Manifesting For Skeptics: A Celebrity Life Coach's No-BS Take
Manifesting [man-uh-fest-ing] verb: the act of causing something or bringing a specific result to fruition by thinking and feeling it in a certain way.
Many people roll their eyes at the notion. Manifesting sounds an awful lot like new-age mysticism or fringe spirituality. I am not in the business of fortune-telling or wish-granting. Granted, I may read my horoscope every now and then, and I do love using those things for creative wonderment, but I tend to engage in a more straightforward way of making things happen in my life—not by wishing but by designing it.
And yet, manifesting remains an important element of The Handel Method®, my coaching technique. Without burning incense or consulting a crystal ball, I have gotten rooms full of science majors to practice manifesting, as well as neuroscientists, business undergrads, entrepreneurs, and grade-school children. Across the board, all of my clients—even those who remain skeptical—report that the act of manifesting their dreams and goals was a pivotal step in achieving them.
What’s the catch?
There is no catch. You’re actually doing it all the time without realizing it. Through all of the experiences of your own personal history, you came to invent the answers to everything around you—and you search for ways to prove them true. It is just a mechanism of the human mind. Yes, I’m saying the hypochondriac is always the first to get sick. All the lights are red when you’re late to work. Your inner grumblings about your in-laws influence how they behave at dinner. It’s a cause and effect!
Medical researchers have even proven the physical repercussions of stress and worrying, which is essentially manifesting what you DON’T want to happen. It’s easier to recognize this dynamic at play in certain areas of our lives over others, but it is always yours to play with. What you think about, you bring about. It’s that simple.
Imagine if you could harness this mind mechanism and actually reprogram it to work to your advantage.
Is there something or someone you would love to show up on your doorstep? Maybe you want to get back into playing the guitar, but you haven’t owned one in years. Or you’re tired of dating the same type of person and you’re ready to find your soulmate.
I’m endeavoring to say it’s possible to manifest those things and more. I invite you to try it out for yourself and see if you can make something magical happen. The following tips can help you get started:
1.Pick one desire and be very specific.
You must love the wish and be faithful to it. You must be unwaveringly sure you want it.
2. Create a vision in your mind of your world as it would look if the wish came true.
Go to the future and be with the ideal husband or in the perfect dream home. Put yourself into the scene doing whatever you would be doing—peeling carrots in your new kitchen? Create a sentence you would say in that moment like, “It feels so good to be home.”
3. Repeat the scene and the statement over and over again in your mind, while your body is still.
Meditate on it. Get emotional. Do whatever it takes to bring forth the actual feeling you’d have upon discovering that wish had come true. The best time to do this is in a state of deep relaxation—try it right before you go to sleep.
4. Do not use mental energy figuring out HOW to fulfill your wish.
Allow your mind to linger on the feeling of having, not of wanting. Look for, expect, and celebrate signs that your wish is coming true! Consider everything a sign.
Note: If you can’t envision the dream scene or deeply feel the feeling, there is work to be done. This should not feel like a bandage on a painful issue, or a prayer you are hoping will be answered. If there is any fear or unresolved issue around this specific desire, table it until you have time to work it out. In the meantime, practice manifesting a thing in an area of your life you’re already confident about. Love golfing? Manifest a hole-in-one!
You have to meet magic halfway.
The reason most people don’t have great success with this practice—and the reason I hesitate to teach it to new clients—has to do with physical integrity. Even if you truly believe in the power of positive thinking, you won’t have much success if you’re not matching your efforts in your thoughts and actions. You can’t wish to win the lottery if you don’t play, right? Manifesting your dream partner won’t work if you’re on the couch eating potato chips. When your mind is on the side of your dreams (and not fixated on your fears) you think and act in a radically different way, and you bring about a radically different set of results.
Let’s get started.
Want more insights on how to level up your life? Check out your June horoscope, then find out if you're meeting your emotional needs (and how you can do it better).
Lauren Handel Zander is the co-founder and chairwoman of Handel Group, an international corporate consulting and life coaching company. Her coaching methodology, The Handel Method®, is taught at over 35 universities and institutes of learning around the world, including MIT, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, NYU, and the New York City public school system. She currently lives in South Salem, New York, has her bachelor's in environmental studies from George Washington University, and is the author of Maybe It's You: Cut the Crap, Face Your Fears, Love Your Life. Handel Zander has spent over 20 years coaching thousands of private and corporate clients, including executives at Vogue, BASF, and AOL. She has been a featured expert in the New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Women’s Health, Dr. Oz, and Marie Claire, and is a regular contributor to Business Week and the Huffington Post.