Manifestation seems to be like, a “thing” right now. At least in the internet circles I hang out in and in the content I consume, many people are “manifesting” things into their lives. It’s cool, I guess. Do whatever helps you succeed. But the whole thing seems a little woo woo for me. I don’t have anything against manifestation, necessarily, and if someone feels that it brings them good things in life, more power to ya. I just don’t personally feel that the universe will bring me good things just because I’m putting some sort of “frequency” out there. Maybe I’m just misunderstanding the whole thing. I do, however, have some manifestation-like concepts that I apply in my own life in order to use positive thoughts to bring me real, tangible results.
What is Manifestation?
Based on what I’ve gathered from people like Jen Sincero, Lauren Toyota, and Kalyn Nicholson, manifestation means focusing on the good things that you’d like to bring into your life and trusting the universe in such a way that the universe picks up on those frequencies, sees that you really want that thing and you are ready for it, and then the universe just brings you that thing. Somehow. Manifestation seems to have something to do with frequencies and vibes and an inherent power that exists in the universe that gives it the ability to pick up what you’re putting down. And if you’re on board that train, and it works for you, then keep chugging along. I am all about doing whatever brings good things to you.
That said, I’m not sold. But we don’t need to go into that. Just know that based on my understanding of what is commonly put out there as “manifestation”, doesn’t seem like a real thing to me. HOWEVER, there are definitely some things I apply in my life that may look a bit like manifestation, but there’s a bit more concrete evidence behind what’s actually going on and why. It is possible to use your thoughts and vibes to bring good things to your life.
How to Use Manifestation in a Practical Way
I’ve got a couple concepts that I apply to my life that fall under “practical manifestation”, as I’ll call it. First, let your mind solve bigger problems while you’re working on other things. Give yourself time to step back and think about it. Basically, sleep on it.
I used this concept most tangibly while I was earning my degree in Computer Science. CS involves a lot of difficult, logic based problems. The best way I found to solve these problems was to read over them when they were assigned, then let them float around in my brain for two or three days before I sat down to actually figure out a complete solution. You don’t have to consciously think about it, but as your brain plays with the problem, it will rule out possible solutions that definitely won’t work. It will also start to develop a vague sense of what likely will work. Then when you actually sit down to solve the problem, your brain already has the basis of an answer worked out for you.
This tactic rarely involved me actually thinking about the problems during the two or three days that they were hanging out in my head. They’d come and go as I went about the other things I needed to do. But using the magic that is our brains, I would already sort of know how to solve the problem the next time I looked at it.
I’m currently using the same tactic for my workbook that’s in the works. I started by writing out the basics that I knew I wanted to include, and now I’ve stepped back for a couple weeks to let those ideas fold and reform in my brain. All of the content that I consume between then and whenever I go back to work on the workbook has the possibility to influence whatever I end up creating. While I’m busy doing other things, my brain can work out for me what is and isn’t working about the workbook so that when I go back to it, I’ll have a better idea of what the final product needs to look like.
It’s important to note that the time between your first encounter with the problem and when you sit down to actually solve it needs to be somewhat limited. After too much time, it will start to slip from your brain and either get away completely, or you’ll have forgotten many of the important details when you finally do revisit it. For smaller problems, try not to step away for more than two or three days. For bigger problems, two or three weeks. If you’re facing something really large, maybe two or three months. But if you step back for more than three months, it’s unlikely that you’re going back. Don’t use this as an excuse to avoid issues. If necessary, set a deadline for when you need to revisit the problem after stepping away for some time.
Now that we’ve got this manifestation-esque concept of briefly visiting a problem, stepping away for a short time, and returning to find that your brain has concocted a solution, where can this be applied? There’s a few obvious school related things, like math problems and writing prompts. I also find this particularly useful when I’m looking for a storage solution in my apartment. I’ll walk past something in my home and think “hmm, it would be nice if I had a good way to store these hats instead of just having them in a pile”, and two days later, I suddenly have a great idea. Funnily enough, this works with deciding what to have for dinner. Check what ingredients you’ve got in the fridge before you’re actually hungry, give it an hour or two, and your brain will probably get back to you with something yummy to make with those ingredients.
Some larger issues that this can be used with are things like deciding how to approach your boss with a difficult conversation, or how to address something your partner does that makes you angry.
Stepping back from a book idea after you’ve written out a basic outline can lead to some great ideas when you come back. Or, taking this in a more fun direction, stepping back from deciding where to go on vacation can bring you an epiphany when you approach the topic again.
Stepping back from a problem to let your subconscious mind do the problem solving for you is one form of practical manifestation.
A second form of practical manifestation that I apply to my life looks a little different. What this tactic boils down to is that if you are thinking positive thoughts, and you are working hard, and you are going after what you want, other people will notice. People tend to respond to positivity and hard work with positivity and hard work of their own. Other people out there going after what they want will see you doing you and respond right back with their own positive energy. Basically, human nature means that whatever vibes you give off to other people, that’s what you’ll get back.
I do believe that the world will give back what you whatever you give it, not in the sense that literally “vibrating at a higher frequency” will magically bring you your dream house, but in the sense that if you are out there, going after what you want and working on loving your life, others (not the universe, but actual physical people) will see that and be influenced by that. Because they’re being influenced by it, that’s what they’ll return back to you. There’s probably some science behind that bit. I’m not sure. But basically, peoples reactions to you will typically reflect what you give to them, so being positive outwardly will bring positivity, hard work, and high quality, creative people to you.
This works because hard workers know other hard workers when they see them. People going after their best life can see when others are also going after their best life. If you embody intentional living and going after what you want, other people doing the same thing will notice you and be drawn to you. You’ll have more creative people who are going after their best lives pulled into your life, which will continue to uplift you. These people can then help to motivate you, or help you out with skills that they have and you don’t, or offer whatever other value they bring to the table. It’s not the universe magically bringing these people to you, it’s the attitude and actions that you are putting out into the world that will bring these people to you.
How do you present yourself to the world so that other ambitious, dedicated people notice your vibes and are drawn toward you? Actions speak louder than words. Be bold. When someone tries to put you down, stand up to them. If someone is disrespectful, call them out. Be passionate. Find something you love to do and do it as often as you can. Love it so much that people can feel your fire when you talk about it. Be courageous. Maybe confidence hasn’t come to you yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have courage to act in big ways. Figure out what it is that you want from life, and go out there, day after day, and work toward it relentlessly. If you’re out there putting in the work, and speaking through actions, people will notice and they will come to you.
The more you can embody determination and be someone who goes after what they want, the more people will take notice and want to be around you and work with you. Let your actions bring you confidence and power. As much as you are able, embrace these feelings and let them support you in achieving greatness. Standing in your power will draw good things toward you because determination and grit are impossible to ignore.
I like to think of manifestation as letting your mind and your vibes do work while you’re just living your life. Maybe this is what manifestation is really about already and I’m just missing the point. Our minds are capable of great things. The thoughts we have influence our actions and the way we present ourselves to the world. We are capable of solving problems while not consciously thinking about them. Harness the power of your mind to bring you good things, without feeling like you’re putting in any extra effort. And take credit for it. That’s you doing the work, not the universe. If it turns out that the universe does feel things, then I’m sure it would be proud of you.