Manifestation is the act of creating something, or transforming something from an idea into a reality. In other words, manifestation refers to the process of bringing your dreams to life. While often associated with the new age movement or regarded as some kind of pseudoscience, manifestation is a very real process that is actually occurring all the time.
We are constantly manifesting that which we think most about, whether that is good or bad. Manifestation as a practice involves the conscious control of this process, utilizing it in a positive and intentional way to better improve your life and to bring about the things you desire.
In this article, we’ll talk more about manifestation and how you can manifest a better reality for yourself and create the life of your dreams.
What is Manifestation?
In the simplest terms, manifestation is putting your intention towards a vision that you hope will happen, then working towards that vision and making it a reality. In other words, if you think it, and act toward it, it will come true.
Manifestation was popularized by certain books like "The Secret" and "The Law of Attraction." Usually, when people refer to manifestation, they are talking about the ideas presented in books like these.
It is worth mentioning that manifestation is not something that is regarded highly by the scientific community. Many scientists will tell you that these books and the ideas in them are pseudoscience—which means something that claims to be scientific and factual but is not actually based on the scientific method. It is true that scientific evidence supporting manifestation is lacking. However, manifestation as an idea is very real and something that can profoundly impact your life if you understand the basics of what it is.
Your Thoughts Shape Your Reality
Fundamental to the idea of manifestation is the idea that your thoughts shape your reality. As far back as 2,500 years ago, the Buddha stated:
“What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create.”
Your thoughts are powerful, and every thought you think is shaping your life. Lao Tzu, another ancient master, said:
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Even the beloved Star Wars character Qui-Gon Jinn wisely stated that: “your focus determines your reality.”
Whether you are aware of it or not, your mind is very powerful, and the thoughts and beliefs that you hold within your mind are constantly shaping your life. Manifestation utilizes this power in a conscious way to shape our lives in the way we want them to be shaped.
To better understand this important point, let’s imagine that you were walking down a path and accidently tripped and scraped your knee. How would you personally react to this situation? How would this reaction shape your experience of the event?
One person may be upset that they were injured, and therefore may have a negative experience of the event, and may even think about this negative experience all day, complaining about how unfortunate they are. Another person may simply be grateful that they merely scraped their knee and were not seriously hurt, and therefore interpreted the event in a positive way, and were able to easily move on with a positive attitude.
The same event occurred, but the experience of that event was very different based on how it was perceived. Neither perception was necessarily right or wrong, but one led to an experience of unhappiness and negativity, while another lead to an experience of joy and positivity. Their experience was determined by what thoughts they chose to focus on.
In the same way, every experience that we have is determined by our perception of it. We are always interpreting the events in our lives, and how we interpret them determines our experience. If we experience a difficult situation, we can complain and say “This sucks. I hate doing this. This is so hard. Why does this always happen to me?” then our experience will be miserable and challenging. If we say “This is interesting. I can overcome this. I am growing and getting stronger. How can I learn from this?” then we can turn our difficulty into a positive experience of growth.
The point is, our mind is always shaping our experience based on the thoughts we think, the stories we create, and the beliefs that we hold. So, how do we utilize this power of our minds to create the reality we want?
Manifesting Your Vision
Napoleon Hill, author of the famous book “Think and Grow Rich” stated that “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” This small phrase summarizes what is necessary to successfully manifest your dreams.
First and foremost, you need to come up with a vision of what you want. This is something that all of the great success coaches and entrepreneurs of the past—Napoleon Hill, Joseph Murphy, Stephen Covey, Earl Nightingale, John Maxwell, and others—have stated and held with great importance: you need to get clear on what you want.
These teachers recommend you start with a goal and vision that truly inspires you. This is something you need to think clearly on and may take you some time to discover. Ask yourself, what is it that you really want? What kind of life do you want to live? What kind of job? What kind of house? What kind of relationship? Try to get as clear on your vision as possible.
