How to Start Manifesting Your Desires Based on Science


May 24, 2023

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Is Manifesting Real, and Does It Actually Work?

Are you a skeptic when it comes to manifesting?

It seems that with manifesting, you’re either a believer or a non-believer.  I have found that manifesting is an excellent tool for practical, actionable items.  However, if you only manifest and don’t act or look at your own limiting beliefs, you likely won’t have the intended results.

Or the results won’t come as quickly.

Instead, when you work on your subconscious and your conscious mind together, you have exponential control.

Are you a skeptic when it comes to manifesting?

What Is manifesting?

Manifesting uses your subconscious mind and conscious thoughts to bring something tangible into your life. 

Manifesting can be used in many areas of your life, such as your career, health and personal growth.  It is much more than just for material possessions like a fancy new car. For example, meditating or thinking of a goal, such as owning a beautiful property or having success in a relationship, can be a fulfilling way to work on manifesting.

When you start manifesting, you also need to consider whether you believe you deserve what you want to manifest.

This may be confusing, and you might be thinking, “Of course, I believe I deserve it.”

Let me use a personal story to show you what I mean.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Manifesting
  2. Manifesting My Dream Home on the Lake
  3. Are You Holding Yourself Back with Your Subconscious Mind?
  4. Listen to Your Inner Voice
  5. Steps to Manifesting
  6. Does manifesting actually work?
  7. How Can Someone Start Manifesting?
  8. My Surprising Love Manifestation Success Story
  9. My Approach to Manifesting
  10. When Manifesting Isn’t Working…
  11. Combining Manifesting with a Plan
  12. The Science of Manifesting

Manifesting My Dream Home on the Lake

For many years I dreamed of having a house on the lake.

I love water, and the relaxation it brings to my life is incredible.  So I started to work on manifesting owning a home on the water and used several tools such as creating a vision board, writing it down, looking at my goal daily, and meditating on it.

I thought I was doing such a good job of manifesting my dream home.

I was months into this manifesting, and I was doing a really good job.

But then my coach asked me about my goals and I couldn’t say it. Instead, I went all quiet and whispered, “I would like a home on the water.”

She said, “Pardon?”

I then spoke a little bit louder, and only after three times could I say it loud enough for her to hear me.

This was eye-opening for me. I realized I couldn’t say it because I thought I didn’t deserve it.

I was shocked because I had been doing all the right things and working so hard and not even realizing I didn’t think I deserved it.  The feedback loop in my head was, “Who do you think you are having a home on the water?”

Subconsciously, I was laughing at my goal.

I was holding myself back with my subconscious mind.
I was holding myself back with my subconscious mind.

Are You Holding Yourself Back with Your Subconscious Mind?

This story highlights a turning point for me.

I realized that as much as I was visualizing with my conscious mind, I was totally holding myself back with my subconscious mind.  It was like my left hand was working on something, and my right hand was undoing it.

The manifesting and visualizing became easier and felt real and not like I was pretending.
The manifesting and visualizing became easier and felt real and not like I was pretending.

Manifesting will not be effective this way because your two energies are working against each other.

So from that point forward, I worked on why I deserved to be on the water and how it was a beautiful goal.  I was very aware of the old programming that was creating roadblocks for me.  It didn’t happen overnight, but I did get rid of the negative self-talk about owning on the water.

The manifesting and visualizing became easier and felt real and not like I was pretending.  Once I released this limiting thought pattern, I was able to take steps that allowed more to flow into my life.

And I got the home on the water a year sooner than my original goal.

It was amazing!

I hope this story can help you to pause and reflect. Do you have any beliefs holding you back from your dreams?

Quick Video: 3 Steps to Manifest Money (Or Anything Else)

You can use these three simple steps to manifest money or anything else! Make sure you click the subscribe button if you’re YouTube user so you get more of these videos in your feed.

Listen to Your Inner Voice

When you use manifesting to listen to your inner voice and realize what you really feel, you can unlock what your mind is using to hold you back. 

Then when your mind believes you deserve it, you will find opportunities to make your dreams come true. Manifesting allows you to see the opportunities around the corner and behind the door.

Remember, it is usually you that closes the door first.  Also, remember you need to work on manifesting daily and letting it guide you in your actions.

When you use manifesting to listen to your inner voice and realize what you really feel.
When you use manifesting to listen to your inner voice and realize what you really feel.

