Author and motivational speaker Mindie Barnett answers your questions about life, navigating these stressful and uncertain times, while steering you down a more straightforward path.
We welcome your questions and invite you to reach out to Mindie at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve seen many online and social media postings about being lucky and the importance of manifesting. I’ve never been a real believer in that sort of thing, but lately, I’m starting to feel like if it’s working for others, maybe I should try it. Is there any truth to that movement, and if so, how can you know it will work? I’m just worried about entirely giving myself to the universe. Am I a control freak? Please let me know what you think.
I think you’re spot on to doubt what you’re seeing. I’ve been seeing a great deal of this trend on Instagram, and reading your letter prompted me to dive deeply into what this is all about. The “movement” is called the “Lucky Girl Syndrome,” and it’s essentially a notion that if you put what you desire and hope to achieve into the universe, the universe will respond positively. In a nutshell, you’re proclaiming you already possess the fruits of your labor, thus coining yourself “lucky.” The problem is there is no noted “labor” to back up one’s proclamation.
This so-called Lucky Girl Syndrome is based on the mere fact you simply state your wish, and it will be instantly granted. That ideal is harmful for a variety of reasons: It gives the illusion one is borderline narcissistic, according to some experts. They say it can easily be assumed that the proclamation gives the notion one is entitled and deserving of all things good, regardless of circumstances.
In addition, the idea backs up the ill understanding that anything good which happens to women is based on dumb luck, rather than skill and talent. Lucky Girl Syndrome also doesn’t consider that life is not always fair. It also ignores the truth that some people are simply more privileged than others and the systemic biases that exist in the world.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with maintaining a positive mindset. It’s an attribute, but you must back up that mentality with challenging work and a plan of action. In rare cases, the things one wishes for may come true with pure luck, but one can’t bank on that. So, you must be intentional, as well.
Otherwise, this notion teeters on what the American Psychological Association has coined “magical thinking,” the belief that the thoughts or wishes of another can influence the behavior of others. And that is a very unhealthy mindset to maintain.
My advice is to go ahead and manifest your dreams and goals. A vision board, journaling, creating a voice recording to play back to yourself daily, or any other routine to remind yourself of your goals and vision is a healthy way to tap into this so-called “syndrome.” But most importantly, you must create a plan of action. A strong and positive mindset and some elbow grease take you far!
Shout your hopes and wishes, and then do the work