The idea behind manifestation is that you can bring something into your life through thought, attraction, emotion and belief. But how does manifestation work exactly? Can you really manifest things like a dream job or an ideal partner? Is manifesting love or a higher salary even possible? 

It turns out that, while it might sound a bit woo-woo at first glance, it actually isn’t! If you want to learn more about the power of positive thoughts, how you can take simple steps to get yourself in the right mindset, limiting both negative feelings and negative energy, read on and start manifesting today. 

The world of manifestation

Deepak Chopra, a medical doctor and leader in the world of alternative medicine, doesn’t view manifesting as a wish magnet. You don’t just close your eyes, make a wish and attract what you want. You take a first step by meditating with your Higher Self or the universe to get deep as a way of figuring out your true goals for yourself and as a way to help society.

The notion that you can manifest love and financial success has become especially popular since the book, The Secret, was released. Esther and Jerry Hicks authored over 700 books, DVDs and CDs after Esther channeled a spirit called Abraham. 

Hay House, which publishes self-help, inspirational and transformational books and products, became very popular too. It came on to the scene after Louise Hay promoted the idea of successful self-healing. Oprah spread the word about the law of attraction and manifestation, too.

Manifestation became a popular buzzword. New age trends and the developing knowledge about how the mind-body relationship contributes to our health gave us reason to hope manifesting could be a quick fix. It’s not surprising that the idea of building your dream life caught on. But it’s not as simple as taking a yoga class, buying some crystals or closing your eyes for a few moments.  

The manifestation process: Exactly what does science say?

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Before we discuss exactly what manifesting is and how to use manifesting to get what you truly desire, it’s important to know what studies have shown. 

There is some scientific evidence behind the concept. Thinking about creating a sunny outcome has real life benefits. In other words, an optimistic outlook has been proven to benefit our health and productivity more than a pessimistic one. 

So, thinking positively about our goals and desires is good. Brain research also reveals that our brains mirror others. That means in actions and also in emotions. For example, when you watch a scary movie in which people are fleeing a vengeful ghost, your heart races as if you are running to escape. And you also feel the same fear as the character even though you’re sitting on your couch far away from the action. 

Our brains are so amazing, we don’t even have to witness something. The line between imagined and real barely exists. For example, if you imagine it’s chilly and snowing outside, that your fingers are cold and you have no gloves on, your teeth are chattering and the wind is whipping through you, and if the scenario is vivid enough, your body temperature could drop.

Therefore, to manifest what you want, why visualize and immerse yourself in negative images that take you away from your dreams? Instead of letting a limiting belief bring you down, focus on what you really want. Stay positive, use your energy to motivate yourself about what you should do, not shouldn’t do. Use manifesting to improve your life, feel confident, engage in self-care, and achieve your biggest dreams. 

How do you manifest what you really want? What steps do you need to take to manifest?

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Here are steps you can take to manifest anything you want according to experts.

1. Have a positive mindset

The manifestation process begins with a certain kind of open and abundant mindset. This kind of mindset sees the world as a place where there is plenty for all. That means you are focused on riches that are plentiful and possibilities rather than drawbacks. 

If you are open to good things coming your way, maybe not overnight or immediately, but just believing these things are possible, you are opening the door to manifesting good things.

2. Be clear about your goals

That means clarifying and being specific about what you want to create in your life. Your brain is like a computer so the more specific the better. Many want to know how to manifest money in life and how to attract financial abundance to live a more stable, easier life. A windfall would be nice, right? 

But the more specific you can be, the better. So, you might wish for $35,000 so you can buy a new red Mustang convertible and drive it to visit your friend in San Diego, California before November 1. By being crystal clear in your intentions, you’ll find it a lot easier to leave your comfort zone, and take proactive steps in the direction you need to go.

3. Begin with intention and attention

Now that you’re clear, ask God, the Universe or your inner being—whatever you believe– for what you want. For example, let’s say your dream is to find true love. You want to know how to manifest love and find your soulmate. 

You’ve been dating, but these people were definitely not even close to being your special one. Truth is you just met random people in bars and at parties, never admitting to yourself that you do want someone in your life.

Because you have a strong intention about finding your true love now, you’ll be more willing to take action to make this happen by signing up for a new dating app. You’ll be spending time now on your goal and giving it the energy and the attention it deserves. (Don’t forget to be specific in what you want to manifest about that soulmate’s values and beliefs.)

4. Believe it

You are worthy of that new house or that new love or having a million dollars. Have the confidence to feel good enough and deserving of an improved situation and better life. 

Clearly, if you don’t feel like it’s possible, it won’t be. And if you yourself don’t believe you’ll get what you desire for business success, for example, how can you? By believing it, you’ll start the side hustle or get that new job a little more easily. 

