If social media reviews are to be trusted, manifestation is the answer to all of life’s most pressing questions right now. Over the past few years, manifestation has acquired so many ardent followers that it is hardly a niche interest anymore. The thriving online community heralding the practice shares tutorials, vlogs and personal experiences from their manifestation journies. It has most prominently gained popularity on TikTok, where more and more young people are swearing by it.
For the uninitiated, manifestation involves using intentions and affirmations to shape reality. Those who practice it believe that the law of attraction or the law of assumption can be used to realize positive thoughts and beliefs.
“Whether it is materialistic or career goals, love life or health, I have personally manifested in all areas of my life and continue to help clients do the same,” manifestation and mindset coach Anmol Thakkar told Springtide.
The gist of it sounds simple enough – but the idea has expanded to cover vast ground. There’s still so much we don’t know about how manifesting actually works. The more techniques and affirmations one stumbles upon, the more confusing it gets. Many misconstrue it – either as a magical solution to obstacles or a pseudoscience. You’ve seen the trend online. You can easily list 10 things you’d like to manifest, just off the top of your head. Where do you begin? If you’ve already started with little luck so far, what’s going wrong? It’s not really textbook knowledge.
“The most common mistakes that I see clients making is putting too much emphasis on the desire they are manifesting and not enough of the version of themselves who has that desire already manifested,” Anmol said. “For example, if someone is manifesting a car, the focus is too much on the car, which in return can make us feel all the more obsessive about this desire. That becomes completely counterproductive to manifesting.”
People also often ask Thakkar if manifestation is the same as manipulation. She gets this question frequently from those trying to manifest a romantic relationship. Manifestation, she explained, has nothing to do with trying to exert control or influence. “When I manifest something or someone into my life, I am not influencing anyone to make it happen for me. All I am doing is bringing my inner being in order – not manipulating someone externally.”
Of course, there are certain things to be cautious about. A quick scan of the videos and tutorials available online is enough to figure that out. It can become hard to draw the line between manifesting in a healthy way and getting stuck in a cycle of desiring something harmful.
“The only place that I would suggest not applying manifestation is when there is mental or physical harm happening,” Anmol explains. “For lack of a better example, if you are in an abusive relationship, I would suggest that you get yourself out of that place first and manifest blooming better on your own.”
Any issues relating to mental health are also exceptions where manifestation might not be the right approach. Positivity seems to be one of the core ideas behind manifesting a better life, but Anmol would advise against hampering your mental well-being by not making room for low days and negative emotions. “I want people to be aware that you don’t have to be “positive” all the time. You can very well be having a low day and manifest for your mood to get better at the same time! Our mental health is the foundation of a great self-concept, leading to us manifesting the life of our dreams effortlessly.”
Whether you’re a believer or a sceptic, it is hard to deny the hold that manifestation currently has over the world. In fact, there is some scientific backing to the idea that believing that you can achieve something – what renowned psychologist Dr Carol Dweck calls a growth mindset – makes you more likely to succeed. Although manifestation works a little differently than that, its growing popularity and the many testimonials in favour of it make it fascinating to explore.