I wanted to share my thoughts in this blog post after an Instagram reel caught my attention. It showed a beautiful young woman claiming she "literally" manifested her husband. This bothered me, not just because of her misuse of 'literally' (don't get me started on that pet peeve), but because she's possibly giving people unrealistic and false hopes. Worse still, she's charging $2000 for this promise through her coaching program.
The idea of manifestation has been on my mind for a while. Just this morning, one of my clients, Dana (hey girl), texted me asking for my take on it. Since Dana was curious, I figured you might be too.
Let's start with a bit of my background. My mom introduced me to the metaphysical world and manifestation long before it became a mainstream concept. I was already familiar with it by the time books like "The Secret" made it popular. I embraced it fully. However, my mom, who taught me about these ideas, was also mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive. "Did I manifest that?" Just pointing out the ironic incongruity here!
Listen…there is no denying that our world has become one that is harder and harder to navigate. Whether it’s personal relationships or business…life in general is hard! And, when things get harder, our search for “the answer” becomes more fervent and desperate. During these times, the idea of just thinking positively and having everything you desire appear sounds great, doesn't it?
I was a strong believer, but not anymore. In fact, I think manifestation can be harmful, especially for those (like myself) with childhood trauma and anxiety. When I couldn't achieve perfect results, I blamed myself, never questioning the concept of manifestation. This belief, coupled with my failures, led to years of guilt and shame.
After years of self-reflection and therapy, I've come to the conclusion that I don't know if manifestation works. I mean, no one really knows for sure. I don't know and more importantly for me, I don't care!
I have no idea if the Instagram influencer "literally" manifested her husband or "literally" swiped right 847 times on Tinder before she finally found “the one”.
I don’t know and I don’t care, but what I do care about is that this Instagram influencer with her large following might be causing more harm than good. She's selling a dream of manifesting the perfect life, while her followers might be lonely, unhappy, and spending money they don't have on her program.
Despite my strong opinion on this subject, you may be surprised to hear that I still enjoy making vision boards and listening to positive affirmations before bed. I remain an incredibly positive person. The difference is that now, I do these things because they make me feel good and keep me motivated, not because I am hoping that they will make things "magically" appear in my life.
When I see the picture of a beautiful beach house, I think about adding enough value to people's lives so I can afford it one day. When I see the image of a happy couple, I'm proud of myself for working on my own issues and coming to a place in my life where I'm not settling for less in relationships.
If you're a firm believer in manifestation and it's working for you, that's wonderful! There's no judgment here; do what works for you. However, if you're turning to manifestation as a quick fix for your problems or to achieve your desires without effort, or if you're experiencing guilt and shame (like I did) because you're not seeing the results you expect despite your best efforts, I suggest it's time to rethink your approach.
I encourage you to stay positive, create vision boards, and listen to affirmations but do so because they feel good. But keep in mind, that these practices are not magical solutions. Instead of focusing your energy solely on trying to manifest your dreams, dedicate yourself to setting realistic goals and diligently working towards them every day.
I hope that all of your dreams come true and that you experience the pride and satisfaction that comes from knowing they were achieved through your hard work, resilience, and belief in yourself, rather than through the "magic" of manifestation.