5. Write it down

Sometimes manifestation requires a little writing. Get a journal or notebook because those who write down goals or the dreams they want to manifest usually have more success than those who just think about them. It’s like you’re more committed once it’s on paper.

Be sure to write down why you believe these goals are possible. Then write down how you’ll feel once you’ve manifested what you wanted. Immerse yourself in why manifesting your dreams makes sense, seems do-able and also real.

6. Imagine yourself in the future

When you have the expectation that something will happen in the future, you’ll have more confidence and certainty it will. Try to see a future in which you are behind the driver’s seat in that red Mustang driving. 

In fact, there is scientific evidence for the power of future thinking. The benefit of focusing on a positive future is that you are helping to manifest this possible future. 

Another thing you can do is time-travel to the period after you manifested everything you ever wanted. How is your future self feeling now that all has come to fruition? Do you feel relief, pleasure, thrills, or a relaxed happiness? What is that future you saying to friends now that all these great things materialized? 

7. Visualize and use daily affirmations

You’ve always wanted a new home, for example. Start visualizing the dream home you want to manifest. Imagine the brick ranch with black shutters and the circular driveway. See yourself holding keys and opening the front door. Make it so real, you are there. 

Or you can create a vision board. Cut out magazine pictures that show what you want to manifest. Maybe it’s the dream partner, the kids running in the field and you reading a book on a hammock. Or maybe you’ll include pictures of a safari trip in Kenya and white water rafting on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.

Going back to that dream house: Does it have a view of the lake in the beautiful countryside, or is it in a modern, sunlit apartment facing skyscrapers? 

Another technique to use that can help you manifest is make a list of daily affirmations. You can read it when you wake up and before bed. Or record yourself reading these affirmations and play it a few times a day.

8. Take action

A misconception people have about manifesting is there’s no work involved, or that it’s only a belief system, but that is not true. You need to take aligned action toward your goals while manifesting them. 

Let’s say you want to work in the movie business in Hollywood and you live in Cincinnati. You might move closer to Hollywood to help manifest the outcome you want.

The idea of manifesting is that you are co-creating with the universe. You need to do the work, too, and partner in making your inspired manifestations see the light of day.

9. Be grateful and patient

Manifesting doesn’t happen overnight. In the meantime, be grateful for what you have and what you receive in manifesting. Pay attention to the little things. For example, maybe you manifested the perfect parking spot. Or a buddy you loaned $50 to a year ago suddenly had enough money to pay you back. 

While the great big wishes or goals haven’t materialized completely yet, there might be small signs, coincidences or serendipities to show you that you’re on your way. Pay attention to them and be thankful.

By acknowledging the small things that have manifested, you are reinforcing your gratitude. Being grateful not only helps your health as studies have shown. But another thing happens when you’re thankful: you can’t be thankful and angry/frustrated/ impatient at the same time. Be thankful and patient as your dreams are unfolding and manifesting.  

10. Let go of resistance, negative self-talk and limiting beliefs

You might be thinking “Why aren’t things manifesting quickly enough?” Or “I don’t know if this is working.” It’s common for people to question this whole manifestation thing when our dreams don’t appear out of thin air, the way we want them to. 

By doubting, you’re going into a worrying or negative vibration. According to the Law of Attraction, you are turning on a negative channel, like the signal from a certain radio station.

One way to transform negative thoughts or feelings into joyful, happier ones—and thereby change your vibration—is to simply distract yourself with something you love doing. Throw a football, play with a dog or watch a funny TikTok video. Keep your vibration high, your mood lifted and your spirits positive. 

11. Overcome obstacles

One of the biggest obstacles people face in manifesting is holding onto the negative aspects of their current reality.  For example, if you want to manifest wealth and prosperity, you might end up thinking nonstop about how you’re drowning in bills and need more money. 

Or maybe you’re telling your spouse you can’t afford to fix the air conditioning now and that you’re not made of money. Pay attention to what you’re thinking about and what you’re saying to others. 

You might be spending your time and energy manifesting a continuation of the “lack of money.” To remedy that, look at the positive aspects of your current situation (you can pay rent and live in a great neighborhood). Be grateful. Then focus only on what you want to manifest.

12. Trust the process

Chopra emphasizes the notion of detaching from the result you want to manifest. You asked, you’ve taken aligned actions, you’re taking all the steps mentally and physically to make things happen. 

Don’t question every other minute. Breathe deeply, smile at what’s possible. Focus on having trust that things will happen when they’re supposed to. There’s a peace in releasing and not holding too tight to our dreams (or even to people, for that matter).

In conclusion

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Manifesting is about transforming those dreams on your list into a reality. It’s not terribly difficult. You can make it happen! To get started on forming your concrete plan, check out our helpful piece on Goal Setting.