Steps to Manifesting:

Getting Your Subconscious to Work with Your Conscious Mind

So now that you have an interest in manifesting and getting your mind to work with you start with these steps:

  • Set aside time daily, even 5- 10 minutes, to sit.
  • Think about what you really want in life and picture it.
  • Listen to how your body reacts to your vision. Do you believe you deserve it?
  • When you have listened to whether you deserve it, explore this idea for a moment. The goal is to unlock why or why not you think you deserve it.
  • Go back to your vision and focus on what you want. Remind yourself why you deserve it.
  • After each manifesting session, take a minute to write down your vision quickly. Also, include why you don’t believe you deserve it.
  • The next day follows the same routine. Set your intentional vision and sit with this.
  • After 1 week, when you have finished your manifesting session, see how much your thinking has changed over the week.
  • In your next session, you are going to get quiet and focus on why you don’t believe you deserve it. Think of all the reasons. I want you to write these down, and for each negative, I want you to consider how much you believe it to be true.

Remember, you are probably judging yourself, so when you look at someone else, it is easier to trick your mind.

Go back to your vision and focus on what you want.
Go back to your vision and focus on what you want. Remind yourself why you deserve it.

I have had people say to me, “Oh, this is a lot of work; I don’t have time for that!”

Remember to be accountable to yourself.

It is amazing that by doing this, you can suddenly find 10 minutes a day for you.  To be honest, if you want your life to change and to be more in control of your happiness, you don’t have time not to do this.

Some of the really cool things you will start to see along the way of this practice of visualization and internal cleanup are little opportunities, tools, and coincidences in your day.  It is like a reminder you are on the right track and aware rather than asleep walking through life.

Changing your mind opens so many doors.

Allow yourself 10 minutes per day to focus on yourself and your dreams.
Allow yourself 10 minutes per day to focus on yourself and your dreams.

Does Manifesting Actually Work?

I can see why one might be a skeptic about manifesting and wonder whether it actually works.

It is hard when we don’t have an exact science to measure success. What we now understand is that manifesting works through a process called neuroplasticity.  Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to grow, change and adapt during your lifetime.

While neuroplasticity is usually the most active when you are in your younger years, you can train your mind as you age with regular practice.  By linking our clear goals to guide our minds to take action, we can make changes.

Your mind is far more powerful than anything in the universe.

When you don’t understand what negative programming you have in your mind, you don’t know what is holding you back.  Look at the patterns of people; the biggest thing that holds people back is their beliefs.

If you grew up thinking rich people are bad, money doesn’t buy happiness, or if you get married, you will be unhappy; you have all these negative beliefs to hold you back.

You repeat the pattern.

You will be in unsuccessful relationships because you think you deserve it.  You won’t buy a house because you think it will hold you back.  You won’t ever build wealth because you think it will make you a bad person. (+)

Our mindset and beliefs affect everything, including our relationships,
Our mindset and beliefs affect everything, including our relationships,

Without cleaning up your beliefs and looking deep within, your hands are tied in terms of successfully achieving your dreams.

Manifesting works by helping you look within and learn what you want and what you believe about what you want.  If you don’t do manifesting, you may achieve a different goal or success, but when you reach it, you will wonder why you still feel empty.  It is because you aren’t in alignment, and you didn’t clean up your beliefs.

Remember what I mentioned about how the right hand is like your subconscious mind and your left hand is like your conscious mind?

Can you achieve results with only one hand?  Yes, absolutely. 

Can you achieve more fulfillment and freedom more easily by using both hands? Yes. 

Manifesting is picturing your goals, checking they are in alignment, and then taking the steps to move forward.

You will see opportunities and be willing to make decisions that move you toward what you are manifesting.  So manifesting isn’t just about visualization; it is about cleaning up what your subconscious may be using to hold you back and then taking steps to move you in direction and alignment with your vision.

How Can Someone Start Manifesting?

You can approach manifesting in different ways, and there are various tools that you may find helpful to help you get started.


You have probably heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words.

This couldn’t be more accurate than with a vision board. Imagine all the pictures of the life you want reflecting back to you like a mirror. I have used a vision board successfully to manifest what I needed at the time.


The reason I like a journal is it acts as an accountability partner.

I remember writing in a journal that I wanted to manifest a healthy relationship and leave my current “okay” relationship. I also wrote I wanted a more fulfilling career. I went into more detail and clearly outlined what this would look like.

Each time I journaled, I would add to this goal.

Doing this gave me the determination and resolve to make the difficult changes that have led me to realize my fulfilling relationship and have a remarkable career.

The reason I like a journal is it acts as an accountability partner.
The reason I like a journal is it acts as an accountability partner.


Meditation quiets the busy mind and allows you to feel your inner desires.

It can be hard in our overly-stimulated world to slow down and listen because there is always more to do. But the rewards are great when you take 10 minutes a day to sit. This is where you can be present, feel, and be in tune with your body.

Meditation is like a guiding light.

Meditation is like a guiding light.
Meditation is like a guiding light.


I envision myself as a child when I am confused about what I truly want.

