What is Manifesting (Actually)?: How to Manifest and Change Your Life

Wondering how to manifest? We'll help you use your mindset to attract the opportunities you most want in life in 5 simple steps.


Chances are, you've probably heard of "manifesting" before.

Everyone from Oprah to Jim Carrey embraces this practice as a way to actualize goals and bring what they most desire into their life. People claim to manifest money, new jobs, and even love.

But what does manifesting mean, really?

We're going to break it down for you in simple terms and 5 tangible steps.

What is Manifesting?

Manifesting is based on the "law of attraction", or the idea that you get what you put out into the world. (Ever had a relative tell you when you were younger, "You'll attract more flies with honey than vinegar"? It's kind of like that.)

Manifesting is all about using your thought patterns, mindset, and self-beliefs to attract what you want most.

Your thoughts and beliefs have immense power to shape your reality. If you have a negative outlook, or focus on the obstacles, the way you think can hold you back.

But if you shift the way you think to be more positive and proactive, it can help move you forward in seriously incredible ways.

Learn how to start a gratitude journal →

You have the power to change anything, because you are the one who chooses your thoughts and you are the one who feels your feelings. You create your own universe as you go along. —Rhonda Byrnes, author of The Secret

Manifesting is not a way to magically conjure up whatever you want without putting in any work.

Think of manifesting like setting a goal, and then using your mindset to help you get there. It's a mindfulness exercise in focusing your thoughts and energy on what you want to achieve the most, and believing that it's possible for you.

Give Manifesting a Try if...

  • You have a goal that you're motivated to achieve.
  • You've felt stuck when trying to meet your goals in the past.
  • You're ready to adopt a more positive mindset.

How to Manifest: 5 Easy Steps

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

But what are you supposed to do, exactly, to manifest something?

1. Determine your goals

The first step is to set a goal. Figure out what you most want to achieve - maybe you'd like to find love, make a change in your career, improve your health, or excel at a new hobby.

How to use your morning journaling practice to set goals →

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What's something you've always wanted to pursue?
  • At this point in your life, what do you want most of anything in the world?

2. Articulate what you want

Next, you want to actually get out there and ask the world for what you want. Some people like to make vision boards, write about it in a journal, pray, or discuss their goals with loved ones or mentors. The most important thing is to outwardly express what you'd like to achieve, and allow yourself to imagine how your life would change as a result.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What will my life look like once I meet this goal?
  • How will it look?
  • How will it feel?

3. Come up with an action plan

While manifesting has a big focus on your thoughts and mindset, it's still important to think about the tangible actions required to meet your goal.

Learn how CBT Therapy empowers your actions →

Even the loftiest goal can be broken down into smaller, simple steps. For example, if you wanted to make a career change, the first step might be researching a new industry, or reaching out to someone with experience in that field.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What's the first small step I should take to actualize this goal?
  • Are there any new skills I should learn?
  • Do I know any experts I can ask for advice?

4. Adjust your mindset

Now, here's the really important part: the mindfulness work. While working to manifest your goals, you want to concentrate on positivity and gratitude. Remember the whole "law of attraction" thing? You want to put good vibes out, so that you get good vibes in return.

This requires you to spend time reflecting on your thought patterns. If you notice that you're telling yourself you aren't enough, it's time to dig deep and consider why you might hold these self-beliefs — and establish newer, healthier ones.

Think of it like getting behind the wheel of your own thoughts: you want to steer them in a way that will serve you in advancing your goals.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What changes do I need to make to fully believe I am deserving of what I'm asking for?
  • How can I make my thoughts, and my self-beliefs match what i'm going after?

5. Keep an open mind

Sometimes an opportunity arises, and you think "this is it! this is what I've been asking for!" — but it passes you by.

Even when we put in all the work and have the right mindset, manifesting a goal can take time. Trust that when the right opportunity comes, it will work for you.

And keep your eyes peeled — sometimes the "perfect opportunity" looks different than what you were expecting!

Wrapping up

Manifesting is a goal setting practices that emphasizes the importance of mindfulness.

Your thoughts shape your reality. Negative self-talk and focusing on obstacles can prevent you from making progress.

But, when you put in the work to reframe negative thoughts, you feel more confident and hopeful about your future success. All that positivity and confidence can help you attract the opportunities you most want to receive.

And if you ever need a place to work through those negative thoughts — or daydream about your future success — the Jour app is all ears.