Manifesting magic | A genuine business tool or a load of woo?
Words: Amber Badger
The Law of Attraction, manifest your desires, ask and you will receive… There are so many narratives around the concept of manifestation. But is there a deeper level to this mindset that needs to be acknowledged?
I love a bit of the ‘woo’ – a lot of it, actually. My flat is covered in crystals, sage, moon journals and a truck load of essential oils. I adore a good moon ritual, and alternative therapy is totally my jam.
I’m also a strong believer in the ways in which mindset can influence what happens around you, as well as the energy that you pour out into the world. But, there’s one thing I have mixed feelings about, particularly when it comes to being a business owner: manifesting.
The Law of Attraction isn’t a new concept; it was first shared within the public sphere in 1877 in a book by the author Helena Blavatsky. It’s had major surges in popularity in that time – especially when The Secret came out in 2006. The idea is that – through cosmic law – whatever you focus on (and manifest!) has the potential to grow, and so by channelling our thoughts and energy into the things we want in life, we can sit back and watch those seeds blossom.
It’s an undoubtedly nice idea, right? Who wouldn’t want to know that we already had everything within us to call out our deepest desires?
My worry is that this is one part of a rich tapestry, and that by putting all our eggs in the manifestation basket, we could be setting ourselves up for some hefty disappointments.
I’m not going to sit here and say that positivity is a bad thing. I’m saying that it isn’t everything.
This year has taught me a hell of a lot. One of the major realisations that has stuck, is how much toxic positivity is a trigger for me. The idea that if I just ‘think positively’, all my stresses, anxieties and fears will sink into the ether.
And listen: I know I sound like a right Neggy Nancy. But it’s the truth. Sometimes a positive outlook doesn’t cut the mustard. When your business is floundering thanks to the ‘C’ word, or your bills are stacking up and you’re burnt out and fed up, you don’t need to manifest your way out of it; you need to work through it, bit by bit.
Saying that, the moment I know an idea has real substance and legs is when I am able to visualise it. If I can see it as a part of my reality – if I can feel it – then I get an innate sense that it’s going to happen. I’ll manifest the pants off of it. I’ll write about it, I’ll add it to my vision board, I’ll set it as an intention. Whether this is a means of making the *thing* happen or not, it helps me feel confident and in control; it gives me something to focus on. Surely that means it does play an integral part in the journey?
Perhaps then, this sense of inner reflection and ability to tap into our inner voice (and listen to where it wants us to go) can be a good way to push our business plan or strategy forward?
So, where does this leave us? Is manifestation good or bad? In the words of Katy Perry, are we in or are we out?
I spoke to members of my business community to find out their views on manifestation – the answers were wonderfully varied.
“There’s a lot of crap out there around it, but the theory is sound.”
“It works to a degree – but it’s also a very privileged way of thinking.”
“It’s absolutely a thing!”
“It’s annoying… But also I know the principle is true.”
“It’s elusive but attainable with patience and clarity.”
“It’s a bit wishy washy.”
“It makes me think I am unable to succeed as I am unable to be positive 24/7.”
“I LOVE IT!”
Clearly this is a subject with varying views surrounding it – and I get that, wholeheartedly.
Because when I think of using manifestation in my business, it’s as if I’m stuck in a tug of war. One half of me screams “LIFE IS NOT THAT SIMPLE” while the other proclaims “but why CAN’T it be?”
It doesn’t help that we have a growing number of people out there who’s entire businesses are built on telling others that they can manifest their way to a million dollars, or that it’s safe to leave their job and security with no plan or strategy because, you know, manifest it. These are the narratives that I believe are incredibly dangerous – and also the ones that are to blame for the rising walls around the abundant benefits of positive thinking, visualisation and manifestation.
While writing this article, I read a lot of pieces on the law of attraction. There were so many problematic statements. They made promises that you could achieve EVERYTHING you gave thought to, and so long as you were positive you would have positivity brought back to you (so sucks to be you if you ever experience mental health problems or are a real life human with fluctuating emotions). If you had negative thoughts, well, you only had yourself to blame.
I found these articles very hard to read. Because I DO believe that focus and energy can help us reach our goals. I also know that this has to come alongside way more inner and outer work than how it’s being painted.
Maybe manifestation should sit on a scale – somewhere happily in between the many other elements that enable us to bring our dreams to life.
I asked this same community whether they thought manifestation was a) exciting and empowering b) a load of 💩 or c) somewhere in between. Over half said c) somewhere in between. I think I’m with them.
For me, journaling is an enormous part of my personal and professional life; and, really, this is a form of manifestation. Pretty much everyone I spoke to had their own relationship with journaling – even if they didn’t see it as a way to manifest thoughts and feelings. They used journaling for:
If there are THIS MANY different ways to use the power of journaling, then maybe there are layers to the law of attraction that can feel more comfortable and less challenging?
A few of the business owners I spoke to said that they used manifestation as a way to keep them on as positive a path as possible, while listening to their intuition and backing it all up with a business plan.
“I have a goal with rough steps along the path, but fine tuning it seems futile as there are so many variables. Instead, I use my gut instinct and play out what it would look like if I made that decision and see how it feels.”
“If I’m having a low patch, I take some time to go inwards and really focus on what it is in order to get out of the funk. By doing that, it also helps me to realise that the low mood is only temporary and I do have the skills and focus to turn things around.”
Perhaps then, this sense of inner reflection and ability to tap into our inner voice (and listen to where it wants us to go) can be a good way to push our business plan or strategy forward? To help us shake off the stagnant energy and step back into our mission with clarity and purpose?
Because facts are facts – a business needs a solid plan to succeed. It needs financial forecasts, business development strategies, outsourcing conversations, systems and processes… All the things that go straight over my head and I invest in valued support for. And surely that’s the beauty of the small business landscape? That there are SO many of us out here, specialising in our own unique areas and helping other business owners achieve their vision? If we were all to believe that manifesting was the one true way to make your business boom, wouldn’t all of those roles become redundant?
By all means, embrace a positive heart – but remember you are not to blame if this positivity doesn’t bring you what you want.
Instead, weave this joyful, focused energy into your concrete path. Let the pair hold hands – let one lift the other.
Manifest that magic, while resting comfortably on your reality ✨