’t the Universe you don’t trust; it’s yourself.

This can be especially true if you’re not aligned with your inner knowing, as discussed in Reason #1.

Maybe you also stepped outside your comfort zone in the past and seemingly failed, so now you’re scared to do it again.

Below, I give you some tips plus journal prompts that will help you to cultivate more trust with the Universe (and with yourself).

Learn How to Cultivate Trust

The first thing I want you to do is to think about all the times everything did work out for you. This is part of one of the journal prompts below, but I think it’s especially important to begin with. What are some past experiences when the Universe showed up for you and gave you everything you needed? Describe the times when you stepped out of your comfort zone and succeeded (and possibly even thrived).

Immerse yourself in all of the incredible experiences when you could trust yourself and the Universe.

Now, if you’ve never asked for a sign before from the Universe, this is the perfect time to do so. Take a few deep breaths and put your hand on your heart. Then say, “Dear Universe, please send me a gentle and loving sign of alignment that I’m on the right path and my manifestation is on its way.

(You can, of course, substitute the word “Universe” for your preferred term for a higher power. You can also be more specific about what your desired manifestation is, if you wish.)

After you’ve asked for your sign, release it, and be on the lookout for signs and synchronicities that answer your request. For more on signs and synchronicities, check out my blog post here.

As I alluded to above, asking for too many signs all the time can be an indicator of your distrust, so I’d recommend only asking for a sign when you truly need it.

Journal Prompts

  • How would I describe my relationship with the Universe right now?
  • What blocks and/or barriers are preventing me from trusting the Universe?
  • What do I need to release in order to cultivate more trust?
  • What are some past experiences I’ve had where the Universe showed up for me and provided me with everything I needed?
  • What could I ask of the Universe that would help me to release what no longer serves me so I can embrace more trust?
scripting journal

Reason #3: Scarcity Mindset

If your desired manifestation isn’t working, that doesn’t mean you’re not manifesting anything into your experience. In fact, you’re actively manifesting new people, places, things, and experiences every single day.

Look around you. You’ve created all of this.

Your entire life is a result of your own manifestations.

Manifestation doesn’t just happen when it’s intentional. Manifestation happens all the time. That means whatever you’re putting out into the world, you’re getting back (whether you mean to or not).

That’s why it’s important to understand what the scarcity mindset is and why it may play a key role in preventing your desired manifestations from coming true.

A scarcity mindset is when you’re continually focusing on the absence of your desired manifestation.

Let’s say you want to manifest money. To be even more specific, let’s say you want to manifest $1,000 within the next week. You’re doing everything right: you set an intention, visualize your manifestation coming true, cultivate self-belief, and take inspired action.

But every day that passes that you don’t have that extra $1,000 in your hands, your heart sinks a little more. You check your bank account every morning and all you see is the lack of that $1,000 in your account. You become obsessed with the idea that you don’t have that $1,000 yet.

This is a scarcity mindset. And it may very well be hindering your manifestations, because every time you think about not having that $1,000, you project lack, scarcity, and absence out into the world.

And because that’s what you’re projecting, that’s what you’re getting in return.

More lack.

More scarcity.

More absence.

So what do you do? How do you release the scarcity mindset?

You have to learn how to surrender and let go.

The truth is, in manifestation, you don’t actually have to do a whole lot. Ask. Believe. Receive. That’s it. But as humans, we tend to overcomplicate things. It’s hard for us to just sit back and trust that good things are going to happen for us. So we try to get involved, and by getting involved, we often get in our own way.

In order to release the scarcity mindset, you need to stop getting in your own way.

That means stop looking for proof of the absence of your desired manifestations, and instead, just relax and be. And if you need to do something, then the best active thing you can do to help yourself is to focus on abundance.

When you check your bank account, focus not on that lack of $1,000, but instead on the abundance of money you have (and that’s coming your way).

Focus on an abundance of love. Of peace. Of gratitude. Of kindness. Of compassion. Of freedom. Of creativity. Of passion. Of prosperity. Of positivity.

When you focus on scarcity, you project scarcity into the world.

But when you focus on abundance, you project more abundance.

And what you project is what you receive. Every. Single. Time.

How to Release the Scarcity Mindset

Visualization is my favorite tool for releasing the scarcity mindset and cultivating an abundance mindset.

A few times a week, commit to a visualization practice for at least ten minutes a day. During those ten minutes, close your eyes in a quiet, safe place, and visualize what abundance looks like to you. See yourself living your most abundant life, and feel the good feelings associated with that visualization. And remember, abundance isn’t solely tied to money. This can also be an abundance of love, peace, freedom, creativity, and anything else that feels good to you.

