Why thinking too positively can harm you
Manifestation has become a TikTok trend. Think big, believe in dreams, visualize goals – all well and good. A study shows: Thinking too positively can ruin you.
On Instagram or TikTok, coaches and influencers explain that you just have to change your mindset to achieve everything you want. The credo is that you can make your dreams come true if you believe in them hard enough. On TikTok, the hashtag #manifestation has almost 44 billion views, while #manifesting has 26 million.
There is nothing wrong with a positive attitude towards life and your own creative powers. An optimistic mindset helps you get through everyday life well and also deal with setbacks. It can be very beneficial for your mental health.
Easily seduced, with unrealistic expectations
But is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Yes, is the answer of a current one Study. Extreme optimism, as in the manifesting method, can be harmful. A psychologist from Queensland University in Australia and his team took a closer look at the phenomenon of manifesting and published their results in the “Sage Journal”. “The Secret to Success? The Psychology of Belief in Manifestation” is the name of the study.
Around 1,000 participants were surveyed in three individual studies. The belief in their own “magical powers” as well as in cosmic forces was considered. They were presented with statements that they could agree with on a scale. These included:
- “I attract success into my life with the help of the universe or a greater force.”
- “Success comes to me when I focus on positive feelings.”
- “Visualizing a successful outcome causes me to attract it.”
Almost half of the participants believed in achieving success through manifestation – through positive affirmations, visualizations or symbolic actions by acting as if something had already happened. A third believed in the work of a higher power.
The result: People who believe in manifesting tend to have a false self-perception and think they are more successful than they actually are. They also have unrealistic, extremely high expectations of their own future. Those who believe in manifesting are particularly receptive to promises, such as expensive offers that are supposed to lead to quick success or wealth. You could call it easily seduced.
Belief in manifestation leads to bankruptcy more quickly
According to the study, those who give in to wishful thinking have a higher risk of ruin. ““Setting unrealistic goals or insisting on them despite contradictory facts can be harmful,” says the study. Those who believe in the power of manifesting tend to take more risks, make riskier investments – and go bankrupt believe in manifestation, more people had filed for bankruptcy at least once in their lives than among the skeptics.
“It can be particularly challenging for manifesters to assign success to failure because their belief system reinterprets failure in a positive way,” the study says. “Although reframing can be an effective emotion-focused coping strategy, it can be dangerous when it leads to denial or false hope.” This is particularly dangerous for entrepreneurs if important warning signs such as increasing debt are downplayed.
Those who believe in manifestation are particularly prone to clinging to false hopes or denying reality.
How to use manifestation safely
What does that mean for you now if you have actually discovered manifesting as a good tool for yourself and want to use it in your life? Above all, the study shows the danger of hastily joining an influencer or guru who promises you quick success through a certain “secret” technique – and takes a lot of money out of your pockets in the process.
The other insight is: Don’t just rely on methods like visualization, but also take action – for example, when it comes to getting your finances under control. Believing in your dreams is a good thing. Making yourself aware of your desires is also important. But keep thinking about small stages or intermediate steps to get closer to your goal – instead of relying solely on the power of your desires or the goodness of the universe.
Sources used: nationalgeographic.de, nypost.com, journals.sagepub.com