Manifesting: Why You Should Stop Trying So Hard

Kate Northrup (Business Heroine Magazine)

I was 14 years old when my mom first taught me about the power of pure, positive energy.

She told me that if you could hold a thought for 17 seconds you could call it into being through the Law of Attraction.

I loved this idea and immediately put it into practice. I remember lying in bed at night trying to hold the pure, positive energy thought of holding hands with the boy I had a crush on at school. (I never did end up holding hands with that particular boy. But I have held hands with lots of other cute boys, so I think it worked.)

I remember focusing so hard on the exact thing I wanted to manifest, thinking I’d totally screwed it up if my 17 seconds of pure, positive energy were interrupted by a moment of doubt. I was treating manifesting like a magic spell that, if not done with utmost specificity and accuracy, would fail.

That’s the thing about kids: they’re concrete thinkers. Not a lot of room for shades of grey in their sweet heads. They take what you tell them and run with it. (Note to self: be careful about what I tell Penelope, knowing that she’ll take it without a grain of salt.)

But we can be concrete in our thinking as adults, too.

And we can try so hard to manifest that we get major metaphysical mind cramps.

The thing about manifesting (and life) is this:

How we do it is what we get.

Let’s say you want legendary love. You made the vision board. You visualize. You focus hard on exactly what you want. But it hasn’t shown up yet. So you manifest harder. And when it still doesn’t show up the way you had imagined, you beat yourself up for sucking at manifesting. You’re not only left alone, but you’re also being unkind to yourself. Far worse than when you started this whole manifesting business.

Let’s say you want to make six figures in your business this year. You do your affirmations. You write intentions on sticky notes around your house. You try your hardest to keep your thoughts elevated every time they slip into doubt. But the money isn’t coming. And you’re freaked out. And so you decide you must have missed out on the manifesting gene and are destined to be a lower-than-you-desire earner.

While we’ve all had uncanny experiences where what we asked the Universe for showed up pretty much exactly as we’d had in mind, more often than not we don’t get exactly what we asked for.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t get what we want, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we don’t get what we need. (Sometimes what we get is even better.)

Here’s how I operate when it comes to manifesting. It’s really simple and slices through a lot of the metaphysical BS. And it allows me (and you, should you choose to practice this with me) to not have to work so freaking hard to attract what I want.

Step one: I have desires.

Step two: I write them down somewhere. (I don’t often refer back to this list, and I don’t really know where it is at any given moment because I always have about 12 different journals going at any one time and I almost never finish one before I start another.)

Step three: I figure that what I’m really after with any of these desires is feeling good.

Step four: I know from my study of the Universe and Quantum Physics that like attracts like.

Step five: I know that if ultimately my desires boil down to wanting to feel good then all I need to do on a daily basis is focus on feeling good.

Step six: I do whatever I can think of as many times a day as I can remember to feel as good as I possibly can.

Examples? I take a deep breath. I go for a 5 minute walk. I lie on the grass. I feel how good it feels to snuggle with Penelope or Mike. I breathe in the smell of freshly cut grass. I sip on my iced tea. I eat a square of dark chocolate. I turn on a song and dance around the living room with my baby and my husband. I scroll through my Instagram feed and leave uplifting comments on the photos of my amazing friends’ amazing lives.

It’s not rocket science. Feeling good can be refreshingly simple.

Sometimes I remember to visualize my desires. Sometimes I do affirmations. Sometimes I make vision boards.

But mostly, I simply do what I can to feel as good as I can.

Manifesting is not a magic spell. It’s a way of being.

You don’t have to focus so hard on what you want that smoke comes out of your ears. You don’t have to guard your mind 24/7 to ensure that no negative thought intruders enter.

(Everyone has negative thoughts and doubts all day long. Deepak Chopra does. Esther Hicks does. Oprah does. There’s not some magical day in the future where your mind will stop veering off from your pure positive energy thoughts a hundred million times a day. The key is doing things to feel good despite having negative thoughts and feeling doubt.)

The root of our desires is that we want to feel good. Sometimes you’ll get what you imagined. Sometimes you’ll get something else.

But if you make a daily practice of feeling good as much of the time as possible, you’ll attract more things that make you feel good.

And a life of feeling good (most of the time) is a good life, if you ask me.

Happy manifesting!


Kate Northrup (Business Heroine Magazine)

Business Heroine Magazine


We’d love to hear from YOU…

What are your favorite tips for manifesting? Do you feel relaxed with manifesting, or do you have trouble with trying too hard? Leave your answer in the comments below! 











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