What is manifestation?

The word "manifestation" means to turn an idea into a reality. You may also know it is 'The Law of Attraction'.

Usually, we want to manifest things that improve our wellbeing, or happiness, or attract love into our lives.

People generally talk about manifestation as the process of using thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to bring something into reality, but given the science behind manifestation, it seems important to also include actions as a key part of the manifestation process.

What does manifestation really mean?

Manifestation has become popular thanks to books like ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Law of Attraction’. Unfortunately, most psychological scientists will tell you that these books are based on pseudoscience—they claim to be scientific and factual, but they're not actually based on scientific evidence.

However, of course, we can manifest things into our lives. If we couldn't then what would be the point of therapy, wellness interventions, or any of the tools people often use to help themselves.

But what does science actually say about manifestation?

How can we take a goal or idea we have in our heads and make it real?

There actually is science behind the idea of manifestation—that is, turning an idea into a real thing. Here are some areas of research and how they lend support to manifestation:

A growth mindset can help you manifest your dreams and reach your goals. Research by Dr. Carol Dweck clearly shows that believing you can do something makes it more likely that you'll successfully do it. That means that our beliefs about our ability to learn, grow, and succeed, can indeed affect whether we effectively manifest what we desire. Importantly, this research suggests that if we truly believe we can achieve something, we are willing to do the hard work to achieve it. This is in contrast to law-of-attraction style manifestation which suggests that belief alone is enough to bring about manifestation. Ultimately, the science suggests that our beliefs bring about behaviours, and responses from others, that lead to the outcomes we desire.

Self-fulfilling prophecies may explain manifestation. Research shows that our expectations, positive or negative, tend to be confirmed. This is what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, if we expect to bring our idea to life or reach our goal, we're more likely to. For example, if you don't think you can succeed in some goal, for example, your dream job, you'll set in motion events that will actually make it more likely that you won't get your dream job. Your beliefs set in motion circumstances that affect your ability to manifest an outcome. Negativity bias may explain perceptions about manifestation. Research shows that if we're already feeling bad, we're more likely to interpret neutral circumstances in a negative way. It may be that someone with a more upbeat and positive attitude just pays attention to the ways in which they have successfully manifested parts of their ambitions and dreams. Another person with a more negative outlook may experience the exact same things and only see where they failed to manifest what they desired.

Upward spirals of positive emotion may explain manifestation success as research has shown that positive emotions enable us to think more creatively and that happiness leads to success and not the other way around. People who are generally happy and positive attract more opportunities, have better relationships, and seem to be able to manifest what they set their minds to more easily.

It makes sense when you think about it…We prefer to be around positive, optimistic people than being around people with a negative attitude.

How do we use science to manifest what we want?

1. Get clear on what you want to manifest -

What do you actually want? Spend some time focusing to get clarity on your manifestation goal. Engaging in mindful meditation every day or simply just talking, or painting the picture that you want in your head, or writing it down in a notebook, can help you gain the clarity you need to manifest something.

2. Manifest what matters to you -

When deciding what to manifest, ask yourself a few reflection questions:

  • Will this make me happy and fulfilled?

  • Does it feel right for me? Or is there something or someone influencing me?

By asking yourself these questions you can choose the right things to manifest—things that you will be more likely to believe in, things that you have positive expectations about, and things that make you feel more positive. As a result, you'll be more likely to manifest them.

3. Visualize your manifestation to generate positive emotions -

Visualizing what you desire can help you feel positive emotions related to it more strongly. And those feelings can help you believe in yourself more. Just close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and imagine a scene from your future life as you desire it.