Once your vision is clear, try to simplify it into one very clear and concise statement then write it down on paper. Write it down as if it is something you already have (this is an important point that we will get to a little bit further in the article).
For example: “I live in a beautiful two-story home on a 20-acre farm in Maui with my loving family, spending my days outside in nature, growing organic food and playing in the sun.”
Let’s imagine this was your biggest dream for your life. You thought long and hard about this vision, you wrote it down clearly and specifically, and most importantly, every time you read and think about this vision it brings up a very strong feeling of inspiration and excitement within you.
It is very important that you write down your vision and that it makes you feel inspired. If you don’t feel inspired about it then it isn’t the right vision yet. It has to be something so important to you that your burning desire becomes making this vision a reality. This is why it is so important to take your time and get clear on what you really want—not what you think you want or what others think you should have, but what your heart deeply desires.
This vision serves as your compass, guiding all of your activities in its direction.
The Power of Belief
The first part of Napoleon Hill’s famous statement is “whatever the mind of man can conceive…” conceive refers to the vision you have in your mind. The next part is “…and believe it can achieve.” This second part is important. You have to believe on an emotional level that you can, in fact, make your dream a reality.
This is one of the most important parts of manifestation, and also one that people struggle with the most. Many of us do not believe in ourselves, or feel we are worthy of the life we desire. This becomes a huge block to manifestation. You could have a million dollars waiting for you, but if you don’t feel like your worthy of that million-dollar prize then you won’t accept it or allow yourself to have it.
Why are these feelings of low self-worth here? Why don’t you believe in yourself? Why would anyone be more or less worthy than you are? Why wouldn’t you be worthy of your deepest desires?
The fact is that many of us feel unworthy, and a lot of this comes from how society has conditioned us to judge and limit ourselves. It is absolutely necessary that we unlearn these limiting beliefs, because they are shaping our lives subconsciously. We need to retrain our subconscious mind to feel worthy of our desires.
The idea of the subconscious mind is important to understanding manifestation. Joseph Murphy, author of “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” states that:
“There are two levels of your mind—the conscious (rational) and the subconscious (irrational). You think with your conscious mind, and whatever you habitually think sinks down into your subconscious mind, which creates according to the nature of your thoughts.
Once the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to execute it. It is an interesting and subtle truth that the law of the subconscious mind works for good and bad ideas alike. You will get a reaction or response from your subconscious mind according to the nature of the thought or idea you hold in your conscious mind.
You must remember that these are not two minds. They are merely two spheres of activity within one mind. Your conscious mind is the reasoning mind. It is that phase of mind, which chooses. For example, you choose your books, your home, and your partner in life. You make all your decisions with your conscious mind.
On the other hand, without any conscious choice on your part, your heart is kept functioning automatically, and the process of digestion, circulation, and breathing are carried on by your subconscious mind through processes independent of your conscious control.
Your subconscious mind accepts what is impressed upon it or what you consciously believe. It does not reason things out like your conscious mind, and it does not argue with you… it responds according to the nature of your thoughts or suggestions.”
Your subconscious mind is powerful, and it is shaping your life based upon the beliefs that it has accepted and adopted over time. If you believe you are not worthy of wealth, for example, then you will continue to reject wealth in your life.
You need to program your subconscious mind by consciously choosing and repeating thoughts and emotions that are in favor of the life you want to create. This requires that you pay close attention to your thoughts and your inner self-talk, and that you replace all limiting beliefs with empowering beliefs.
For example, say you notice a thought that says, “I’ll never be successful.” Instead of subconsciously agreeing with that thought and letting it shape your life, replace it by saying “success is my birthright and I am becoming more successful every day.” Rather than thinking “I failed, I should just quit” think “I just learned a valuable lesson that is helping me grow.”
Knowing that your thoughts are a product of your past programming, and that your thoughts are shaping your life, you have to be responsible for your own mind and reprogram it in a way that serves you, rather than letting it limit you.
