A lot of people have become curious about the concept of manifesting and the Law of Attraction recently, particularly online. You may have heard that these ideas can help you achieve your dreams and desires which would be appealing to a lot of people. While it’s true that setting intentions and visualizing your goals are useful tools, it’s essential to understand that the journey to success requires more than visualizations.
But, what is the concept of manifestation? Why is it so popular, and what, if any, is its role in therapy? And, importantly, how can we genuinely achieve what we want in life?
What is manifestation?
Manifestation is the process of bringing something into existence or reality, primarily through your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Proponents of manifestation argue that by concentrating on a specific desire and visualizing its realization, you can attract that goal into your life.
This concept is closely linked with the Law of Attraction, which posits that like attracts like. The thinking behind this is that your thoughts and feelings emit a specific vibrational frequency, attracting experiences and circumstances with a similar vibration.
Essentially, it is a pseudoscience that should be treated as such.
Why is manifesting so popular right now?
You may have noticed that manifestation has experienced a surge in popularity lately—this is particularly visible on social media. There are a few reasons for this.
First, we are living in a time where a lot of people feel very out of control of their lives. The concept of manifestation puts control back in the individual’s hands. While the economy is down and we are in a cost-of-living crisis, manifestation gives us something put our energy into and believe in.
Second, the internet has made it easier to share and access information about manifestation techniques. Ideas about manifestations have been popular in the past—like when the book The Secret was released—but now, ideas can spread faster and further than before.
Lastly, the increased focus on self-improvement in recent years has contributed to the growing interest in manifestation. People are looking for ways they can improve their lives. Because of this the wellness industry and manifestation have collided online which really boosted its popularity.
Can you actually ‘manifest’?
To put it bluntly, manifesting doesn’t actually work. While there is some evidence suggesting that positive thinking and visualization can influence your behaviour and lead to desired outcomes, it’s crucial to understand that manifestation is not a magical solution. There are studies that have come out in recent years, that say that too much positive thinking can make us complacent if there is no workable plan to accompany it.
The process of achieving goals is complex and often requires a combination of self-awareness, determination, and strategic planning.
Some psychologists even feel that manifesting may be harmful to some people that have inherently negative thoughts or to people with anxiety disorders.
Is the Law of Attraction used in therapy?
The Law of Attraction is not a therapy. Some therapeutic practices do incorporate elements of the concept. For example, therapy such as Integrative therapy, used by many psychothotherapists, aims to change negative thought patterns and beliefs that can hinder your personal growth and well-being.
But it’s essential to note that therapy goes far beyond positive thinking and visualization.
Therapists work with clients to help them identify and overcome barriers to their goals. You can then develop healthy coping mechanisms, and foster meaningful relationships. Therapists will also take your history, context and experience into account when working towards ways to improve your life—something that the Law of Attraction omits.
How to really get what you want
Achieving what you want in life requires a more comprehensive approach than manifesting or the Law of Attraction.
Here are some strategies to genuinely get what you want:
- Set clear, specific, and realistic goals: Having a well-defined objective makes it easier to create a plan and track progress. Ensure that your goals are achievable and within your control, adjusting them as needed.
- Develop self-awareness: Understand your strengths, weaknesses, and patterns of behaviour. Engage in introspection and journaling, or go to therapy to gain insights into your thoughts and feelings.
- Seek professional guidance: If you feel stuck or overwhelmed, consider working with a therapist or counsellor who can help you identify barriers to your goals, develop coping strategies, and provide support.
- Take action: While visualization and intention-setting are essential, they are not enough to achieve your goals. Develop a plan and take consistent, incremental steps towards your objectives