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Demystifying Manifestation: What’s the Science?

Updated: Sep 13

I recently did some market research on money mindset in small business owners and there were some super useful findings. However one comment stuck out – when I asked if people would like a copy of my free eBook: 9 Immediate Actions to Manifest More Money, most people either said ‘no thank you’ or left their email address for me to send it them – one person wrote ‘I would if you’d not used the word manifesting’ – and this got me thinking.

It reminded me about what a sceptic I used to be – the idea that I could generate more money by thinking was simply bollocks. But then I started learning about mindset when I was introduced to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) in 2019. Things changed. My thoughts changed and my life started to change.

But having been brought up by two scientists my sample size of one, of just my experience, wasn’t good enough. And this is why I dug out my old psychology text books and started studying neuroscience. I wanted to know how this stuff worked: what was happening in my brain and whole nervous system that made this stuff work…

The concept of manifesting has gained significant popularity in recent years, especially among entrepreneurs seeking to achieve their goals and dreams. While the idea of manifesting might sound like a mystical practice, there is actually strong scientific and psychological basis behind it. In this blog, I'll explain manifestation from a neuroscience and psychology perspective, aiming to demystify it for entrepreneurs who don’t connect with ‘woo’, or ‘spiritual’ and provide practical insights into how to harness its power for success.

Understanding the Brain's Role in Manifestation

Before diving into the science of manifestation, it's essential to understand the brain's role in this process. Our brains are incredibly powerful and adaptable, capable of shaping our reality in ways we might not even realise. Neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to rewire itself, plays a crucial role in this.

When we set clear intentions and focus on our goals, our brains start to rewire themselves to align with those intentions. This process is not magic; it's a result of the brain's inherent capacity to adapt and change. So, how can entrepreneurs leverage this neurological phenomenon for their benefit?

1. Be super clear

Manifestation begins with setting clear and specific intentions. Entrepreneurs often have ambitious goals, such as a successful launch or reaching a particular revenue milestone. To harness the power of neuroplasticity, break these goals down into actionable, well-defined intentions. The more specific and vividly you can articulate what you want to achieve, the easier it becomes for your brain to rewire itself to support those intentions.

2. Visualisation Techniques

Visualisation is a powerful tool for harnessing the brain's plasticity. When you consistently visualise your desired outcomes, you activate the same brain regions as you would when actually experiencing those events. This process helps strengthen the neural connections associated with your goals, making them more attainable.

For example, if you're an entrepreneur looking to manifest new clients: imagine the details, the people, and most importantly, the positive emotions associated with your success. Your brain will start adapting to this envisioned reality and you will start to see opportunities that align with achieving your goal.

3. The Reticular Activating System (RAS)

The Reticular Activating System is a critical part of our brain that filters information and prioritises what we focus on. When you set clear intentions and consistently visualise your goals, you effectively program your RAS to pay more attention to opportunities and resources that align with your objectives.

For entrepreneurs, this means that by keeping your intentions at the forefront of your mind, you'll become more attuned to business opportunities, networking events, and resources that can help you progress toward your goals. Your brain will filter out distractions and highlight relevant information to support your entrepreneurial journey.

Psychological Aspects of Manifestation

In addition to the brain's neurological mechanisms, psychology plays a significant role in the manifestation process. Let's explore some key psychological principles that you can use to your advantage:

1. Positive Thinking

The power of positive thinking is well-documented in psychology. When you maintain a positive mindset, you're more likely to notice and capitalise on opportunities. Positive thinking also boosts your resilience, helping you navigate challenges with a constructive attitude.

You can apply this principle by consciously cultivating positive thoughts and beliefs related to your goals. Instead of dwelling on potential failures or obstacles, focus on the possibilities and your ability to overcome challenges.

Regular gratitude practice (which I share daily prompts for in The Mindset Place) will help develop an attitude that looks for the good in a situation.

2. Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy, a concept introduced by psychologist Albert Bandura, refers to the belief in your ability to achieve a specific outcome. Entrepreneurs with high self-efficacy are more likely to take action, persevere in the face of setbacks, and ultimately manifest their goals.

To enhance self-efficacy, break your goals into manageable steps and celebrate each small victory along the way. This – back to the neuroscience – releases dopamine which feels good and makes you want to repeat it!

Side note: this principle also applies to belief in things exterior to the body. People who deeply believe in the power of crystals notice the positive impact that supports their beliefs. I used to fall very much into the 'wtf is this snake oil' camp, but, even though I don't use crystals (as an example), I would not judge or disrespect anyone who does.

3. Goal Alignment

Psychological research has shown that individuals are more likely to achieve their goals when they align with their core values. This alignment fuels motivation and determination. If the value or belief is no longer serving you, that’s the time to invest in support to make neurological changes so you can achieve your goals. This is why money blocks are the worst enemy to successful entrepreneurship! If you believe money is bad, or evil or hard work, you’re not going to make any! (Check out my blog about Is Money Hard to Come By).

Manifestation is not about wishful thinking or relying on the universe to grant your desires magically. Instead, it's a well-grounded concept with strong foundations in neuroscience and psychology. You can tap into the brain's plasticity, leverage visualisation techniques, and work on you mindset to turn your goals into your reality.

Side note: When I talk about ‘the universe’ I mean a power and energy that is intangible and huge. This energy comes from me – my brain, my nervous system but because it is so often happening on an unconscious level it is also bigger than me.

By taking the 'woo' out of manifestation and approaching it with a scientific and psychological perspective, you can harness this powerful tool to drive your businesses toward success.

Remember, it's not about waiting for things to happen; it's about proactively shaping your reality through intention, action, and a deep understanding of the mind's capabilities. This is why my mastermind has a co-working element, because it’s just as important to get shit done!

Download my free eBook: 9 Immediate Actions to Manifest More Money.

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