If you’d prefer, you can also write these visualizations down. (Just remember to use the present tense. For instance, instead of, “I will be living my most abundant life,” you’d say, “I am living my most abundant life.“)

Journal Prompts

  • What feelings, emotions, thoughts, and vibrations do I project out into the world on a daily basis?
  • What am I projecting right now?
  • Are there any situations in my life right now where I tend to have a scarcity mindset?
  • How can I flip my scarcity mindset into an abundance mindset?
  • How can the Universe support me right now?

Reason #4: You Haven’t Let it Go

I don’t want to repeat too much of what I just wrote above, but this kind of goes hand-in-hand with what I just wrote.

Ask. Believe. Receive.

Those are the three most essential, foundational components of manifestation.

But we tend to be impatient creatures, so often, our intended manifestations go more like this:

Ask. Believe. Get impatient. Ask again. Ask some more. Okay, I’m really going to believe this time. Wait. Nothing’s happening. Ask once more. And maybe again, in case I wasn’t heard the last time.

Know that when I write this, I’m not attacking or accusing you. Mostly, I’m lovingly teasing myself, because this is often how my desired manifestations have gone in the past.

The active part of your manifestation is in the asking. After that, you just get to sit back, chill, feel really good, live a beautiful and abundant life, focus on your own joy, and let the Universe do the heavy lifting.

The problem arises when we continually ask and ask again.

I like to imagine that my dream is this beautiful, bright light that I release into the stars; it drifts away into the bright, starry sky until I can no longer see it. That’s what it means to let it go.

But when I continually ask and ask again, I’m not giving my dream any time to float away from me. I’m holding onto it, not surrendering this vision to the Universe.

To be clear, you don’t need to stop visualizing your dreams. Visualization is a wonderful way to lift your vibrations and feel the positive emotions of your intended emotion. And if you have a vision board, I definitely encourage you to keep looking at it as a way to lift your vibrations.

But you don’t need to keep asking for your desire to come true. The Universe has already heard you. It’s working behind the scenes, bringing everything together in extraordinary ways.

So once you’ve asked, let it go. Trust. Release control, and know that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

How to Release Your Dreams to the Universe

For me, the best way to release my dream, surrender, and let go is to visualize the dream physically leaving my body and floating away until I can no longer see it.

You can imagine that your dream is a bright ball of light. Or maybe it’s a brightly colored balloon. Maybe it takes the shape of a beautiful bird. There’s no wrong answer here, so find something that feels right to you.

Now, you’re going to release your desire into the universe just once. You can softly whisper your desire if you wish. Then imagine this desire slowly floating or flying away, up into the sky, into the clouds or the starry night, until you can no longer see it.

Once it’s gone, let it go.

You’ve done all you need to do.

Journal Prompts

  • Do I release my dreams to the Universe, or do I continually ask for my dreams and desires over and over again?
  • What does it mean to me to let go, surrender, and release my desires to the Universe?
  • Have I had trouble letting go in the past? Why do I think this is the case?
  • What are some tools and practices I can utilize to let go of my desire and entrust it to the Universe?
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Reason #5: Self-Sabotage

I know this one sounds kind of crazy, but it happens more often than most of us realize.

Fear of success is as real of a thing as a fear of failure. But in some ways, it’s worse because it’s less talked about and thus more likely to go unnoticed.

Fear of success usually doesn’t mean you’re afraid of actually succeeding; rather, it means you’re afraid of the changes that will occur in your life once you do.

Because, whether we like it or not, our comfort zones form protective shells around us that keep us safe from the world out there.

We know what to expect in our status quo world.

But success?

We have no idea what will come from success.

What if it changes your relationships with your partner, family, or friends?

What if it changes the routine you love so much?

What if it changes your life in ways you can’t even imagine?

There could be something even deeper at play here. For many of us, success is applauded and met with high remarks and praise when we’re children. But not all. It’s possible that success wasn’t applauded or rewarded when you were a child, and even worse, it could’ve been used against you.

If you think this is true, it may be time to do some shadow work. Shadow work is the deep introspection you do to heal the unconscious part of your personality that may be suppressed and hidden away.

I won’t dive too deep into shadow work today, but for more info on healing the shadow, check out this Shadow Work Guide from the incredible Liz at Liz in Lotus.

If you think you may have unintentionally sabotaged your own manifestations due to a fear of success, don’t feel ashamed. Like I said above, this truly isn’t uncommon.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to take the time to do some deep inner work to release the fears that aren’t serving you. The questions below will help you get started.

