There’s a common misconception that manifesting is about getting exactly what you want — a particular job, a romantic relationship with a specific person, a new car, a luxury vacation. This idea makes manifesting sound like magic. You think about it and then POOF! It appears.
When I first learned about manifesting and the Law of Attraction, at least that’s how I understood it. Most do because it’s marketed that way.
The LOA states that our thoughts (positive or negative) attract like experiences into our lives. While this is true, when it comes to active manifestation, focusing on your thoughts is a futile approach.
Your thoughts are not your point of attraction, you are.
Needless to say, I tried using the LOA only a few times before I rolled my eyes and filed it under “Misc. New Age BS”.
It takes a certain level of self-awareness and emotional maturity to begin to understand how the Universe works. For me, it was a decade later when I stopped the downward spiral of self-destruction I had created in my early adulthood.
When I began my journey of self-discovery, I had to learn how to replace negative thought patterns, beliefs, habits, with positive ones. Life started to feel good and my circumstances drastically improved.
A year later, I realized I was attracting all of my desired outcomes because I was feeling so good about myself.
That’s when I began experimenting with manifestation. I started by attracting small, specific objects, like hummingbirds. To much larger ones, like a romantic relationship, my dream job, money, etc.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned:
Manifesting isn’t about getting, it’s about becoming.
What Manifesting Really Is
Manifesting is cultivating the experience of what you want to feel. By living and believing in that experience, you allow it to come into form. Do you want to just have money or do you want to feel abundant?
When it comes to attracting, you have to focus on your feelings, not your thoughts. Thoughts merely develop the feelings that’ll attract what you desire.
The #1 Key to Manifesting
The #1 key to manifesting is cultivating the energy of what you’re trying to experience. You’re an energy being in a Universe governed by the flow of energy, thus manifesting happens at the energetic level.
When you’re vibrating at a low energy, you attract low energy, negative experiences. When you’re vibrating at a high energy, you attract positive outcomes.
The Universe always responds to the energetic messages we put out. Thoughts and feelings are energy. Feelings are concentrated energetic thoughts, or energy centers.
“Energy flows where attention goes.” — Tony Robbins
Have you ever noticed that when you’re having a bad day, you’re really having a bad day?
You forget to turn on your alarm clock, you’re late for work, you stub your toe, you hit traffic, you argue with a coworker. It seems like one negative thing after the other piles on. That’s because energy is cumulative.
Likewise, when you’re feeling really good it seems like a lot of positive things keep happening to you. You may call this getting lucky. I’m a firm believer there’s no such thing as luck.
Everything that happens to you, everything you see around you, you created it first at an energetic level. Consciously or unconsciously.
The Most Common Mistake People Make When Manifesting
The most common mistake people make when manifesting is focusing on what they don’t have, rather than focusing on what they want.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to attract more abundance. To cultivate the energy, you make the conscious effort to think about the things you’d buy and how they’d make you feel. You make a vision board to remind yourself. You meditate on it every day. But nothing happens right away.
You start to become impatient and frustrated.
Instead of focusing on what you want, you focus on the things you don’t have. Your point of attraction shifts from abundance to a sense of lack, so you manifest more lack.
If you don’t feel abundant, you won’t attract abundance.
You always have to be conscious of the energy you’re putting out. The Universe always responds; it’ll deliver experiences and outcomes that match your vibrational frequency.
How to Manifest Efficiently
When you’re trying to attract positive outcomes, you want to stay in a high-energy, high-vibration state. In other words, you have to make it your priority to feel good.
How you feel about something is a sign of what you’re creating. Before you begin to actively manifest ask yourself how you feel about it.
If you’re trying to manifest money, do you feel good about money? If you’re trying to manifest health, do you feel good about your current health? If the answer is no, or there’s some uncertainty, then you’re not ready to receive it.
The best way to feel better about your desire is by practicing gratitude for what you already have. You can mentally or physically run through a list of all the things you’re grateful for — big and small — and you’ll see your feelings instantly improve.
Being in a state of unconditional gratitude will keep you in a high-energy vibration — you’ll be in a state of receiving.
Asking yourself how you feel about what you’re trying to attract is a great exercise to figure out whether you really want it.
Most of us don’t know what we want. We’ll think we want certain things for the wrong reasons. Those reasons usually involve the desires of other people, not our own.
What do you really want?
What are the things that’ll make you feel really good? Will having them make you more fulfilled, purposeful, happier?
If you truly feel good about something, it means you’re meant to have it — it is a possibility for you. When you focus on feeling good you come into alignment with the flow of the Universe. The more you feel good about your desire, the closer you’ll be to receiving it.
