It seems like everyone is manifesting these days. Ariana Grande has a song about it. Megan Thee Stallion swears by it. There are even celebrity billboards about it. On TikTok alone, #manifestation has over 16 billion—yes, billion—views. But despite its popularity, it’s something that is often misunderstood. Manifesting is more than just writing down the name of that cute barista in your notebook over and over again until they ask you out. Or repeating self-love mantras in the mirror (with crystals in hand) until all of your insecurities magically melt away. It’s a lot more in-depth than that.
So what is manifestation exactly? According to Wikipedia, it’s defined as “pseudoscientific self-help strategies intended to bring about a personal goal, primarily by focusing one’s thoughts upon the desired outcome.” Sure, that’s great and all, but like… how do you actually manifest something you want?
It seems like a lot of us are asking this same question. There has been a huge uptick in Google searches for “manifestation,” since the pandemic started, like “what is manifestation” and “manifestation definition.” And we have a few more questions of our own: Is it the new age of spirituality? Is it the same thing as the law of attraction? Is it total BS? And most importantly, can you actually leverage the power of the universe to help you in your career?
That’s why we reached out to *the* manifestation expert Roxie Nafousi. She’s the author of the Sunday Times best-selling book, Manifest: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life (which Bella Hadid has been spotted reading, nbd), and has hosted manifesting workshops for over 600 people, including celebrities like Australian model Shanina Shaik and British singer Frankie Bridge.
“Everybody is manifesting, and they don't even know it,” says Nafousi. Yes, really. All of those successful entrepreneurs that swear by being clear on their vision, eliminating fear and doubt, embracing gratitude, turning inspiration into opportunity and trusting their gut? Yup, those are the principles of manifesting. “It’s not a trend, it’s not just about visualizing what you want, but it’s really a self-development practice. Manifesting isn't something you do, it's a way of living. It enables you to embody the highest version of yourself.”
Nafousi is living proof that manifestation works. “When I first discovered manifestation [in my 20s], I was still addicted to cocaine. I was smoking 20 packs of cigarettes a day. I was a mess. I had no career. I hadn't earned any money for about 10 years. I had nothing. I immersed myself in self development, and within two years, I've transformed my life and my career through manifestation—but I did not do that sitting on my ass.”
Here, Nafousi shares some manifestation tips for beginners, so you can all reach your highest potential (and get that well-deserved promotion).
Prioritize your self worth
“You manifest from your self worth, from what you deserve and feel you deserve,” says Nafousi. “It's actually about having gratitude for all that you already have. It's about stepping outside your comfort zone, it's about taking action and being proactive. Often, if we are lacking in that self belief, we're not able to even envision what we want. And that can be a telltale sign at the beginning that we have some inner work to do; some inner healing to do. The message you should send to the universe is, ‘I love myself and I believe I am worthy of love and abundance and success.’ Everything you do is a representation of that.”
Learn to trust your gut
“I would start to look for serendipitous moments in your life,” she advises. “They will help you to strengthen your belief and trust in the universe, by just looking out for little signs. When you have that gut instinct, where you just know something’s going to happen, those are signs that you’re in flow, you’re manifesting, you’re in tune with your instincts “The more we notice it, the more we can recognize our own power,” adds Nafousi.
Hone in on your vision
“Be as detailed as you can about what it is you're looking for,” says Nafousi. “And that can be hard, especially if you’re in a career that you don't love, but you also don't know what you’re looking for. “Really think about how you want to feel in a role: Do I want to feel respected? Do I want to feel excited? Do I want to have good relationships with my colleagues? And then if you can go a step further, and you do know, do you know what the title is? Do you know what salary you want to be on? Really try to gain as much clarity and detail as possible,” she adds.
Don’t limit yourself
“If I said to every one of you, ‘Write down your dream salary next year,’ you would all write down what you realistically thought you could manifest. Maybe 1% of you would say your dream salary,” says Nafousi. “It’s the same with vision boards. You often write down things that you think you could achieve. No, no, no, no. There is limitless potential and opportunity. So dream big, don't stop yourself with the first hurdle.”
Speak it into existence
Whether it’s to yourself, your friends, your family or let’s be honest, anyone that will listen, it’s important to talk about the things you’re manifesting out loud. If it’s a new job, let people know. “You never know who knows someone. If you've got this inclination to reach out, do it. You have nothing to lose,” advises Nafousi.
Turn envy into inspiration
“Envy has a really low vibe and it comes from a scarcity mindset, so what it says is: if you have something, it means that there's less to go around,” says Nafousi. So, the next time you’re jealous of your friend for getting a big promotion, remind yourself that this is a sign of something that you want. Change your thoughts of “I'm not enough” or “I'm not far enough going” to “Wow, isn't that incredible? I'm so excited to have that for myself. I'm really inspired by that." "When we can do that, we go into an abundant mindset,” says Nafousi. “Inspiration is abundance; there's enough for everyone. And that's a really powerful state of mind to be in.”
Reframe negative self talk
Do you find yourself saying things like, “I knew that wasn’t going to work out” or “Someone else deserves this more than me” or “I’m asking for too much.” That’s exactly how to manifest negatively, which is counterproductive. “Fear and doubt disguise themselves as friends, preventing you from disappointment, but in reality, they’re stopping you from reaching your goals,” says Nafousi.
Stop trying to control the outcome
“A lot of people think that manifesting is about control—but it's not, it's actually about surrender,” she says. “It's about knowing what you want, and then surrendering to the journey that takes you there.”
“Anytime you see an opportunity, just do it,” says Nafousi. “Always put yourself out there. Always ask and ask again. If you don't get a reply, email again. No one ever cares as much as you think they do. No one cares if you double email. No one cares if you're persistent. When you face rejection, see it as redirection, and trust that something better is out there. Just keep pushing. Keep going. And don't settle.”