Photo of a card from Unsplash that says "Something better is coming" in article about TikTok's manifestation trend
Most methods of manifestation involve writing down something you desire. (Image by Elena Mozhvilo via Unsplash)

What Is Manifestation? Exploring One of TikTok’s Newest Trends

Users of the app are claiming these techniques can help you achieve anything you’d like. But do they actually work?

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Photo of a card from Unsplash that says "Something better is coming" in article about TikTok's manifestation trend

Users of the app are claiming these techniques can help you achieve anything you’d like. But do they actually work?

Since the very beginning, we’ve seen a lot of interesting trends on TikTok. From jelly straw challenges to serial killer POVs, there’s never a shortage of odd videos on the app. But one of its latest trends claims to be able to change your life. It’s called manifestation.

Manifestation is a spiritual practice that dates back to the 19th century, and it is the idea that you can consciously attract anything you desire into your life. Whether it be love, money or anything else, manifestation claims to be the perfect method for achieving your goals and creating your dream life. Another concept that’s often tied in with this discussion is called the Law of Attraction — the belief that your thoughts and energy have the power to shape your reality.

In the past few months, hundreds of videos have popped up on TikTok under the tags “#manifestation” and “#lawofattraction.” These videos provide tips and tricks on manifestation, and many include supposed proof from users that these methods have succeeded for them.

There are videos for manifesting nearly anything you can imagine — getting someone to text you, making your crush like you back, receiving a large sum of money or being offered your dream job.

So how exactly do you manifest something? Well, there are a few techniques we’re seeing on TikTok. The most common way is through affirmations — written or spoken statements that put your desires out into the universe. The idea behind these short expressions is that they can affect the conscious and subconscious mind and in turn influence our behavior and environment.

According to some videos on the app, there are specific words you should use in your affirmations if you want to effectively manifest something; for example, replace phrases like “I hope” or “I want” with “I am” or “I have.” If your mindset is that you already possess what you want in life, it will manifest more easily.

No matter what your affirmations are, constructing these statements is only the beginning of the process. There are tons of different manifestation methods, but let’s take a look at a few notable ones.

The 369 Method

The 369 method is a popular manifestation technique on TikTok. It was developed in October 2019 by blogger Karin Yee, who runs the site “Choosing Gratitude” and claims she manifested over $10,000 using this approach. To create this practice, Yee took inspiration from 19th-century scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla, who believed that three, six and nine were divine numbers.

To manifest using the 369 method, think of something you want and create an affirmation for it. Write down this sentence three times in the morning, six times at some point during the day and nine times right before you go to sleep. Yee claims that by writing your statement before bed, you can go into your dream state with a subconscious feeling of positivity that will help with the manifestation process. After completing this process for a total of 33 days, Yee says your affirmation should become reality.

There are several variations of this method on TikTok. One video that shows how to use this approach to get someone to contact you says to write the person’s name three times, the intentions you have for them six times and what you want them to say to you nine times.

The 33×3 Method

The 33×3 method is another affirmation-based way to manifest, and it’s super easy. First, your statement should be written in the present tense; for instance, if you want some extra cash your statement could be, “I am so grateful that I have received $100.”

Once you have your affirmation, all you need to do is write it down 33 consecutive times a day for three days. A variation of this technique on TikTok is the 55×5 method, which is generally used for manifestations of a grander scale, like getting your dream job or bringing a person into your life.

Quantum Jumping

Quantum jumping, otherwise known as the two-cup method, is another Law of Attraction technique we’ve been seeing on TikTok. To do it, you just need two cups, two sticky notes and a pen.

On one sticky note, write your current situation. If you’re trying to manifest a romantic partner, you could write something like “I am single.” Stick this note on one of the cups and pour water into it. On the second sticky note, write your desired outcome, such as  “I have found my soulmate,” and stick it to the second cup. Finally, envision this outcome as though it’s reality, and pour the water from the first cup into the second cup. This is a calming visual practice that symbolizes your manifestation coming to fruition while your current situation is left behind.

Does Manifestation Work?

The real question we need to explore in regards to the topic of manifestation is clear — does it actually work? Can we use thoughts and visualizations to bring good things into our lives?

While there are plenty of positive comments on manifestation TikToks that imply it really does work, they are often met with equal amounts of criticism from skeptics.

In one video, TikToker @__oliveee___ claims you can change your physical appearance using the Law of Attraction. In this video, which has over 550,000 likes, she describes how you can literally alter the way you look if you genuinely believe in the process of manifestation. The video was met with comments like “Um idk if positivity can clear my skin but ok” and “I want to believe this but I just don’t think it’s possible.”

In the world of manifestation TikToks, some things are easier to believe than others. It might not seem so far-fetched to hear that someone used positive thoughts to help them improve their confidence or help change their diet, but it’s less believable when someone says they manifested thousands of dollars or found their soulmate just by using their mind.

Whether or not we thought we’d ever see such a spiritual concept pop up as a trend on a video app, it’s definitely an interesting experience to browse through these TikToks. Decide for yourself —  is manifestation real? Or is it just the placebo effect at work?

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