Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Today, we’re jumping right into a high-level overview of manifestation. What it is, who I was before I found out about it, and how I slowly started to incorporate this idea into my life.
Before I get into what manifestation is… let’s talk a little bit about my background and my disbelief.
My background as a skeptic and a realist
Growing up, one of my biggest influencers in life was my dad. I felt the most similar to him, so I found myself imitating what he did. My dad was also a unique individual who thought everything was bullshit (except Christianity), people are out to trick you, eating healthy has nothing to do with overall health, you shouldn’t get new shoes until you’ve duct taped yours at least twice, etc. I mean, y’all, he 100% believes that you can get rid of a kidney stone by eating a pound of asparagus and a 2 liter of Coke. Yes, you read that correctly. And, he has had like 10 kidney stones, so I guess that not eating healthy trick is really working… 😉
Hilariously, nothing can convince my dad that these beliefs are extreme. And, he was the one I respected the most and wanted to be like. Naturally, I became as much of a pessimist as he was. I give you this context so you have a better idea of how resistant I was to any sort of new information. I questioned, disbelieved, and laughed at new ideas for a large part of my life. I was an extremely skeptical person who did not want to be played.
To further paint the picture of who I was, at 7 years old I created a “test” to see if the Easter Bunny and Santa were real. I had a feeling I was bring tricked by the adults in my life, so I wanted proof one way or another. At one of our Scholastic Book Fairs (ohhh, memories!), I purchased a Spy Kit that included a finger print pad, ink pad, and a how-to book. I was pumppeeddd. Finally, I knew I would get some answers.
At this point, we didn’t have internet (can you even imagine that now?!), so I went to the school library and looked for a book on rabbits. When I found some, I studied their mother fucking feet to see what a rabbit’s foot should look like! I was in deep…
Later that day, I went home and I fingerprinted everyone in my family. This was early March, so I was betting on their forgetting this instance before Easter. The night before Easter, I laid out my finger print paper and my ink pad with an eloquent note to the Easter Bunny that basically said “I need answers and I need your finger prints”.
Fast forward to the next morning, my dad’s finger prints matched the Easter Bunny’s PERFECTLY. Y’all… he didn’t even try! I had so many fluffy stuffed animals he could have grabbed to at least try to fake a bunny’s foot.
Christmas comes, rinse and repeat. So in one year, I disproved both of these “people”. I hope this gives you a clear idea about how I approached any new or questionable information in life—100% skeptical. Now that we’ve covered this, let’s jump into what manifestation is.
What is manifestation?
I want to be clear, while I believe the spiritual side of manifestation, I want to shy away from describing it in this way because I think approaching it in this way can lose a lot of people by doing so. I mean, I would have lost myself 10 years ago if anything remotely spiritual came up, so I get it. I would have heard “woo woo, God, source, energy, Universe, vibration, etc.” and immediately tuned you out. Like many other people, I had a lot of trauma around religion and for many years, religious talk was a trigger for me.
To that end, I’m going to try and stick with the logic side of manifestation here, but if I do use any of these terms, know that I’m trying to appeal to the many different belief systems of my readers and I want to be as neutral as I can be. Please plug in whatever words you’re comfortable with (God, Goddess, Alah, Jesus, etc.). And if you’re not spiritual? Totally cool. I’ve been there, so I get it. I ask that you keep an open mind anyway and if nothing else, take away from mindset tips.
Manifestation is the belief that WHAT YOU ARE is what you attract. It’s about how you choose to perceive the world—your identity. You’re probably like…. Okay, but I’ve heard that what you THINK about is what you attract? This is also true, but this is specific to the Law of attraction which is 1 of the 12 laws of manifestation. We will cover these laws at a later date.
Manifestation is your identity. If you have a belief about yourself, it will lead to certain actions, and those actions will determine a result. If you believe you are a healthy person then you will do the things a healthy person does like eat well, workout, get green juices, stay active, etc. therefore perpetuating that narrative of being a healthy person. As a result, that is what you are. When Saturday morning comes up, if you believe yourself to be a healthy person, you’re much more likely to think “time to get a workout in!” because that is consistent with your identity.
The same scenario can be used for the opposite side of this argument. If you have this narrative that you are lazy, “big boned”, and unhealthy, you will use this as an excuse to avoid healthy things. Using the Saturday morning example, when the person with an “unhealthy” identity gets up in the morning, they’re more likely to sit in front of the TV, move very little throughout the day, and “make plans to workout” knowing that they will cancel on themselves. Again, this happens (or manifests) because you have embodied this identity of an unhealthy person who does not “normally” do the actions of a healthy person. Therefore, the actions you took perpetuate this narrative, keeping you an unhealthy person.
What comes first, the identity or the actions? In other words, you manifested the reality of truly being a healthy or unhealthy person in the above scenarios by having a belief that lead to a set of actions. And that, is manifestation.
What you are, is what you attract. We don’t have to get woo woo as fuck to manifest if you don’t want to (but you know…. I usually like to 😉 )!
BUT, don’t let the idea of overhauling your identity overwhelm you. Break this task up into smaller positive actions over time and the new identity will form as long as you stay consistent, manifesting your new reality as a result.
To keep it simple, the first step to manifestation, and the first change you can make, is that you attract into your life what you think about—this is the Law of Attraction. The reason the Law of Attraction is so popular among the manifestation world is because your mind is SO fucking powerful. It is more powerful than the Western World has allowed us to believe.
