My Friend Asked What I Think of Manifesting and I Can’t Believe This Is Still a Thing

Is this really the best we can do?

Jill Francis
6 min readJan 7, 2022


Black and white photo of woman with her hands on her face. She looks very confused.
Photo by Sherise VD on Unsplash

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that humanity is taking a collective brick to the face right now. OK, not just one brick, but several. And they are all being dropped from a height. When there’s so much collective suffering, when it seems that there are more obstacles than clear paths, when it seems like we’re suckers just for hoping anymore, a desire to find meaning takes root. I get this. Times of war, death, fear, and destruction often inspire great writing as human beings search for answers. If you’re swimming through shit, those words of wisdom can at least clean your goggles.

I can understand why you’d want to read Viktor Frankl or Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama or Epictetus. “What is to give light must endure burning”–that’s Viktor Frankl, a psychologist, neurologist, philosopher, and Holocaust survivor, and it is beautiful. What I don’t understand is why in times of strife, you’d want to snuggle up to “manifesting”, a vaguely metaphysical concept most closely associated with a 2006 book written by an Australian television producer who made up quotes, cheated people out of money, and famously said she instantly understood quantum physics because she wanted to. But, wait. You want to do this in 2022.

After all we’ve been through–really?

To be clear, I am not here to dunk on the author. To me, she is just a YouTube search I don’t want to make because I like my algorithm where it is without the dippy factor, thank you very much. I do have an issue with the message because it keeps lingering like something left to molder in the back of the fridge, though it seems to have distanced itself from the book somewhat. And I honestly thought I was done hearing about this crap fifteen years ago.

Until this week.

“What do you think of the concept of manifesting?” asked my friend Helen in the middle of a shaky video on Marco Polo. I don’t know what prompted her to consider this as she drove to the grocery store but apparently, it was important enough that she mounted her phone in a spot where I could see her mull it over on the other side of the windshield wiper arm.



Jill Francis

American immigrant in Italy with too many degrees in Psychology. I write about everything I’m afraid of.