Journal Prompts/Questions

  • When I was a child, how did the adults in my life react when I did something considered successful (i.e. got good grades or hit a home run)?
  • What are some examples in my life of times when I’ve been truly successful? How did others react to my success?
  • What do I love about my life right now?
  • What am I afraid might change in my life if I’m successful?
  • Are these fears rational?
  • Are there any conversations I can have with others that will help alleviate my fears of success?
  • What’s the worst thing that can happen if I’m successful?
  • What’s the best thing that can happen if I’m successful?
  • Can I trust the Universe’s plan for me?
  • Am I willing to release my fear of success to embrace my visions and dreams?

Reason #6: You Just Need a Tad More Patience

So what if you’ve read all the reasons I’ve listed above, and none of them seem to fit?

What if you’ve set your intention, listened to your intuition, and taken inspired action to walk forward on this beautiful path leading you toward your dreams?

What if you’ve asked and then let it go, surrendering your dreams to the expansive, infinite, loving Universe?

What if you’ve cultivated a life of love, joy, and peace, and you send good vibrations out into the world every day?

What if it feels like you’re doing everything right, and you’re pretty sure you’re on the right path, but nothing has happened yet?

Then there’s a very good chance your manifestation is working; you just need a little more patience.

And I’m going to take that one step further.

What if you’ve done all those things . . . and suddenly, everything has gotten worse?

For instance, you’re on the path of manifesting financial abundance, but your bank account is lower than ever, and you just got hit with some major unexpected expenses that are going to drain your finances even further.

Or, you’re manifesting love, and you met a great person, but they decided they want something else, leaving you heartbroken in the process.

Or maybe you’re manifesting your dream job, and there was an opening at the place you’ve always dreamed of working . . . but you didn’t get it.

These aren’t actually signs that your manifestation isn’t working.

In fact, it’s the opposite.

Often times, one of the signs that everything is working perfectly for you and that your desired manifestation is this close to coming true . . . is you experience one of your lowest lows right before it happens.

I know. It sucks.

But it doesn’t.

Not really.

Because if you can learn to recognize this sign, you’ll start to see it as a gift.

You’ll understand that the contrast of hitting the lowest of the lows will only make you appreciate and love the highs even more. Instead of getting caught up in anxiety, you’ll be able to step back and see how this moment is serving you. You’ll hand over your fears to the Universe and hear it gently and lovingly telling you, “I got you.”

And if you allow yourself, you may even learn some profound lessons that will serve and support your journey as you continue to move forward in your manifestations.

So have patience. Have trust. Know that you are being taken care of.

If you’re looking for data and spreadsheets and quantifiable statistics that will tell you if your manifestation is on its way, I can’t give you that.

What I can give you is this:

You already know.

Everything you’re looking for, you already possess.

Make space in your life for silence. Listen to the gentle nudges and inner voice guiding you forward.

You already know.

You already know.


Instead of tips and journal prompts here, I think what you may truly need here are some uplifting affirmations to remind you that you’re on the path, and all is really well. So here are a few of my favorite affirmations to remind me to have patience, surrender, and trust the process.

  • I honor my inner knowing and trust my path.
  • Everything is unfolding in perfect timing. I release worry and choose to trust.
  • I trust and believe that everything is always working out for my highest good.
  • I am peaceful. I am centered. I am grounded.
  • I am always gently held and lovingly guided by this Universe.
  • I release doubt and welcome faith.
  • I surrender control and allow the Universe’s loving presence to guide me.
  • I trust that everything I need comes to me at exactly the right place and time.
  • Everything is unfolding for me in perfect timing. I release worry and choose to trust.
  • I am trusting. What’s meant for me is already mine. I am exactly where I’m meant to be.
  • All that I seek I can find within me.
  • I know these dreams were put in my heart for a reason. I trust my path.

For more manifesting secrets, daily affirmations, loving encouragement, and lots of positive vibes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram! And don’t forget to check out these items in my online shop:

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Pin this! Manifestation Not Working? 6 Essential Reasons Why (And How to Fix It)
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One Comment

  • Nita

    Hello Zanna,
    I want to thank you for taking the time to write this article and share it with those in need of this empowering message. I’ve read many blogs about this subject (I’ve been struggling in this area lately) but this one has truly resonated with me the most. Not only did you identify the problems, but you also provided thorough and simple solutions. Thank you again, I’ve saved this post to refer back to it from time to time and will definitely share it with others!

    Hope all well,

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