Remember a few years back (ok, maybe more than a few) when “The Secret” was all the rage? I remember watching the movie, and thinking it was the stupidest thing in the world- this film was selling that if you truly want that fucking Lambo and giant gaudy-ass house that you would get it. JUST LIKE THAT! Because you want it, you special snowflake. The Universe loves you!
Now, just to clarify, I know that dumbass movie was derived from a book and to be clear I HAVE NOT read the book. My beef with the movie was not the premise or method. It was the fact that the content heavily relied on baiting people with superficial things, because lets face it, that shit sells.
This turned me way off, despite my curiosity being piqued.
Flash forward to now. Somehow I managed to get myself into a zillion and one groups that discuss manifestation and Law of Attraction, and I must admit the hard skeptic in me is softening into a flaccid, limp semi-believer.
I somehow went from not believing or caring about this shit AT ALL, to hashtagging the Universe at every given opportunity.
But why? And how?
A Skeptic’s Guide to the Woo-niverse
What is Manifestation
There are thousands of resources on this out there and I’m sure your internet connection is just as good as mine so I’ll keep this brief. Manifestation is basically the idea that we create the reality around us. Sometimes described as “thoughts create things”, it’s a philosophy based on the Law of Attraction, which hypothesizes that “like attracts like”- put simply: the thoughts you have manifest the world around you.
Despite being so turned off by the movie adaptation of The Secret, since I have started this blog my exposure to this philosophy has been far more positive. I am in a few different groups on Facebook for business owners, writers and female entrepreneurs, and slowly realized that this is a core topic in all of them.
At first I was kind of annoyed in a an amused way, but then I started to notice a few things that are endorsed that I know have had a positive impact on changing my own life, most notably when it came to losing weight, getting out of debt, and improving my mental health.
I think the key for me is to take the “Woo” or “Universe-y” stuff out of the equation. Then a lot of this shit makes total sense.
The following things are MANIFESTATION APPROVED! While still making enough sense to soothe my psychology nerd skeptical mind.
Getting Crystal Clear on Your Goals
When it comes to manifestation, getting your goals defined in a clear and specific way is highly endorsed). However this isn’t just a woo-woo thing. Clearly defining your goals is absolutely imperative for actually reaching them. This is just a basic fact.
Case in point- if you are thinking “I want to be a writer”, you likely wont get very far unless you actually zoom in on that goal a little further. You might get more mileage from setting a goal like “I want to start a home based business freelancing for businesses and writing children’s books”. This gives you a clearer jumping off point for how to make it happen.
Surround Yourself with that Inspo Shizz
One thing that seems to be core part of the manifestation process is taking that goal and keeping it front and center in your mind by feeding your brain with your ideal outcome. Vision boards, mantras, visualizations and daily affirmations are just a few of the ways that you can load up your brain with inspo-porn.
Psychologically speaking, there’s totally merit in things like affirmations and visualization. Creating affirmations that combat negative self-talk are a key aspect of some behavioral therapies, and I know from personal experience that visualization works. It simply makes things seem more attainable and gets your brain into “go get ‘er” mode.
Make a Game Plan and Pay Attention
Once you have your goal set, making a game plan is easy. Work backwards and figure out how to turn that shit into actionable steps. But it doesn’t stop there- check in frequently on your efforts in an attempt to keep moving forward and stay motivated.
When my husband and I got out of debt, the first thing we did was compile the details of all of our finances and work backwards by starting a budget. We had a master spreadsheet that showed how much interest we were saving as we went, and if you think adulting is boring THINK AGAIN PAL! Picture a 30-ish year old woman legit getting her jollies from watching her money getting snatched from the bank’s petty ass hands. FUCK YOU INTEREST!
Part of paying attention is writing down your progress to better acknowledge it. I have started writing down the good shit that is happening in life (no matter how small), so that I can have concrete visual of progress.
This is no different than keeping track of your weight or saving account. It just shows how far you’re coming, whether your efforts are meeting your goals and gets you in a mindset that’s grateful as fuck.
Unfuck Your Mindset
Now this is the part where I struggle, but this probably has the best returns in ALL areas of life.
This step is where you address your limiting beliefs, and let them go if they are not serving you.
We all have these ideas about ourselves that keep us comfortable basically not moving. These are fears, negative thoughts and just general bullshit scripts that we have been feeding ourselves.
When I was younger and really struggled with depression and anxiety in a bad way, I was convinced that I would never live a normal life. In my case, this belief absolved me of any responsibility to turn my life around. Pushing past this bullshit was one of the single most beneficial things I have ever accomplished, and opened the floodgates for good shit to happen in my life.
Although this is sometimes referred to as keeping your “Vibes High”, I prefer to think of it as plain old mind over matter. Think positive and just keep getting back up again.
Do you Woo?
I still kind of think of myself as a skeptic but to be honest, as long as I look at all these things in a concrete, psychologically driven manner (basically skimming over the words “Universe” or “Divine Power”) I can really see the value.
Not to mention that I have had some crazy good things happen once I started breaking down my beliefs and working on visualization and journaling. Who knows, maybe in another year I’ll be bathing in essential oils and tanning by the light of a Himalayan Salt Lamp in my crystal palace. There’s still time!
What are your thoughts about manifesting?
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