I’m all in for a great idea that might help us move forward. But rest assured, I’ll put that idea through its paces. We should all take a closer look — breaking things down and exploring how it all works. Where the philosophy of manifesting is concerned, I completely understand its allure. In a sea of self-care trends, it does appear to embrace positivity (let’s be sure not confuse it with mindfulness). Yet, I fear that while it purports to offer many a supportive path when life and work throw become challenging, it falls miserably short in the proof department. Here are my concerns with manifesting — and you may or may not agree with my reasoning. (Read more here.)
Problem #1. For an idea to hold water, “the proof” so to speak “lies in the pudding.” To truly improve our lives I believe that “doing” — actual behavioral change is necessary. Thoughts may be the starting point to change. Yet thoughts never represent the complete story when it comes to forward progress. We cannot wish for things to develop. We have to act. Without a plan of action, only false hope can follow.
We must act to change our lives. Only our behaviors can truly accomplish this.
Problem #2. Let’s consider the underlying premise of manifesting. When our thoughts are unleashed into the universe, these thoughts somehow create more of the same energy. Logically, this leads me to ask questions such as: “Will my thoughts concerning my difficult client, bring more of the same toward me?” or “Did my friend ghost me because my vibrational energy was low and broadcasted my doubts?” Essentially, this line of reasoning implies that whatever you put out there thought-wise, the universe magically (and inexplicably) slaps it back into your face.
Manifesting shifts our intentions into the great unknown. It professes control, but actually hands off that control to an entity outside of ourselves.
Problem #3. Let’s consider, what all of this implies about any emotions that are not positive. Are we also saying that negative feelings are worthless, that they should be stomped out entirely and ignored? I hold the firm belief that our emotions tell us something. That our sometimes nagging “inner-speak” is alerting us to the work that needs to be done — and this work bring our lives into alignment.
We can acknowledge what is wrong, yet challenge our situation to improve it.
Weighing in on the side of manifesting, I do know that hope matters. Hope leads us to try again and again, to reach for the goals that matter to us. However, while we might fulfill the “hope criterion” with manifesting, we must also take things one step further and build self-efficacy through deliberate action.
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.