Last year, I happened to stumble upon an episode on the Holistic Wealth podcast that tackled the topic of manifestation.
A quick disclaimer before we begin: I am not the type of person who believes in voodoo and magic. I’m a fairly analytical person who remains rooted in science, albeit with a fairly open mind. So the title of this particular episode alone, “Manifesting Financial Abundance and Wealth with Hypnotherapist, Wendi Friesen” left me feeling just a bit skeptical. Regardless, curiosity got the best of me, and I choose to proceed with caution.
In the podcast, Friesen talks about how she went from “flat broke” to running a multi-million dollar business in just a few years. And she says she did so by imagining a future where she was successful and wealthy, then genuinely convincing herself that that future was inevitable.
“[It’s] not just like a vision board or a list of what you want to do, it’s just not manifesting and saying money comes to me. It’s going into that future and experiencing it as if it’s happening right now. That it is the present,” says Friesen in the podcast.
“Because a part of my brain believed it already had happened, I was really brave, and decided to take some chances that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
As I listened, I felt drawn to Friesen’s powerful story.
And I wondered, is there real human psychology behind manifestation? Would I too be braver if I convinced myself that the future I imagined was real?
Editor’s Note: If you’re curious, you can listen to the entire Holistic Wealth manifestation episode podcast below.
What is manifestation?
The basic idea behind manifestation involves turning a deeply rooted desire or idea, into reality.
Does manifesting actually work?
While the word manifestation may conjure images of spells and witchcraft for some, it turns out, that there is actually some real science surrounding the idea of utilizing the power of positive thinking.
Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. discusses that science in her Psychology Today article entitled “What is manifestation? Science-based ways to manifest“.
In the article, she cites a study that shows genuinely believing you can do something makes it more likely that you’ll successfully do it.
However, it’s not the belief alone that produces that success. Science, according to the study, suggests that our beliefs bring about behaviors that lead to our desired outcomes.
For instance, imagine you have a big job interview coming up. If you feel your odds of winning the job are extremely high, there’s a greater chance you’ll put more effort into preparation, and perhaps even perform better during the actual interview. After all, confidence is contagious.
Now imagine convincing yourself that there’s no way you’re getting that job. No matter what you do.
Do ya feel motivated to prep? To study? To show up with a smile and a great attitude? I’m guessing the answer is probably ‘no’.
Simply believing something is possible, versus assuming failure is inevitable, makes a difference.
Similarly, Dr. Davis also explains that simply ridding ourselves of negative bias around manifestation – and I’m talking to those of you who are rolling your eyes while reading this right now – by believing manifestation works, also have a higher chance of making it actually work. Or at the very least, attributing our success to the practice. (How meta!)
What is an example of manifesting?
Before I get into my own positive manifestation story, I thought I’d share one of the most famous examples of modern-day manifestation. It’s an example that’s frequently cited by manifestation proponents. And it’s brought to us by none other than Oprah Winfrey and Jim Carrey.
In a 1997 interview, Carrey tells Winfrey about a time before he was famous when he used to drive up to Mulholland Drive, park, and visualize having directors interested in him and his work.
“I had nothing at that time. But it made me feel better … I would drive home and think – well I do have these things I just don’t have hold of them yet but they are out there,” says Carrey in the interview.
Carrey then goes on to tell Winfrey that he even wrote himself a check for $10 million dollars around 1992 for ‘acting services rendered’ and dated it a few years into the future – 1995.
Carey recalls, “I put it in my wallet and kept it there … and it deteriorated … but then just before Thanksgiving 1995 I found out that I was going to get $10M on “Dumb and Dumber.”
But Carrey also clarifies that he didn’t just “visualize it and go eat a sandwich.” He says it took a lot of hard work to create that future he had always imagined, but making it seem tangible, and within his grasp, inspired him to take real steps toward achieving that goal.
OWN recently shared a clip of the interview on their YouTube page, which you can view below.
How do I manifest my goals?
There are a variety of ways to manifest your goals. But the primary objective is to make them tangible in a way that is meaningful to you. And to focus more on positive thoughts and positive energy, rather than negative thoughts and negative energy.
Looking for some inspiration? Try a few of these simple techniques.
- Visualize yourself having already achieved your goal
- Write a congratulatory letter to your future self
- Write a check to yourself (Like Jim Carrey!)
- Practice positive affirmations on a daily basis
- Write in a gratitude journal
- Make a vision board
But most importantly, be sure to take tangible steps toward making those goals a reality. And try to make those steps a part of your daily routine.
Each morning when you wake up, make a habit out of asking yourself, “What am I going to do today that brings me one step closer to my goals?”
At the end of the day, it’s really all about intentional living and a positive mindset.
Writing myself a $10k check
After listening to the Holistic Wealth podcast, I decided to see if manifestation would work in my own life.
And so, taking a cue from Jim Carrey, I wrote myself a $10,000 check dated for December 31, 2021.
For context, I had just launched a brand new business at the time that was barely producing enough money to pay for itself. And I certainly had no way of actually cashing this check for my own personal use.
I then taped the check to my computer, so I’d see it every day.
I’ll admit, for the first few days, that thing caused me nothing but anxiety.
I thought – this is crazy, I’m going to fail.
But then I realized, I was missing the most important aspect of visualization.
I wasn’t supposed to look at that check like a prop – or a simple motivational tool. I was supposed to make myself believe it was real.
So, I imagined myself spending the check. I thought about what I’d buy with it. I imagined seeing the deposit hit my bank account.
And slowly but surely, I found my brain starting to focus less on negative outcomes and more on creative solutions to bring me closer to my goals.
It gave me clarity that I hadn’t expected.
Then December rolled around and the craziest thing happened.
I was in a meeting with my other two business partners when one says to the other: “We’ve finished out the year so strong, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t each be able to take out a rather large year-end distribution. By my math, I’m thinking we could safely each write ourselves a check for $10,000.”
My final thoughts on positive manifestation
I wanted to wrap this article up with a few closing thoughts.
While you’d think, after my $10,000 check story, that I would be a hard-core believer in manifestation and have been practicing it every day since.
But the truth is – whether you call it manifestation, or just retraining your brain for improved self-confidence, self-esteem and better well-being – the journey is more of a marathon than a sprint.
In candor, I confess that the past year has been personally challenging. And I’ve let some of those self-defeating negative thoughts back in.
And while, as a whole, my businesses are doing well, they aren’t seeing the same kind of rapid growth that they saw last year when I was making visualization and mental health a primary focus.
However, writing this article today, relistening to the podcast that originally inspired my journey and recalling how it felt when I was taking those daily positive steps, has, in a way, reenergized me.
Now, excuse me while I pull that $20,000 check I wrote to myself earlier this year back out of my drawer and back into the light of day where it belongs. I’ll need to cash it soon, and I have quite a bit of work to do.
What are your thoughts on manifesting positive energy and outcomes? Where are you in your positive manifestation journey? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to connect with me on social media.