Manifestation refers to various pseudoscientific self-help strategies intended to bring about a personal goal, primarily by focusing one’s thoughts upon the desired outcome. The techniques are based on the law of attraction of New Thought spirituality.
Yes, that even includes love…and money.
You may be familiar with manifestation, or the laws of attraction. After all, the process was the focus of a 2006 bestselling book, The Secret which sold more than 30 million copies – and it’s something that thought leaders, including Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Gabrielle Bernstein, Iyanla Vanzant and Oprah have spoken about. (For the record, they all agree that you really can manifest things.)
But, first things first, even though manifesting is about turning your dreams into reality, it does require that you to take proactive steps towards whatever it is that you desire – so you shouldn’t expect it to happen instantly or overnight while you sleep. That said, it’s a small price to pay (at least in our humble opinion) for something that can have such a profound impact on your life:
“You control a lot by your thoughts and we control a lot by our joined thoughts…by what I [and we] believe,” Oprah told LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner in 2015. “When I started to figure that out for myself, I became careful of what I think and what I ask for,” she explained. “I was like what else can I do? What else can I manifest, because I have seen it work. I have seen it happen over and over again.”
Looking to give manifestation a try yourself? Here are the steps experts propose you take to attempt to manifest anything you desire – money and love included.
Let’s back up. What is manifestation exactly?
Essentially, manifestation is bringing something tangible into your life through attraction and belief, i.e. if you think it, and it will come. However, there is more to manifestation than willpower and positive thinking. As Angelina Lombardo, the author of A Spiritual Entrepreneur, tells OprahMag.com, “manifesting is making everything you want to feel and experience a reality… via your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and emotions.”
To start manifesting, be clear about your goals.
While everyone approaches manifestation differently, Lombardo believes most follow the same basic principles. First—and perhaps most importantly – you need to know exactly what you want. “You are the only one who dreams your dreams, so whether it’s a new partner and a healthy relationship or a better job, know it and own it,” she says.
Whatever you desire, though, one thing is essential: Make your intention as specific as possible. Lombardo says, “The more clear and concise, the better.” Instead of, for example, saying “I want to meet my soulmate,” develop a detailed picture of what that person would look like (think: qualities, characteristics, values, etc.)
Once you’ve set your intention, ask for what you want – and write it down on paper.
Once you’ve pinpointed exactly what your hopes, dreams, and goals are, you need to ask the universe for what you want. This can be done in a variety of ways—prayer, meditation, visualization, speaking your intentions out loud, a vision board and/or a “future box,” which is a container full of pictures of items you want to manifest—but you need to say exactly what you want.
You can also write your intention down on paper. If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, you might be familiar with the 369 method – in which you write down what you want in the following order: 3 times in the morning, 6 times in the afternoon, and 9 times at night for 33 or 45 days – but it can also be as simple as a letter to the universe.
And start working towards your goals.
According to Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Super Attractor and The Universe Has Your Back, “Manifesting is also known as co-creating because it’s a collaboration between you and the Universe.” Which is exactly why knowing what you want is only half the battle – you will not see any results without action. Set aside a bit of time to think about what steps you can take to reach your goals yourself, then build them into your routine. For example, if you want to make a major career change, start networking with people in your new field and practice for a job interview.
“Another way to be ‘in action’ when manifesting is to ask yourself the question, ‘What would my future self be thinking?’” Lombardo says. The reason? Reframing your mind can (and will) enable you to be successful. “‘Being’ the person who already has, does, and feels your goals, dreams, and desires helps you become that person,” adds Lombardo.
The next step is to be mindful of – and thankful for – what you receive.
While you may not get everything you envision in the order and time frame you want, you should receive and acknowledge what you do get – no matter how big or small it may be. According to Lombardo, gratitude is key.
To do this, consider creating a gratitude journal. Before bed, spend five to ten minutes writing down a few things for which you are grateful, as well as anything that happened that day to bring you closer to whatever it is your trying to manifest. Maybe you want to save enough money for retirement and you receive a call from your cable provider about a way to lower your monthly bill or you come across an informative podcast that inspires an idea for a money-making side hustle.
And let go of any resistance and limiting beliefs.