This is the power of affirmation. Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. Affirmations can change your subconscious beliefs, and therefore, will change your thoughts and how they shape your life.
If you repeatedly affirm, “I am worthy of success” and feel that to be true, it will soon become your habitual belief and way of thinking and will shape the way you act and behave. It may feel foreign or strange at first, but with repetition it will become more natural. What is important is that you transform limiting beliefs into empowering ones. You must believe in yourself and your vision in order to manifest it.
The Law of Attraction
To really understand manifestation, you need also need to understand the Law of Attraction. The law of attraction is a philosophy suggesting that positive thoughts bring positive results into a person's life, while negative thoughts bring negative outcomes. It is based on the belief that thoughts are a form of energy and that positive energy attracts success in all areas of life, including health, finances, and relationships.
To understand the Law of Attraction you need to understand that everything is energy. It is actually a scientific fact that all matter is really a form of energy, so “energy” is the word we give to the basic “stuff” or substance of the universe.
The universe is made up entirely of energy. This energy is always in a constant state of movement, or vibration. These movements occur at different rates or speeds, referred to as frequencies. So, the frequency that energy vibrates at determines the form that it will take.
You can think of energy in the universe as water in the ocean. Vibration refers to the waves that are constantly moving in the ocean, and frequency refers to the size and speed that these waves are moving at.
These principles of energy, frequency and vibration are key to understanding manifestation and the Law of Attraction. According to the great mind of scientist Nikola Tesla, they are also the key to understanding the universe:
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
Einstein, another highly regarded physicist, stated that “Everything in life is vibration.”
The Kybalion, an ancient Hermetic text that is said to describe the 7 laws of the Universe, states that the third principle of the universe is the Principle of Vibration:
“This Principle embodies the truth that "everything is in motion"; "everything vibrates"; "nothing is at rest"; facts which Modern Science endorses, and which each new scientific discovery tends to verify. And yet this Hermetic Principle was enunciated thousands of years ago, by the Masters of Ancient Egypt. This Principle explains that the differences between different manifestations of Matter, Energy, Mind, and even Spirit, result largely from varying rates of Vibration.”
So, we can see that the notion of everything being energy in a constant state of vibration, and that these vibrations are oscillating at different frequencies, is a concept that has been held dearly by many great minds throughout history.
The idea behind the Law of Attraction is that you, just like everything else in the universe, are energy, and the vibrational frequency of your energy is attracting things into your life that resonate with that same frequency.
As the teacher Bashar puts it:
“Here is the true secret of the Law of Attraction:
You have a core vibrational frequency.
It is purely uniquely you.
It's a beacon. It's like a lighthouse. It shines. It radiates purely that signature frequency of your unique being. It never stops radiating that light, that frequency, that energy - never stops.
Everything that is in alignment with that frequency is doing its utmost to come to you.”
So, if you change your energy to vibrate at the frequency of what you desire, it will be attracted to you and you will manifest it in your life. Your internal state of being will shape your external circumstances.
This means that if you want to manifest a dream career, for example, you need to vibrate at the frequency of someone who works that job. You need to, on a mental and emotional level, believe and feel that you are that person with that career, and allow that to guide your thoughts and actions.
Something critical to understand here is that you need to vibrate at the frequency of already having what you desire. For example, when you say to your mind, “I live on a 20-acre farm in Maui” you will feel the energy of already living your dream and will align with that energy.
When you say to your mind instead, “I want to live on a 20-acre farm in Maui” then you will vibrate at the frequency of want, and will continue to always want and desire, instead of actually having.
This isn’t to delude yourself and say you already have what you don’t, it is to understand that everything is energy and everything is attracted to energy of similar vibrational frequency. So if you vibrate at the frequency of already having what you want, you will start to resonate with that and attract that in your life.