Additionally, the Law of Attraction is one of the easiest laws of manifestation to grasp and understand. For the most part, you think positively and positive things happen on the same scale of the thought. If you think negatively then negative things happen on the same scale of the thought. In other words, like attracts like (in both intent and scale). To be clear, thoughts are a part of it, but you will manifest more if you embody the thoughts so that they become beliefs.
By the way, manifestation does not mean that you can’t experience negative emotions without causing your life to be shit. AND this does not mean that you have to have the mantra of POSITIVITY ALL THE TIME… because that isn’t healthy or authentic. We will review how to experience negative emotions while manifesting in another blog because I get asked this question a lot, and I think it is worth having a separate conversation for.
At this point, you’re probably like… okay great… so positive thoughts. That’s it? I think a positive thought and poof it just happens? No, this is a common misconception. Positive thoughts are not ALL it takes. You also have to do the actions that go along with them because like the phrase goes, actions speak louder than words. It takes more energy to make an action happen, so it makes sense that actions (and beliefs) affect the outcome more than your thoughts alone.
You get from this world what you think about and act on, most. Positive or negative thoughts and beliefs, the universe doesn’t judge. But, these thoughts and actions also take time. Most people begin to judge manifestation as soon as one thought does not lead to a result the very next day, week, or month. Most fail to realize that, whatever intention you’re putting out there, give the universe time to work and match that intention. It won’t always happen the way you think it should.
This is a pretty general introduction to manifestation, but we will continue to dive into this topic in MANY other episodes. Let’s move on to how I got into manifestation if I was such a skeptic.
Where did I learn about manifestation?
I first heard about abundance, attraction, and manifestation the same way a lot of people did…the Secret. It was a documentary on Netflix that I stumbled upon while I was home sick one day. I had nothing better to do, and the cover image reminded me of the Davinci Code (which I love), so I figured “alright, let’s do it”.
I found the documentary interesting, especially having come from a family that ALWAYS worried about money—we were practically the poster family for scarcity and negative thinking—but I was still very skeptical. I mean, c’mon, you heard my stories earlier about my tests…
In pure 7-year-old Bre Brown fashion, I put the idea of manifestation aside for a while and forgot about it. A few months later, I was finally “getting over” a bad break up with a VERY toxic and abusive guy—which, I hate to admit. I’m actually still really embarrassed that I allowed myself to be with an abusive guy for so long…. But we will have to jump into that vulnerable story another time because I’m sure many of you can relate.
After giving myself some time, I began dating. Over the months, I found a few guys I was kind of interested in (but not really), and ended up going on what felt like hundreds of first dates with guys from dating apps (and y’all, this was pre-Tinder or any of the modern dating apps we have now, sketchy!). I got to a point where I was DONE with all of this drama, disappointment, and awkwardness. I stopped dating for a while. I wanted someone, but I thought dating was the worst. People NEVER seemed to have what I was looking for and the guys ALWAYS wanted more on the first date, so I thought I’d “hang it up” for a bit.
Flying solo for a while wasn’t hard because I really hated the exhaustion from dating. As I finally started stepping into the identity of a woman that was comfortable in her own skin, I thought back to the Secret and was like “what the hell”, I’ll test this “manifestation thing”.
So I did. I thought about what an ideal life partner for me would look like and I wrote down all kinds of qualities that I wanted in a future spouse. I wrote down things like I want him to be smart, emotionally available, interested in music, a bit artsy but not too artsy, have a broad chest (I struggle to feel feminine otherwise), I want him to be funny, kind, and completely trustworthY and trustING.
When I was done, I looked at this list for a while and thought “alright, yep. Done. Let’s test this thing. Universe, work your magic, and yes this is 100% a test”. It was the Easter Bunny test edition 2.0.
Anyway, I’ll save the full story for another podcast, but I met Evan, my now husband and partner in life, and he was and is ALL of the things on my list—even down to the broad chest. It was crazy!
But I wasn’t fully satisfied with this “test” because, you know, you have to be able to re-test your hypothesis and achieve the same consistent results, right? So I kept testing this manifestation theory. At the same time, I was really getting into it… though I didn’t want to admit this out loud because I was afraid of disappointment. But, while in this “testing phase” I gradually increased the size of what I was able to manifest.
I started off manifesting a place to stay in Italy for free, then a $500 gift card, another $500 gift card, an apple watch, a paddleboard, a Fit bit, $100,000 year, a multi-six figure year, and eventually a career that has amassed to seven figures before I was 29 (and growing). And, the crazy part is, the stories do not stop here. Click here to listen to the Podcast for details on these stories.
I mean there was a time in my life where I had a reputation for never winning ANYTHING, or at least that was the narrative I held. Now, as an adult, I have a reputation for winning EVERYTHING to the annoyance and fascination of everyone around me (sorry, not sorry).
Since these series of “tests” I finally allowed myself to get into the vulnerable state of completely believing in this concept. You’re probably like… vulnerable? What is vulnerable about manifesting? For me, believing this concept meant that if I REALLY wanted something, the ONLY thing standing in my way was myself—my own thoughts, my own limiting beliefs, my identity.
That is a scary realization when you no longer have excuses to rely on. But, this knowing can also be VERY motivating if you let it be.
To summarize, in order to manifest, you need to let go of your own limiting beliefs, step into the thoughts and actions of someone who has everything that you want as if you already do, and be open to receiving.
Check out this discussion in podcast form: