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What to Do If You’re Not Manifesting What You Want

photo: Nanette Saylor on flickr

Have you ever been frustrated by affirmations and visualizations? Has your manifesting mojo ever been seriously stymied?

You know the drill:

You affirm it. You visualize it. You cut out little pictures from magazines and plaster them all over your face.

Okay, not your face, but your wall. And your mirror. And the dashboard of your car.

You envision this thing in your life again and again and again. And then again some more.

And what happens?

It doesn’t manifest. Not even a little bit.


photo: Casey Serin on flickr

When I first discovered the power of thought, I was like a kid with a new toy. At the time, I was in my twenties and did not have a car. So I started visualizing a wonderful new vehicle.

I was young and foolish, and the car of my dreams was . . .

A white Jeep Cherokee!

Why was I so fixated on this car? I have no idea. All I can tell you is I thought about it all the time. My thoughts went something like this:

I want it. I want it. I want it. I want it.

Beyond my pure, raw desire for this vehicle, I was also employing constructive methods to bring it into my life. I was visualizing the white Jeep Cherokee in my driveway. I was picturing myself behind the wheel. I was imagining my sheer delight as I drove my beautiful vehicular baby down the road.

Those of you familiar with the world of visualization will recognize this particular technique as outlining.

Outlining is when we tell the Universe exactly what we want, down to the smallest, most minute details.

Outlining can be problematic for two reasons:

1) Our use of such specific detail can block the manifestation, because we’ve detailed ourselves out of alignment with the Divine.

2) We manifest the detailed desire, but we’ve missed out on the even-greater manifestations that could have been ours if we’d opened to a bigger, wider view.

photo: Paul Bica on flickr

In my case, I was guilty of problem number 1.

Though I didn’t feel guilty, I just felt frustrated. In spite of hoping and pining and affirming and visualizing, my white Jeep Cherokee and I were still not an item.

What was I doing wrong? I didn’t know.

Finally, after years of pining and hoping, the time came for me to purchase my first car.

Being the hard-core nerd that I am, I did my research. And what did my research uncover?

My vehicular baby was nothing to write home about. She had issues. Expensive issues. Issues that could require men in greasy jumpsuits to spend hours of time under her hood.

In other words: She was not the one for me.

Instead, my research pointed me to finer pastures: Toyota and Honda. These were the dependable, reliable, cost-efficient choices. Not to mention seriously nerd-friendly.

I purchased a white Honda Civic hatchback and never looked back.

Yes, you could say that my affirmation and visualization techniques didn’t work, in that I didn’t get the-car-of-my-dreams. You could also say that my affirmations and visualizations did work, because I ended up with a car, just a different one than I wanted.

Or a different one than I thought I wanted.

And herein lies the reason that affirmations don’t always work.

photo: Nanette Saylor on flickr

When we don’t start with alignment with the Divine, our affirmations might be off-track. We might be claiming and affirming something that’s not in our best interest.

Or we might claim and affirm something that does come into manifestation, but it proves to be unsatisfying because it’s not in line with our greatest Good.

So before you give up and say This sh*t doesn’t work, take some time to sink into a Bigger vision:

Meditate. Pray. Spend time in nature. Allow yourself to let go of figuring it out. Open to the Divine’s idea for you.

Interestingly enough, aligning with the Divine will sometimes guide us to envision specific details. In that case, our outlining is divinely inspired, and it’s all good.

Other times the details of what we desire might change as we sink more deeply into the Divine’s ideas for us.

Bottom line, when we start with the bigger vision, we can’t go wrong!

photo: Graham on flickr

What’s your experience with affirmations and visualizations? When have they worked? And when have they not?

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12 Responses to What to Do If You’re Not Manifesting What You Want

  1. River October 16, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Hey Z,
    I have had some big affirmations work. Ya see, I used to have bad heart valves according to the docs. I was in a relationship that was not serving me to the point that my heart was literally breaking.

    I also have a background in medicine from the dark ages. So I knew just enough to have the beegees scared out of me. The idea of someone cutting up my chest, taking out my heart and putting fake valves in it that may or may not work for the rest of my life was really awful. Then, of course, after all the pain of putting my insides back and healing all those broken ribs there are still those nasty immune suppressant drugs transplant patients have to take for the rest of their lives.

    So from my point of view, I was fighting for my life. I did what any really frightened person does, I prayed with my minister. We did one of those affirmative prayers. I held the vibe that my only acceptable reality was that I was whole, well and free. I did my very best to let go of my fear.

    Fast forward to a phone call from my cardiologist after a check-up. He said “In essence, there is nothing wrong with your heart!”


    Yep, I’d give all the credit to that prayer that is nothing but one big affirmation after another. When I got in alignment and gave up the fear, I got the big miracle.

    Now as a proviso, I still haven’t gotten that 10 million dollars I visualized so I am not always in alignment but when it counts, it works! I hope my story helps others to keep working the affirmations. They are the best medicine.

    PS. Please don’t stop seeing your doc because you read this.

    • Z Egloff October 16, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      Hi River,

      What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing this, and for the reminder that affirmations are an amazingly powerful tool for transformation and healing.

      There are certainly lots of lots of miracles that can and do happen when we affirm from a place of alignment. And even when we’re not in alignment and affirm, amazing things can and do still happen. It’s just that it’s even more amazing – and fun – if we do our affirmations from that place of conscious Oneness with the Divine. Life gets really amazing when we do that. At least, that’s been my experience! :)

      I’m grateful for you healing – and for sharing it with all of us!


  2. Sandi October 16, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    What perfect timing to see this! I just broke up with who I thought was the man of my dreams…not! We had a lot of dreams that seemed to sync but the truth was there were lots of issues. He finally said he couldn’t do this and left me reeling. As I spent a couple of days going through the 5 stages of losing someone ( usually in death but divorce and relationships count too) I realized that Spirit had been telling me all along that this wasn’t right for me either. I am wanting to get back on that “horse” and need to visualize the perfect partner for me. Thanks for the clarity that I have been looking for. Love ya Z

    • Z Egloff October 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      Hi Sandi,

      Been there, done that! And it can definitely be painful. Like you said, you definitely have to go through the grieving stages when any relationship ends.

      Kudos to you for already seeing the benefits of the dissolution of something that wasn’t working. And congratulations to you for getting back on that horse again! In my case, I just kept affirming a relationship that was/is “even better than I could imagine.” That let Spirit’s ideas for a relationship take over, as opposed to my own limiting ones!

      Thanks for stopping by. Come by again anytime! :)


  3. M October 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    A shirt lesson in auto anatomy….Mechanics spend most hours under the hood…and little time under the trunk…especially when you show a picture of the place the engine/motor lives. motor lives….under the hood…or in Brittain….under the bonnet.

    I am just saying….really.
    I am going to go busy myself seeing a world that communicates….however my trivial comment may be.


    • Z Egloff October 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      Howdy M,

      Thank you for pointing out the slip. The trunk has been replaced by the hood! Thanks for the Heads Up. Or should I say Hoods Up?! :)


  4. frustrated May 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I really don’t understand what the divine has to do with anything. What is divine to one person may be junk to someone else. If you visualize it, believe in it, then it should work. It doesn’t matter what the divine wants, if there is such a thing. What matters is what you want and believe.

    • Z Egloff May 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that the most important thing is what you believe, and finding what works for YOU. When I say “the Divine,” I mean the power of creation. For me, it’s been helpful to align with this power when doing my visualization, especially when my visualizations aren’t “working” as I’d like them to. It sounds like, for you, this might not be helpful. The key is finding your own way. It sounds like you know what works best for you. :)


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