Manifestation is hardly a new concept. But its online virality and countless testimonials have generated a (deeply justified) cult following. Now, you can find manifestation coaches on pretty much every social media platform (hello, #ManifestationTok) with tips on designing your ultimate dream life with confidence. But with so many sources, no-nos, and new manifestation methods flooding our #fyp almost every day, it can be easy to get lost in information overload. Don’t worry, these dos and don’ts of manifestation are here to clear up some confusion and help you attract your biggest wishes.
Simply put, manifestation is the idea that you can create the life you want by truly believing you’re currently living said life. You’re influenced by your environment, but your thinking patterns and emotions shape your experience. Manifestation, then, is putting positive thoughts into practice through visualization, assumption, and the idea that you have control over getting what you want. It’s about putting yourself in the front seat of your desires and coasting through life like everything you want is already yours.
“It is all about aligning the frequency of your energy to the dreams you desire to start attracting them into your life,” Leah McCloud, a human design expert and host of The Design Of You Podcast tells Bustle.
But despite new innovative techniques, your manifestation practice doesn’t need to be lavish or complicated. “This could look like daily affirmations, journaling practices, moon ceremonies, visualization techniques, vision boarding, or even praying,” McCloud adds.
Everyone has their own journey with adjusting their thinking patterns, and it’s worth noting there’s no right or wrong way to manifest. Here are fundamental dos and don’ts of manifestation to help you attract your dreams.
Do: Celebrate People Who Have What You Desire
When it comes to manifestation, there’s always room at the top. Recognizing others for getting the things you want not only helps you stay inspired, but also spreads the kind of support and positivity needed to attract it yourself. “These people are your expanders. They show you what is possible and that your desires are achievable,” says McCloud.
Don’t: Be Vague
In order for your dreams to manifest you need to know exactly what you want, down to the details. Sure, you want a fancy car or a relationship, but as McCloud puts it, if you aren’t clear with the Universe about the make, model, and color of the car, it’s like if you go to the grocery store without a list.
“If you had a list that said ‘bananas’ you would be able to find bananas very quickly and had the focus and clarity on what you wanted,” says McCloud. “Manifestation is about identifying what you want and getting clear on it for you to attract it.” Know exactly what you want and why you want it. Visualize every minuscule aspect of your desire, like what it looks like in your day-to-day and how it feels to have it.
Do: Pay Attention To Synchronicities
If you start noticing mystical happenstance during your manifestation practices — like running into an old friend you just thought about or noticing other patterns, it’s often a message from the Universe.
“When you see the same things over and over, know it isn’t by accident. Seeing the same number or series of [angel] numbers isn’t by accident,” explains McCloud. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions that arise when you notice these synchronicities.
Don’t: Think Manifestation Absolves You From Hard Work
It may seem like manifestation is the elixir for your dreams, but it’s more like a spiritual practice that elevates the work you’re already putting in. If you want that job in the city where you own a highrise condo, you need to put yourself out there and acquire the essential skills for what you want.
“[Manifestation is] uncovering your limiting beliefs, discovering what it is that you truly want — it’s being dedicated to getting that thing, and reminding yourself every day, multiple times a day,” says McCloud. “It requires working towards your desires mindfully.”
Do: Practice Shadow Work
Expecting something to go wrong makes room for it to, according to the laws of manifestation. Manifesting requires you to break down self-imposed limitations so you can draw in what you want. Get to the root of your desires with self-compassion.
“When you discover your limiting beliefs — or shadows — you bring awareness to what's blocking your highest potential,” explains McCloud. “From this place, you can begin to reframe your shadows into wisdom and self-love, which is the ultimate frequency to magnetize everything you desire in life.”
Don’t: Compare Yourself
In the age of influencers and highlight reels, it’s hard to avoid the inevitable comparison scroll. But when you’re attracting bitter energy into your practice, you’re driving your manifestations further away. “When we condemn, you are signaling to the universe that you don’t deserve those things too. Celebrate the people who have what you desire instead,” says McCloud.
Do: Let The Universe Work Its Magic
The Universe has its own rhythm. When you send off your manifestation, it’s already putting it into motion — but when you hold onto it, you’re not allowing the Universe to do its thing. Let it go and allow it to take shape. “Manifestation requires repetition, dedication, trusting, and believing that the universe has your back. Be patient,” McCloud says.
Lea McCloud, Human Design expert and host of The Design Of You Podcast