The Importance of Action
Many people that hear about these principles only focus on the idea of thoughts, beliefs, energy and vibration. While these are all very important, you must also work toward your vision and goal of what you are attracting. You must balance attraction and action to manifest successfully.
Focus on aligning with the energetic vibration of what you desire, and then work toward that vision to manifest it into reality. If you focus on energetic alignment but don’t put in any physical work, you won’t see results. Similarly, if you focus only on physical actions but are not in vibrational alignment, you will continue to manifest a reality that is different than the one you desire.
Once your vision is clear, you know what you want, and you believe that you can achieve it, you then need to take action to make it happen. Usually manifestation refers to bigger goals in our life, but we can think of this on a smaller scale too.
For example, I had a vision for writing this article, I believed that I was capable of writing it, I took action to write it, and now it is something that exists in reality. It started in my mind, but now it is something that exists as an article. In other words, I manifested this reality from my mind.
This is a very small-scale example, but manifestation on a larger scale follows the same process. We need to have a vision, believe we can achieve it, and then work toward it to make it happen. Many of the great success teachers and coaches recommend that once you clearly write down your vision and goals, that you then write out a plan.
Napoleon Hill says to write down your goals, then write down what you are willing to do in order to achieve those goals, and then do those things. Using our example from earlier, my goal is to live on a 20-acre farm in Maui. In order to achieve this goal, I will work two jobs, save half of my paycheck, invest a percentage of each paycheck, move to Maui, connect with the local farming community, and so on. The idea is to get creative about what you are willing to do to make your dream a reality and then go do it.
We can think and plan all we want, but to really manifest our dream life we need to also work hard and take consistent action to achieve it. The greater our goal, the more action is generally required, and the more time it may take to make it happen. We just need to trust that our vision will manifest as we work toward it and hold the belief that it is already ours.
Trust: The Final Part of the Process
The final part of the manifestation process is to trust that our dreams will become a reality. We have to know that it is already done, but that it is just unfolding in the time that is necessary for it to happen.
We can think of it this way. Since everything is energy, just vibrating at different frequencies, we need to get really clear on what we want so we can focus on that specific frequency of energy. Once our vision is clear, we must believe that we already have that, we must have a feeling that we know it is ours. Holding this belief, we then take clear actionable steps toward our goal, and trust that our actions are making this vision in our minds into a reality.
We have to feel confident and trust our vision and trust our capacity to make it a reality. This allows us to relax as we consistently work toward our goals.
So, manifestation starts in the mind with our vision, thoughts and beliefs. These determine our emotions and the frequency that we are vibrating at, and therefore what we are sending out to the universe and what we are attracting to our lives. Following this is our actions, which are helping to bring our ideas into physical reality. This, of course, takes time and consistent effort. We simply need to know that when the time is right, our actions will manifest our vision, and to trust in the process as it unfolds.
Just as Lao Tzu said, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Manifestation is simply taking conscious control of this process and aiming it toward our greatest desires for our life.
Manifestation is the act of creating something, or transforming something from an idea into a reality. It is the process of bringing your dreams to life.
Fundamental to the concept of manifestation is that human beings have the power to transform their circumstances and shape their reality. Manifestation is simply utilizing this power in an intentional way.
To understand manifestation, we need to understand the power of our minds—namely our thoughts and beliefs—as well as the law of attraction, and the importance of setting goals and taking actionable steps to achieve our goals.
If we only focus on our thoughts and the concept of energy or the Law of Attraction, and do not understand the importance of setting goals and taking actionable steps to achieve them, then we won’t be able to manifest successfully. It takes time and effort to manifest our goals. What is really important is that all of our actions are focused on creating the vision we desire.
That is why the first step is to get very clear on your vision and what it is you want to manifest, and then believe in your power to make it happen, and go take the actions necessary to make it happen. When your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, frequency, and actions are all in alignment with your vision, then you can successfully manifest it into reality.
As Napoleon Hill said: Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.