What is manifesting and why are so many people doing it?

With TikTok turning manifestation into a trend, there is new meaning in “If you believe, you can achieve”.

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 2 November 2020, 3:19 PM

If you are an avid social media user, you have probably come across at least one post or comment mentioning the words “manifest” and “I claim this”.


Twitter is filled with users manifesting their wishes surrounded by candle emojis. PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER/@URADUMBASS69420


While many online trends come and go, this trend managed to weave its way into many people’s lives and routines. Manifestation entered the public consciousness in the 19th century, but grew in popularity on TikTok around mid-2020.

Although some take it with a pinch of salt, there are many who strongly believe in the abilities of manifesting.

Manifestation refers to the belief that one’s willpower and positive thinking has the ability to bring something tangible into their lives. It is similar to the law of attraction. Be it a job promotion, good grades, or even having feelings towards a crush reciprocated, many have faith that their thoughts and energy can create their reality.

But how does it work? There are a plethora of different ways to do so, but the most popular technique on TikTok is known as the ‘369 method’.

Typically, the 369 manifestation method begins with envisioning a goal for your future self to achieve. It could be anything from small to big wishes, as long as you start thinking in threes, sixes, and nines.

You could either deeply concentrate on or write down your manifestation thrice in the morning, six times in the afternoon, and nine in the evening.

If your manifestation involves a person, write down their name three times, your intentions involving them six times and what you want them to say to you nine times.


It is said that manifests should be phrased in past tense although it has not happened yet. PHOTO CREDIT: TIKTOK/@KRISTYYYNNNN


Why these three specific numbers are used dates back to famed inventor and scientist, Nikola Tesla, who thought the numbers ‘3’, ‘6’ and ‘9’ could provide one with the key to the universe. 

Another method is labelled the 5×55 method, in which you write your affirmation 55 times across five days continuously. It has to be specific and include an aspect of gratitude for accurate results. There is also the 3×33 method which is similar.


For example, one would write down “I am happy and grateful now that I have an extra $500 for my birthday” a set number of times. PHOTO CREDIT: TIKTOK/@KAYLEY_2120


Manifestation believes strongly in the power numbers hold, and that is why the number ‘5’ is repeated here, for it represents realignment and transformation.

One method which does not involve numbers focuses on believing in the universe’s power and abilities instead. 

The first step is to write a letter directed to the universe, beginning with “Dear Universe”. 

The next step is to describe your current state and worries. Write down what you want and then act like you already received it by thanking the universe for providing. 

Lastly, let go of your manifestation and discard the paper you wrote on by either throwing it away, tearing it up, or safely burning it.

But the bigger question, of course, is whether manifestation really works. How can people be sure it’s not a coincidence or a placebo effect?

Many users have shared online about how the things they manifested for came true, such as wishing for a text from their crush who then asked them out not too long after.


One Tiktok user claimed that her best friend confessed his feelings for her after she manifested his reciprocated feelings. PHOTO CREDIT: TIKTOK/@JASXKAY


However, skeptics stated that they tried different methods which all failed. While believers may argue that the reasons why some manifestations fail are due to having negative energy or not following the methods exactly; there is no set evidence that manifestation works for everyone, let alone work at all. 

Some aspects of manifestation seem much more believable, such as how positive thinking can increase one’s self esteem. But the ones that seem more far-fetched are those who claim that they managed to manifest large sums of money out of nowhere.

Everyone has different beliefs that help them get through life. Religious people pray to their Gods while others may place their faith more in the universe itself. 

While I personally am not someone who manifests, I can see its appeal and often relish in lighthearted comments about it. Additionally, I truly like that manifestation encourages having a positive can-do attitude.

Although I do agree that your mindset can have an affect on certain things, one should not solely depend on wistful thinking and instead put actual effort to get to their desired outcomes.

Ultimately, believing in your capabilities while also putting in the work to get to it are the keys to success.

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