In addition to changing your mindset and behaviors, you will need to remove any obstacles or limiting beliefs which may cloud your vision, including fear and negative self-talk. “Telling yourself you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not enough – it’s a tape that’s playing for a lot of people,” Oprah said during an episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass. “If you’re not conscious of that, then you end up acting out of that belief system and not what you know to be the truest or want to be the truest for yourself. You don’t become what you want because so much of wanting is about living in the space of what you don’t have.”
To move past your limiting beliefs, it’s essential that you first identify what exactly they are. To do this, ask yourself: What are the beliefs I have about myself that may be inhibiting my progress? “Write down your answers,” Bernstein recommends in Add More Ing to Your Life. “Cross out the limiting beliefs and write your new affirmations in their place. Jot down your answers, and then replace any negative feelings with positive ones. If your limiting belief is ‘I am incomplete without a man,’ reverse it with ‘I am complete as I am.’ If your limiting belief is ‘I’m not good enough,’ reverse it with ‘I am wonderful as I am today.'”
To take it a step further, the next time you find yourself questioning your worth or saying “I don’t deserve this,” pause and think of all the reasons why you are deserving, says Lombardo.
Make sure to check (and change) your energy.
One thing Oprah knows for sure? Energy is everything. “The energy we put out in the world is the energy we get back,” she says in The Wisdom of Sundays. Which means if you are continually sending out negative energy – either through your thoughts or feelings – you will attract that same energy back to you, according to Oprah’s Super Soul Conversation with Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith. On the flip side, though, if you are able shift your energy (a practice sometimes referred to as raising your vibrations), you’ll also attract more positivity, which will help you realize your goals.
Lucky for you, lifting your energy is actually quite simple: Just focus on activities that cultivate feelings of joy and happiness – whether that’s doing something kind for someone else (helping a friend or family member, donating to a meaningful organization, volunteering), starting each morning with a meditation session or a quick yoga class, spending some time in nature, or even treating yourself to some well-deserved self-care.
Additionally, you can also concentrate on how you want to feel. Says Oprah, “If you want more love in your life, set your intention to be more loving. If you seek kindness, focus your energy on empathy and compassion.”
But, be flexible – and trust the process.
All that said, the process is fluid. The steps you take do not matter as much as your belief, so “trust your actions, visions, and clarity as well as the ‘powers that be,'” Lombardo says. Faith is a powerful motivator and guiding force.
Yes, you can manifest love.
The best part about manifestation is its wide-reaching applications. The law of attraction knows no bounds. “Once you start dialing in your manifestation process, there’s no limit to what – or how often or much – you manifest,” Lombardo explains.
“This includes new friendships and romantic relationships.” That said, it is important to only manifest individuals who will help you fulfill your goals. “You’ll only want to attract people who are attracted to the person you are becoming,” she says. “Of course, this might mean the exclusion of a few exciting prospects, but I’m sure you’d agree that you’ll be happier with someone who’s aligned with the ‘you’ that’s making big moves.” And, as we’ve said before, manifesting love, like everything else requires some actual effort. Need a place to start? Here are some suggestions to help you meet new people.
Same goes for money.
The process for manifesting money follows the same steps previously mentioned; however, Marla McKenna, the author of Manifesting Your Dreams, emphasizes that financial manifestation is rooted in gratitude (well, and working). “The trick for manifesting money is looking at the abundance you already have and expressing gratitude for it,” McKenna says. “So even if you’re struggling to pay bills, raise your vibration and block any limiting beliefs by welcoming the money and prosperity that is on the way. In short, focus on what you have, not what you don’t have.”
McKenna also suggests using visual tools to keep you driven and focused. “Buy a bigger purse, visualize swimming in a pool of cash, make a money tree of monopoly money until you can replace it with real money, or write a large check to yourself knowing that one day you will indeed cash it.”
What’s the fastest way to manifest something you want?
If you see it and feel it, you will achieve it, at least according to McKenna. “The easiest way to manifest anything is to be clear about what you want. Don’t give the universe mixed signals… and take action. Working toward your goals is imperative.” You should also remain receptive.
Ask the universe for what you want and keep an eye out for signs of achievement or success. “The only thing stopping you from manifesting your dreams is you,” McKenna says. “What you can visualize in your mind, you can hold in your hands.
So get to work! You have manifesting to do!”