“Manifesting is the creative process of aligning with the energy of the Universe to co-create an experience that elevates your spirit and the spirit of the world.” — Gabrielle Bernstein
4 Steps to Manifesting What You Desire
Once you’ve decided what you want, you’re confident that you can have it, and you feel good about it, then you’re ready to start manifesting.
#1 — Get crystal clear on what having your desire looks like.
Let’s say you’ve decided to manifest more abundance into your life. The next step is to paint a crystal clear image of it in your head.
When you’re painting the image, you want to focus on the feeling of having more abundance.
What will it feel like to look at your bank account? How much money will it have? What will it feel like to buy the things you want? What will you buy? What are the things you’ll do and how will you feel doing them?
By having a clear mental image in your head, you allow your subconscious mind to go to work.
- Your subconscious mind is the master problem solver — it’s always coming up with creative solutions to your problems even when you’re conscious mind is focused on something else. The more you play the image in your head, the more time you give your subconscious mind to work on getting you there.
- Get as clear as possible because your subconscious mind works on the path of least resistance to conserve energy for other bodily functions. If you tell it “I want more money” and you find a $5 bill on the floor, your subconscious mind will say “problem solved”.
By using clear visualizations and focusing on the feeling of your desire, you align your subconscious mind with your goal, and you align yourself with the Universe.
Tip#1: Carve out time for your visualization every day. Set a timer for 10 minutes and sit in a meditative state with your eyes closed. Imagine and focus on feeling good. Listen to uplifting music to raise your vibration.
Tip #2: Write it down. Journal it in detail. Write a brief one-sentence summary about your desire on a notecard. Carry it around with you and read it whenever you can to bring the image into your head.
Tip #3: Daydream and visualize your goal during your spare time. Use this time to figure out every detail of the image in your mind.
#2 — Live as if you already have what you’re asking for.
Neville Goddard was one of the greatest spiritual teachers on the topic of manifesting.
“Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled and continue feeling that it is fulfilled until that which you feel objectifies itself. If a physical fact can produce a psychological state, a psychological state can produce a physical fact.” — Neville Goddard
This idea — living in the state of the wish fulfilled — is the greatest fuel for turning your desires into reality. Another translation of it is having faith, or the strong belief in something not yet apparent.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” — Mark 11:24
When you live as if, your energy shifts to match the energy of your desires, and your attraction increases. Subconsciously, your behavior also becomes in alignment with that of your future self in possession of that desire.
The longer you can stay in alignment, the faster your manifestation will materialize in your present reality.
The two greatest obstacles when manifesting are (1) believing you can have it, and (2) staying in alignment. We use the power of our subconscious mind to overcome these obstacles with affirmations.
Unlike your conscious mind, your subconscious doesn’t analyze the things you feed it for validity. Whatever you speak to it, it holds as truth. This is another reason why you have to be hyper-vigilant of your internal dialogue.
If you tell yourself, “I am broke”, your subconscious mind tells your conscious mind to act as if you are. You’ll spend money recklessly, you’ll avoid taking responsibility for your finances, etc.
If you tell yourself, “I am affluent”, or better yet, you say “I am happy and grateful now that I am affluent”, your subconscious mind goes to work and you begin to act as if you are.
Affirmations replace negative thought patterns you’ve held on to most of your life with more positive thoughts. To see the change takes repetition, repetition, repetition. The more you repeat your affirmations to yourself, the more you’ll believe them, and the more you’ll act as if.
- Tip #4. Commit to living as if every morning before you start your day. Read or think about your visualization as soon as you arise. Ask yourself, “How would I act today if I had this desire?”.
- Tip #5. Write down a list of qualities that version of you would possess. Would the affluent you be more confident, generous, livelier? Make those qualities into affirmations. “I am confident”, “I am generous”, “I feel secure”.
- Tip #6. Meditate on that version of you and repeat your affirmations. When we meditate our brain shifts our consciousness to beta and theta modes. In these modes, your subconscious mind becomes more receptive to your affirmations.
- Tip #7. My morning meditation combo looks like this — gratitude list, affirmations, visualization. Being grateful puts you in a state of receiving, affirmations give you clarity, visualizations cultivate the feeling.
- Tip #8. Listen to affirmations while you sleep. Like meditation, our brain enters lower levels of consciousness when we’re sleeping. Your subconscious mind processes everything you feed it so even asleep, it will record whatever you’re listening to.
- Tip #9. Your last thoughts before you go to sleep stay in your subconscious mind for hours. Think about positive thoughts related to your desire before you fall asleep.
“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” — Thomas Edison
- Tip #10. Whenever you have a negative thought, such as “I feel so insecure”, replace it with the opposite, positive affirmation, “I am so confident the people around me notice.”
- Tip #11. Set reminders throughout your day to repeat your affirmations until they become a habit.
