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Think your dreams into being? Think again, but manifestation methods can help

March 11, 2022 - 12 min read


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Law of attraction breakdown 

How can I start manifesting?

The bottom line

If you believe you can, you can. You've probably heard that from some well-meaning supporter at some point in your life. There's nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it.

The question is: do manifestation methods work?

These platitudes are well-intended, meant to help. Especially when we're young, their simple, positive message can help us overcome fears and self-doubt that can be limiting.

This type of encouragement has gained popularity as a mantra in an idea known as manifesting or manifestation. Manifesting is based on the idea that you can think your dreams into reality. By having a clear vision and focusing on it through a variety of manifestation methods, you can attract your dream into your life.

That's the idea.

In reality, we know that just thinking about something we want — or chanting about it  — is unlikely to achieve your goals. Yet, in life, we do tend to go where we focus. Our mindset shapes our thoughts. Our thoughts shape our behaviors.

If you believe you can, you can. This type of mantra is sometimes called the law of attraction. While it won't attract your dream into being, visualizing what you want is a simple yet effective manifestation method to help you achieve your goals.

The power of positive thinking is no joke. Our mindset determines how we see the world and take advantage of opportunities. 

Knowing how to manifest your goals can be a first step to making those dreams a reality. We’ll explore how it works.

Law of attraction breakdown 


How does it work?

Like attracts like. What you put out into the world is what you get back. Your mind is like a magnet, and the energy you give off will return to you. That's the idea.

How does this actually help? It's hard to hide your mood. When you are gloomy and pessimistic or cynical, it shows in your face, body language, and choices. This applies to both positive and negative thoughts. When you are excited, engaged, and optimistic, that shows as well.

In general, people choose to spend more time around others who bring out positive emotions in them. And research shows that people who have a positive mindset are more productive, creative, and better at problem-solving than their peers.

In other words, if you are putting out positive vibes, you are set up to perform better, and you are attracting other similarly well-equipped people who may prove to be useful allies, mentors, or colleagues. 

That doesn't mean you should overdo it on being optimistic and upbeat. Be authentic. It’s not easy being upbeat 24/7. 

Achieving your dreams is possible — first, you have to believe. 

What things should I keep in mind?

Your mind is your most powerful tool. Reprogramming your conscious and subconscious mind takes work. The more you train yourself to think positively, the more natural it will become. 

At BetterUp, we believe physical wellness, mental fitness, and daily performance go hand in hand. It takes daily practice, and some grit, to make a change. Our coaches can help you rework your automatic thought patterns and let go of your limiting beliefs.

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How can I start manifesting?

Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead, especially when we're constantly dealing with work, bills, family, and our thoughts. But planning for the future, and getting excited about it, is good for our mental health. When the world seems unpredictable, we just have to keep our vision flexible and be ready for change

Fortunately, many effective manifestation techniques help you focus on where you want to be in the future. Here are some ways to get started: 

1. Make a vision board

Piecing together your goals with images and words on a vision board gives your mind the freedom to wander. Hang up your board somewhere you’ll see it every day. Seeing your vision board is a great reminder to keep going. 

2. Start journaling

Journaling gives you a safe space to record your thoughts, worries, and goals without judgment. You can always be yourself on paper. You can keep a gratitude journal, where you remember what you’re thankful for, or a manifestation journal to focus on what you’re hoping to achieve. 

Plus, you can go back to your journal whenever you want and reflect on how far you've come and what goals you’ve met. 

You can also try scripting. It tricks your brain into thinking you've already accomplished your desires. Write a journal entry from the point of view of your future self. Describe how you feel as if you've gotten your dream job, met your soulmate, or won a six-figure salary. 


3. Say positive affirmations

Ever heard of the Wonder Woman pose? It’s when you stand in a superhero position and chant positive things to yourself. I’ve got this. I’m worthy of my dreams. I’m continually learning. I will succeed. 

It may sound hokey. But for people who struggle with self-criticism and automatic negative thoughts, it is an effective way to retrain thought patterns.

Repeating these affirmations on consecutive days, superhero position or not, trains your mind to think positively more automatically. It’ll help boost your self-confidence. You can practice repeating affirmations every morning or before your stressful events — like tests, presentations, or hard conversations. 

4. Give the pillow method a try

This carries over your positive affirmations into your sleep. Write down your dreams and put them under your pillow before bed. 

The theory behind the pillow method is that your last thoughts of the day will help modify your subconscious beliefs in a gradual but powerful way. Your dreams will improve and you'll wake up feeling better. 

Does putting them under your pillow do anything special? No. But writing things down before bed can help clear your mind, and having a positive bedtime ritual can shift your mindset.


5. Go outside the box

There’s nothing wrong with staying in our comfort zones. But by getting curious and stepping outside those boundaries, you’ll grow and learn. You will discover new opportunities. Start with small steps and work up to larger ones. 

Thomas Jefferson said: “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” These words ring true. Taking action ensures progress.

6. Surround yourself with positivity

Being around like-minded and supportive people will help you maintain a healthy mindset.

When you fail or make a mistake, you'll have a safety net ready to catch you with open, loving arms. That’s better than being greeted with negative energy.

While a positive support system is great, forced positivity isn't helpful. Toxic positivity is when people force an upbeat attitude and refuse to see any negatives or downsides regardless of what is happening around them. 

Real life has ups and downs. Peaks and valleys. Some days, you will be afraid or unhappy. Unexpected obstacles and setbacks will happen. Surround yourself with people who can be there with you and help you find your way back up.

7. Practice the 369 manifestation method

This numerology method is popular and easy. Write down what you want to manifest. You’ll do this: 

  • 3 times in the morning 
  • 6 times throughout the day 
  • 9 times in the evening 

If you believe in numerology, by all means use this simple trick. Inventor Nikola Tesla believed these numbers were divine and could unlock the universe’s secrets.

For everyone else, the 369 method is a reminder to touch base with our intentions and purpose throughout the day. Consistently writing what matters to you can help solidify your sense of purpose and direction. Your intentions shape the direction of your thoughts and actions. 


8. Walk the walk

The phrase fake it till you make it holds some truth when manifesting your dreams. It takes courage to believe in yourself and continue despite obstacles, but it’s always worthwhile. 

The bottom line

Manifesting and the law of attraction are easy ways to start working toward a vision and building the life you want for yourself. It doesn’t matter what method you prefer. What matters is that you have conviction and follow through. 

How you think and feel impacts what you do. Manifesting will be challenging some days, but that’s okay. Keep going. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

At BetterUp, we believe that everyone deserves to live vibrantly. We can help you see your endless potential and find your purpose

Personal growth, social connection, and mental fitness work together for positive transformation. Change is hard work. But if you can dream it — and you put in the work — you can do it. 

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Published March 11, 2022

Maggie Wooll

Managing Editor

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