Unless you’ve been living under a rock and have not engaged in today’s popular culture, chances are, you’ve heard of manifestation. It’s all the rage in the personal development space. People who are driven to create lives of success and abundance are leaning into the idea of manifestation in order to create what they desire.
The problem is, there are some misunderstandings about what manifestation is and how to actually do it. That’s why I want to debunk some myths about manifestation, clarify exactly what it is, and show you how you can actually manifest what you want.
The myth about manifestation
One of the biggest issues with this mainstream belief about manifestation is that it is a passive process.That in order to manifest that which you desire, you simply need to visualize it, open yourself up to receiving it, and put it out into the universe that you desire it.
The problem with that line of thinking is that it makes manifestation out to be a completely passive process. It makes it seem as though you don’t have to put in work in order to manifest the desired goal or outcome.
To be clear, I am a person of faith and completely believe in spiritual blessings. But, regardless of which faith you practice, I’ve yet to come across a spiritual text or teaching that aligns with the belief that you’ll receive an abundance of blessings just because you want them badly enough.
What manifestation actually is
The truth is, manifestation is very much an act – meaning that you have to actually do something. In fact, it’s a process. The good news is that if you’re someone who’s been on the manifestation train for a while now, you’re already doing the things necessary to manifest what you want, whether you realize it or not.
And for those of you who have been on the fence or have been downright opposed to manifestation, the good news is that it’s more than the airy fairy, want and you shall receive process that many portray it to be. If you go through the process and do the work necessary, you really can manifest just about all that you desire in your life. Let me show you how.
How to manifest what you want
Step 1: Set intention
When it comes to manifesting something into your life, the first step is setting the intention of achieving the desired outcome. This is often an overlooked step in the achievement process, but it’s probably the most important.
Without the proper intention, it becomes easy to get off track or give up when things get tough. And we all know that when we’re pursuing a big goal or dream, things are bound to get tough somewhere along the way.
The way I like to talk about having the right intention to be able to manifest anything you desire is upgrading “wants” to “burning desires.” Think about it, we all have wants – things that we’d like to have. But how many times have you wanted something, maybe even really badly, only to give up when things got hard in the pursuit of it?
It’s easy to want something, but it’s also easy to give up wanting something when you’re not willing to put in the work required to get it. Burning desires, on the other hand, go past being something you’d just like to have, and are things you have to have. They’re the things that keep you up at night, that you yearn for. Those are true burning desires.
When you can take a goal or a dream and upgrade it from a mere want to a burning desire – something you have to have – you’ll be much less likely to quit when the inevitable hard times come up. So that’s the first step in the manifestation process, setting the intention that the thing or outcome you desire is a burning desire and something you’re willing to put in the work to achieve.
Step 2: Visualize
An underutilized or missing tool in most people’s success toolbelt is visualization. A research study done in 1996 by Dr. Biasiotto at the University of Chicago, demonstrated the power of visualization. He took basketball players and split them into 3 groups. The first group practiced shooting free throws each day for an hour, the second group visualized themselves making free throws, and the third group did nothing.
After 30 days, the players were tested for free throw efficiency. Here were the results:
Group 1 (the shooters) improved by 24%
Group 2 (the visualizers) improved by 23%
Group 3 (did nothing) didn’t improve
While group 3’s results are not shocking, it is mind-blowing to know that the group who could only visualize themselves making free throws improved only one percent less than those who were actually shooting. That study, and the fact that visualization is used by some of the top athletes in the world, is proof enough of its effectiveness.
If you want to manifest something in your life, the second step is getting crystal clear on the vision of what achieving that thing looks like. When you do this, it gives you a blueprint of sorts to reference. The key is to get as vivid as possible with your visualizing. Doing so allows your Reticular Activating System to go to work on helping you actually manifest it.
“While intent is the seed of manifestation, action is the water that nourishes the seed. Your actions must reflect your goals in order to achieve true success.” – Steve Maraboli
Step 3: Take action
As high achievers and people who are trying to manifest awesome things in our lives, it’s our natural tendency to want to go straight to taking action. While being an action taker is great, and I’d always air on the side of taking action over spinning out in overthinking and inaction, the best type of action only comes after you’ve done the first two steps.
If you don’t do steps one and two first, how will you know if the action you’re taking is moving you in the direction of manifesting what you want? Hint, you don’t! It’d be like saying that you want to take a road trip to a specific destination but not be willing to decide what destination that actually is.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, that’s because it is. While going straight into action trying to manifest something in your life may not be as overdramatized as that example, it’s really the same thing. Rather than springing straight into action and hoping you’ll manifest what you want, why not do steps one and two, then ensure that your actions are both inspired and aligned?
The two keys when it comes to the actions you take when trying to manifest: They need to be inspired and backed by motivating emotion and they need to be aligned and moving you in the direction of what you’re trying to manifest.
If you can do those 3 things, combined with your spiritual belief in blessings, you’ll be able to manifest just about anything you desire in your life.