- Tip #12. Do not say an “I am” that you don’t want to self-identify with. Whatever you think you are, you are right.
#3—Release your desire.
To release your desire means to surrender your desire to the Universe and trust that it’s on its way to you. Surrendering and allowing is an act of faith.
It’s easy to get attached to a specific outcome or a timeline when manifesting. Doing so breeds impatience which creates a major block to your attracting power. Impatience or having the need to control translates as disbelief that you can’t have what you desire.
We believe we know what’s best for us. It’s in our nature to try to control everything around us. However, manifesting isn’t about getting what we think we want, it’s about receiving what’s the highest good for all — and yes, that includes what’s the highest good for you.
The moments I’ve seen my manifestations come true were moments I was completely preoccupied doing something else. A lot of those times I had already forgotten I had tried to manifest that desire.
Some manifestations have occurred exactly as I had envisioned, other times they have shown up in unexpected ways. When they do, I can see how it was a better outcome for me. Trust that Universal plans are always better than your own.
The only way to speed up your manifestation is to focus on feeling good, staying in alignment, and allowing the Universe to do it’s thing.
- Tip #13. Developing a meditation practice or simply sitting in silence, allows us to get into alignment with the Universe. It calms the chaos in our brains and gives us clarity.
- Tip #14. Practicing mindfulness can keep us focused on the present moment. The most important thing you can do in the present is to feel good.
#4—Take inspired action.
Your subconscious mind takes care of the most difficult part — changing your mindset. It creates the inertia you need to take action. Your desire is not going to fall into your lap simply through the act of wishing. You have to take inspired action.
Taking action is kind of like showing proof to the Universe that you actually want what you’re asking for.
Inspired action is different than regular action — it doesn’t involve a plan, a list of things to do, or steps to take to create your dream reality. Inspired action comes from an internal nudge to do something.
For example, you might get the urge to call a friend, do something outside of your routine, go to a certain place, create something on the spot. You might get an idea or a solution to something you’ve been trying to figure out. The important thing is to act the instant you feel that internal nudge.
Following the path to your desires is like going down a mysterious road where the Universe lays breadcrumbs to guide you. In order for you to proceed, you have to take the first breadcrumb. Then the next, and the next. You’re in charge of moving forward.
These breadcrumbs come in the form of signs or synchronicities. Sometimes their subtle, you may hear the lyrics to a song that aligns with what you were just thinking. Sometimes their blatantly obvious, you run into a person that tells you exactly what you needed to hear.
You can be sure it’s synchronicity if it’s followed by an internal nudge.
Pay Attention to the Synchronicities
Synchronicities are the language of the Universe. They’re expressions that show the interconnectedness of our souls, our surroundings, and the world. They’re how the Universe lets us know we’re being guided.
They can seem like coincidences at first, but the more you become aware of them, the more you’ll learn how to read into them. Synchronicities were the catalyst that fueled my spiritual growth and later convinced me I was capable of manifesting.
Tip #15. Always Start Small
Starting small is practical advice for the novice manifester. Starting off too big can be discouraging if you fail. Many spiritual and LOA teachers always recommend choosing something small and very specific. For me, it was a hummingbird.
It took me five months to convince myself I could manifest a hummingbird. When it happened, it was casual at first. Until it happened again. And again. Then I started seeing them on a regular basis. I’ve been using them for guidance since.
My car broke down a couple of weeks ago while making the drive from CA to TX. I barely made it to a gas station and as I sat in my car panicking, I heard a hummingbird (I’m all too familiar with their sounds now). I thought to myself, “No way, we’re in the middle of the desert.”. I looked up and there it was flying above the tree in front of me.
I felt a sense of relief wash over me. I didn’t know how but I knew I was going to be okay. A few minutes later, a man covered in oil parked next to me. I nervously approached him and asked if he could take a look at my car. He turned out to be a mechanic. He moved a few things around and I was able to make it back home.
I may just be a crazy hummingbird lady, but hey, if it works for me, it might work for you.
- Tip #16. Try to live in the present moment. If you get too caught up in your head, you’ll miss out on Divine guidance.
- Tip #17. The more progress you make on your spiritual path, the easier it becomes to manifest meaningful things into your experience.
- Tip #18. If you don’t know where to start on your spiritual path — start by meditating and noticing the synchronicities.
If there is one thing you walk away with, let it be this — focus on feeling good. When you make feeling good your priority, you’ll naturally attract the most positive outcomes that are in alignment with yourself and the Universe.
My Top Manifestation Reads
- #1. Wishes Fulfilled — Dr. Wayne Dyer
- #2. Ask and It Is Given — Esther and Jerry Hicks
- #3. Super Attractor — Gabrielle Bernstein
- #4. The Power of Awareness — Neville Goddard