The picture that quickly brings me back is when I see my 6-year-old self in nature and twirling my arms around while looking up at the sky and spinning. I can feel the innocence of that moment. I can feel that embodiment of being carefree and knowing I am free to shine and dream.

When I go back to this moment from childhood, I quickly recognize the difference in my mindset.


There are numerous psychology studies which show gratitude improves mood and health and brings greater happiness.

The “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens” study by Emmons and McCullough, done in 2003, found that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. Plus, the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, was more likely to help others, exercised more regularly, and made more progress toward personal goals.


Have a thirst for knowledge on manifesting.

Read, listen to podcasts, and do everything to soak up as much information as possible. It will help you believe in manifesting and learn tools that may be helpful to you.


Science shows that right before bed is one of the best times for manifesting. Picture the life you want and feel the changes you want to see happen. This sets the pattern for your dreams to be working while you are asleep.

One notable study on the power of sleep is the “Tetris Effect Study” conducted by Harvard Medical School’s Robert Stickgold. This study showed that individuals who played Tetris for extended periods before sleeping often dreamed about the game. This effect demonstrated how the brain continues to process information and experiences even in sleep, which also applies to goal processing.

Another related concept is the “Zeigarnik Effect,” named after Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik. The Zeigarnik Effect states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. The brain’s preoccupation with unfinished work could, in theory, extend into sleep, potentially helping with problem-solving related to goal achievement.

My Surprising Manifestation Success Story

Yes, You Can Manifest Love!

One of the surprising things I’ve manifested in this lifetime is a strong relationship.

Years ago, I wanted to manifest a successful romantic relationship where I felt connected and supported.  I wrote out what I was looking for in my journal.  I detailed the values I wanted in the partner, and then I got into the feeling.

I understood that the brain works in pictures and feelings, so I embraced this.  In the past, I would have been expecting fireworks.  I wanted the fairy tale.  But when I started practicing and getting intentional with my goals, I realized the feeling I wanted.

When I met my future husband, it wasn’t fireworks. That seemed fake to my subconscious mind.  It was deeper and calmer.  It was almost like my brain had this quiet understanding and way of saying, “Of course, you are here.”

It was a feeling much like the one I had when manifesting.  That is why it was so calm and real.

The universe works in different ways. And the new relationship may not have seemed perfect at first because we lived in different cities.  Remember, when you are manifesting, you are picturing what you want, but the opportunity may present in a different way.

Because I knew the feeling, the distance didn’t matter.

I remember that when he said it’s too bad you live in a different city, it surprised me. And I said, “Why does that matter?”  In the past, I would have said, “Yes, it is too bad!”

And things may have never worked out.

This is why I encourage you to remember opportunities present in different forms, and you need to open the door.

This is just one way I have manifested, and it is one of the first and most important.  I have now successfully used this tool in many areas of my life. As you do it, you get better at learning to trust and to feel. The universe is working with you.

Through my manifesting process, I've been able to bring to life many things.
Through my manifesting process, I’ve been able to bring to life many things. Our house on the lake is just one of those things.

My Approach to Manifesting

My approach to manifesting is to incorporate it into my life in several ways.

1 – Meditation

First, I meditate every morning. Sometimes it is only 10 minutes, but ideally, it is 30 minutes.  Before I start to meditate, I take a few minutes to visualize what I want.  I really focus on the feeling I want to have.  It isn’t always just about me because life is all about the people around us and the energy we share.  So I allow the feelings of abundance to be with me and those closest to me when I meditate.

2 – Gratitude at Night

Secondly, each night before bed, I say three things I am really grateful for from the day.  I train myself, even if it wasn’t a particularly good day, to recognize “the gifts in sandpaper.”  These are the difficult challenges that I can learn a lesson from.

3 – Awareness of Judgment

Third, I acknowledge throughout the day when judging something or someone.  I do this because the things we judge about others are what we need to work on for ourselves.  To manifest what you want, you need to be able to let go of judgements for wanting it.

4 – Goal Tracking

Finally, I write down my goals from manifesting and the judgements I have made in a week. I sometimes do this, and other times I lose track and don’t do it.  I don’t worry about being perfect with this. Instead, I focus on believing in the universe and my purpose.

5 – Get Back on Track

There are times when I am distracted, I have too much negative energy, or just don’t believe.  Then I picture myself as a little 6-year-old twirling her arms in a circle.  I remind myself to ask what does she want?  Asking this tends to get me out of the logical mind and into the part of the brain that is free and energetic.

If it is easier for you to visualize your 90-year-old self, you could ask what she would say to you now. What would she be proud of, and what impact and gifts have you left in this world?

Quick Video: 3 Law of Assumption Tips to Kickstart Your Manifesting

These three laws of assumption will help you BELIEVE in the future that you desire and bring it into the now. The right mindset helps you to create the right focus for your life.

