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Manifesting: What It Is and How to Do It

    You may have heard about manifesting or manifestation at some point, whether it's from a friend who's manifesting their dream job or from an influencer who's manifesting better health. But what does it mean? Is manifestation simply about thinking dreams into existence? Not quite.

     Manifesting helps propel you to achieve your dreams and goals.

    Contrary to popular belief, manifestation isn't just wishful thinking. It requires actively working toward your goal, while your thoughts serve as a catalyst and guide your actions. So, in a nutshell, manifesting starts with changing your thoughts to inspire your efforts.

    According to positive psychologist Wendy O'Connor, this practice works because by focusing on positivity, as well as what you can and will do, your brain shifts to align with what you are telling yourself. So, adding optimism to achieving your goals and dreams helps push you toward them. Because you subscribe to an uplifting and encouraging mindset, you are more likely to bring your goals and dreams to fruition.

    While it sounds simple, it can be a bit overwhelming for someone trying this out for the first time. Below, we breakdown the steps you can take to become the person you want.

    Step 1: Set your goals  

    As with anything you want to achieve in life, it all starts by being specific about what you want. If you're not sure, begin by creating lists for different areas of your life, like health, family, career, and finances.

    This practice of writing down your goals and priorities is an essential first step in manifesting.

    Step 2: Create a vision board  

    After defining your goals, it's time to visualize yourself accomplishing them. One of the best ways to do that is by making a vision board. Vision boards consist of images, quotes, or words that inspire you. You can create a digital vision board on Pinterest or Photoshop or go the analog route by pinning photos on a cork board.

    This step is crucial in training your brain to think positively. This is because seeing your goals outside your mind's eye can keep you focused on what you want.

    Step 3: Set intentions and affirmations  

    Intentions are about the things that you've committed to doing. Reflecting on your intentions is especially beneficial in the morning, especially when you're not feeling your best. This helps set the tone for the day.

    Meanwhile, affirmations are mantras that can help you break a cycle of negative thoughts. It puts your mind on the right track. For example, you can say: "I have what it takes to achieve X." Fill in the X for whatever your goal is.

    Reminding yourself of your chosen affirmations throughout the day can help boost yourself-esteem, especially when doubting yourself. Sometimes all you need is that little reminder that you're capable.  

    Step 4: Practice visualization meditation  

    Spending a bit of time picturing yourself accomplishing your goals works wonders. Even athletes and performers are known to do this. Visualizing their future games or performances helps boost their confidence so they can give their 100%.

    A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia found that participants who imagined completing a workout before lifting weights increased their strength by 35%.  

    You can also do the same by taking a few minutes to imagine the future you. Imagine what future you is feeling, thinking, and doing in life. Write down the parts of the vision that stand out the most. Then determine which parts of your imaginary self are you yearning for right now? How can you overcome the challenges that keep you from making space for your future self?

    Step 5: Don't forget gratitude  

    Practicing gratitude is not only important for your overall well-being, but it also makes you receptive to abundance. It also makes you aware of which aspects of your life you've already manifested.  

    You can do this by writing down at least three good things that happened at the end of each day. Doing this regularly can boost your mood while helping you see progress.

    The bottom line  

    Manifestation is a process that trains your mind to be optimistic about achieving your goals. This mindset then propels you to do the work. Manifestation isn't magic, but it's about believing it before attaining it.