Spiritual practices are like medicine and manifestation is no exception. It has the power to improve focus and attract what we desire, but it can easily backfire in more ways than one. If we aren’t careful in our practice, we can find ourselves in situations that we didn’t intend to be in.
There are two sides to every spiritual coin. Manifesting can backfire or be dangerous when improperly used or weighed down with negative emotions.
So what causes manifesting to be dangerous and (more importantly) how can you prevent it from happening?
Can Manifesting Go Wrong?
Manifestation is not a benign tool. It does not discriminate between good or bad. It simply attracts what we choose to focus on. This can lead to things going wrong if that focus is in the wrong place.
The common things to watch out for:
In the same way as negative affirmations are (sadly) more potent than positive ones, manifesting with low vibrations will invite a lot of damage into your world.
When I talk about manifestation I always try to stress how important it is to come from a place of positivity. There’s a difference between acting out of desperation and despair and proactively working towards a goal.
Whatever we think we’re doing, the universe around us will respond to our vibrational frequency and manifesting can absolutely backfire if we let it.
Not Having Clear Intentions
If there are any blind spots in our intention, there is a good chance that we will get something we didn’t expect.
Say your affirmation is something like, “I intend to love unconditionally.”
This seems like a pure, noble thing to aspire to. Who doesn’t want to feel love for everything and break down the walls around our hearts?
While it’s a beautiful affirmation, it’s unclear. Loving unconditionally could cause you to stretch yourself thin with a lack of boundaries. It could also open your heart enough to feel all of the suffering going on around you.
I highly suggest making sure you know how to properly set an intention for manifestation. This first step can seem simplistic but getting it right is a big deciding factor for your manifestation being effective.
Manifesting Something Bad
I’m not talking about trying to manifest some junk food or a pizza delivery at 3 AM. There’s a far more destructive energy if you manifest something into your life that isn’t good for you.
It might be drawing negative people or a toxic relationship into your life without you even meaning to. Your manifestation practice might go entirely to plan but your life will be worse off for it.
Again, make sure you know how to set an intention properly and making sure you’re properly grounded and working from a place of high energy will make this less likely.
Focusing on the Wrong Things
Since the outcome of our manifestation practice is always unknown, we could worry and accidentally spend more time focusing on negative possible outcomes. Whatever we choose to focus on will most likely be what we get so be sure to create a clear image of what you want to happen.
Without being clear and focused, we leave ourselves open to possibilities that could cause our desired result to backfire and cause more problems, heartbreak, and pain than we had before.
Another common instance is focusing on unrealistic goals.
The first thing I tell a student of manifestation is to start small. It’s probably the most common mistake people make and it’s so easy to avoid. Focus on small things to start with.
I usually say this because it builds up your confidence and practice on things you’re already close to but (at an extreme) focusing on the wrong things can cause your manifestation to backfire if you’re trying to invite something into your life that you simply don’t have space for.
For example, trying to manifest a relationship when you work two jobs and don’t have spare time to spend with them. You’d put both of you through an emotional rollercoaster with nothing but hurt at the end.
Tampering With Free Will
This can be a tricky one.
Yes, it’s entirely possible to manifest someone to think about you or try and attract love into your life but there’s a limit to manifestation.
If someone has made it clear that they’re not interested in you that way then attempting to manifest them into your life is going to backfire. At a minimum, you’re working from a place of low vibration and desperation and (at best) you’re attempting to interfere with that person’s free will.
This is not to say you can’t still chase that goal.
But instead of your focus is on them and making them interested in you. You need to draw that focus internally. Onto yourself and your own personal development. Not only are manifestation techniques even more potent when faced inward, but you’ll avoid the negativity of trying to force someone to do something.
What are the Consequences of Manifesting?
When we talk about manifesting, we can’t leave out the law of karma. Every action has positive and negative consequences. We have to take into account the full effect it has on others and our future selves.
When we are angry, jealous, heartbroken, or lustful, it is best to refrain from this practice until the emotion has passed.
For example, if I am freshly heartbroken and decide to practice manifesting a new partner by affirming, “I will find a partner who loves me and does not break my heart,” I could find a new partner. This partner could love me and want to stay by my side, but time could pass by and reveal to me that this is not someone who I’d want to spend any more time with.
A situation like this could not only prolong my heartbreak but break the other person’s heart as well, creating more suffering than there was before.
With all of this said, there are specific ways to avoid problems like these when we practice.
How to Avoid Problems
Make Sure Your Intention Is Clear
Without a clear, specific goal, the universe will give you what you ask for and more.
Ask yourself questions.
“Is my intention clear? Why am I manifesting this? Who am I manifesting this for? What will I do with it once it manifests? How will it impact others?”
What we hope to gain from having a clear intention is the minimization of unexpected consequences.
Be in a Positive Mindset
If we practice from a place of pain, the focus will be more on our pain than our intention.
To clarify, you can use manifestation to work through suffering while you are experiencing it. It can be beneficial to manifest positivity and love when you aren’t feeling very positive or loving.
But if we aren’t careful, our intention can become clouded or imbued with the suffering we are experiencing. It’s good in this case to step away from the practice and either take time to cool off or resolve the suffering before starting again.
Develop One Pointed Focus
This could be one of the most important points.
Developing focus is key to reaching our manifestation goals. When our minds are not under control we can easily lose track of what it is we are trying to accomplish.
Buddhists, like Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, call this untethered mind “The Monkey Mind.” It’s sort of like your state of mind when you’re feeling all over the place. (Anyone else feel this on a daily basis?)
This is where mediation comes in.
It can be helpful to practice focusing on the breath, counting breaths, or just sitting silently for a few minutes every day.
Other than those methods, we can consider our manifestation practice as a form of meditation.
Here’s what you do, repeat your affirmation. Repeat it for a predetermined number of times, 10, 15, 30, 50, even 108 like traditional mantra meditation, and visualize your intention.
Your mind will want to wander and distract you from repeating the affirmation but don’t worry, that’s part of the practice! Eventually, your mind will understand that you are determined to practice and it will calm down.
So, Is It Dangerous?
When we talk about the practice of manifestation, it’s important to realize that it is powerful. It’s a powerful tool that we possess to interact with the universe.
It isn’t dangerous in the sense that your loved ones would get hurt just by thinking about it. But it does have the potential to create suffering if we aren’t careful.
To make sure you have a successful practice be clear and specific with your intention, practice with a positive mindset, and meditate to stay focused on your manifestation goals.