When Manifesting Isn’t Working, What Is Likely the Culprit?

When manifesting isn’t working, the most likely culprit is that you don’t believe you deserve it.

Your inner desires and your beliefs aren’t in alignment.  You are holding yourself back.  This is why I always say that you need to face your fears and hidden beliefs.

To start manifesting, you have to believe you deserve it.  Ask yourself if you think you deserve the things you’re dreaming of.  And then see if there are any negative thoughts that come to mind. Work to release those negative thoughts.

Does Manifesting Need to Be Combined with a Plan?

Manifesting without a plan is like dreaming of going to Australia but not taking any steps to get on the plane.

If you only dream but don’t take action, it may come to fruition, but it may not. Either way, it will take a lot longer.  This is because you are unaware of the messages and the little tools being presented to help get you there.

People think manifesting doesn’t work if it doesn’t present in precisely the same way they imagined.  In fact, manifesting is simply concentrating your energy on your intentional goal. But then you need to take action.

Let’s use the Australia trip as an example.

Say you vividly dream of going to Australia.  You clearly envision yourself with sand in your toes, the waves crashing on the beach and watching a beautiful sunset.  You can smell the ocean air and feel how light and carefree you are. You cannot stop smiling.  It invokes strong feelings.

ocean - looking at nature to manifest

You have taken the first few steps to manifest your trip.

You pictured a goal, and you even got as far as feeling what it would be like to be there.  You can energetically feel yourself there.  You can take the next step to write it in a journal or create a vision board to remind yourself daily of what you want.

While these are all positive steps, if you stop here, you may go or you may not.  What propels you towards your dream is taking action.  I understand you may not know exactly what action to take, but you need to start to get curious.

Taking action tells the universe you are serious about this goal.

Action can be as simple as telling people about your goal, researching ideas of where you want to go and how long you would like to be there, and looking at the costs to help you confirm what you need to save to get there.

Effectively you are working on your subconscious mind through manifesting and your conscious mind through taking action.

By doing both, you can have exponential results.

Is There Any Science Behind Manifesting?

Placebo, Growth Mindset, and Positive Thinking

When we look at the science behind manifesting, the evidence and research have been done on the effects of a growth mindset, positive thinking, and the placebo effect.

There aren’t scientific studies about manifesting. But there are studies on the power of the mind.

The research around growth mindset demonstrates how people in similar situations can achieve dramatically different results based on their mindset.

Then there’s the placebo effect.

The placebo effect is when the mind anticipates a certain outcome so the body responds and can create natural chemical reactions. Most clinical studies on a new vaccine or drug will include a placebo arm.

If it is a blinded study, you have the treatment group and the placebo group. As a participant, you do not know which group you are in.  The treatment group will get a pill that is just a sugar pill, while the other group will get the drug that is being tested.  There is a percentage of people who will always do well in the placebo group.  This is because the mind believes they are getting the actual medicine.

Next, consider the power of positive thinking.

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is best known for her work on the Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions. This theory is a cornerstone in positive psychology.

Fredrickson’s landmark paper in 1998 proposed that unlike negative emotions, which narrow an individual’s attention and thoughts to specific actions like fight or flight, positive emotions broaden an individual’s focus and thinking.

This wider focus can build personal resources such as intellectual abilities, physical health, social connections, and well-being.

The power of manifesting is that it incorporates all these elements, and likely those we still don’t understand.

Use the power of the mind to change the way you learn, grow and succeed.

Quick Video: 3 Manifesting Phrases for Money

Having the right money mindset allows you to believe and focus on what you desire. But even wealthy people can feel worried or stressed about money. So what can you do about it? These are three manifesting phrases that I use frequently to shift my mindset around money if I’m struggling with a feeling of lack.

So, What Comes Next?

Get started by committing to a small manifesting practice daily.

Include meditation and journalling or any other methods of reflection. Allow yourself to let go of judgment and believe that you deserve your dreams.

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Related Articles on Manifesting

💎 What to Do When Manifesting Isn’t Working

💎 How to Manifest Happiness So Your Life is More Fulfilling

💎 Manifesting Money

💎 Top 7 Ways of Manifesting

💎 12 Money Blocks the Even the Rich Have, and How to Reverse Them

About the Author

TIFFANY WOODFIELD is a financial coach, cross-border expert, and entrepreneur based out of Kelowna, BC. As a TEP and associate portfolio manager, Tiffany has extensive experience working with successful professionals who want to leave a legacy and enjoy an adventurous, work-optional lifestyle. Tiffany combines extensive knowledge from her background as a financial professional with coaching and her passion for personal development to help her clients create a unique path that allows them to live their fullest potential. Tiffany has been a regular contributor to Bloomberg TV and has been interviewed by national and international publications, including the Globe and Mail and Barron’s.