Have you ever been told “just manifest it, it’ll come true”; or perhaps, “put it out in the universe, and let it do its thing?”. Manifestation refers to the concept of bringing a tangible change into one’s life through the practice of mindful belief. One can manifest by purposeful thinking towards the positive life outcome, thereby turning a thought into reality. Over the past few years, the concept of manifestation has gained great importance through social media. Students and teenagers worldwide take charge of their lives by manifesting their desires through positive mindsets and wishful thinking. This being said, does manifestation have any psychological basis, or is it purely a spiritual phenomenon?
Although manifestation is grounded in a spiritual belief, it is also based on scientific concepts involving the ‘Law of Attraction’. The Law of Attraction refers to using repetition, visualisation and imagery to tap into the subconscious mind allowing one to gain awareness about their desires and achieve them.
Coming down to the highly debated topic: Is manifestation real, and does it really work? Manifestation is in fact grounded in a psychological phenomenon, some of these are-
Confirmation Bias: It is the tendency to favour information which supports one’s pre-existing beliefs. In this case, one would be more likely to engage in activities which reinforce and confirm their biases about oneself. You might hold the belief of “I am healthy and fit” thereby making you contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
Self-fulfilling Prophecy: Holding certain expectations about a situation leading to its confirmation. Beliefs about circumstances may have positive or negative effects on the outcome.
Cognitive Reframing: Creating a new perspective or a different way of looking at a person or situation by changing its meaning. Viewing past or future experiences through a positive lens can change the outcome of a particular event.
Over time psychologists, life coaches and spiritual entrepreneurs have developed multiple approaches to manifesting. However, certain basic principles exist in every manifestation, such as maintaining a ‘growth mindset’. Having a growth mindset is vital in goal setting. An individual with such a mindset will embrace challenges and view failure as opportunities to learn. People with growth mindsets can envision a positive future and work towards it with motivation and determination.
Manifestation may take multiple routes and be practised subjectively. A couple of ways to practice manifestation are-
Step 1: Be clear about your goals. The first step to manifesting is knowing precisely what you want and is also known as setting one’s intention. During this stage of goal setting, one must be as clear and precise as possible about their desired outcome.
Step 2: Ask the universe. The set goals and intentions are put out in the universe through different methods. This could include; writing it down, speaking your intentions or visualisation. In this step, positive thinking plays a huge role in viewing the goal as a possible reality.
Step 3: Work towards your goals. Manifestation occurs when there is a relationship between you and the universe, both working to accomplish your goals. For example, suppose your goal includes promotion or landing a new project at work, along with asking the universe. In that case, one also has to work towards it by creating practical plans to obtain the position.
Step 4: Remain mindful of your energy. Energy and attitudes play an essential part in the law of attraction, to maintain positive energy, practice meditation or spend a couple of minutes each day for self-care.
Step 5: Let go of self-limiting beliefs. During the process, it may be common for negative or self-limiting thoughts to cloud one’s judgement. To manifest, it is essential to let go of these beliefs and fears by reinforcing yourself with strength and purpose.
Manifestation is grounded in psychology, however, can turning your dream into reality be that easy? Manifestation is not magic. One cannot solely depend on manifestation by sitting and waiting for the universe to magically make it happen. It is the relationship between the growth mindset and hard work. If you want to make your dream into reality; you see it, you manifest it, and you take action to achieve it.