“Manifesting” has become something of a buzzword in recent years – inspiring everything from memes (“shut up, I’m manifesting!”) to TikTok videos: Want your crush to text? Manifest it!
The practice, which is all about making something happen through aspirational thinking, is showing no sign of slowing in popularity.
Manifesting expert and self-development coach Roxie Nafousi happened upon manifestation in 2018 when she says she hit “rock bottom” during a period of addiction.
After a friend recommended she listened to a podcast about manifesting, she gave it a go and found it really resonated.
“My entire life has transformed in ways that feel utterly magical,” she says.
“I feel a sense of joy, inner peace, and confidence that I never thought was possible for me. I am so passionate about this practice and want everybody to see for themselves how powerful and extraordinary it is.”
Since then she’s become something of a manifesting guru for Gen Z and after the success of her first two books – Manifest: 7 Steps To living Your Best Life (a Sunday Times bestseller) and Manifest: Dive Deeper – the author is releasing a third book with a very different audience in mind: children.
Manifest For Kids (£13.99) introduces children to the world of manifestation and self-development, explaining how the “power of the mind” can be used to make positive changes in their daily lives.
It’s part guide, part work book, focusing on four key areas: understanding feelings, growing confidence, gratitude and goal setting.
When I ask Nafousi how she would describe manifesting to a child, she replies: “Manifesting means using your own mind to change your life. It helps you to be the best you that you can be, cope with challenging times, feel happier and reach your goals.
“It’s like having your very own super power.”
Nafousi, who has a young son, has been vocal about not enjoying her own childhood, previously telling the NY Post: “I never grew up knowing happiness or joy. I wasn’t shown an example of how to be happy.”
So it’s perhaps no surprise then that this next book focuses on the youngest generation and how to help them build self-worth.
“I suffered from depression for a lot of my life, and I really struggled with my confidence. I also found school a really challenging experience,” she tells HuffPost UK.
“I believe that if I had [the] tools in my early childhood to help me understand emotions, build self-belief, and cope with challenges, then my whole experience of life would have been different.”
One in three young people in Britain aren’t confident, according to a study by Sky Academy, and having been there herself, Nafousi thinks there are several factors that play into this, but social media is perhaps the biggest one.
“Children are constantly being shown pictures that are edited and filtered, and it creates an impossible standard of perfection that they are comparing themselves to,” she explains.
“At a time when children are figuring out who they are, where they fit in the world, and building their own sense of confidence, this is incredibly damaging.
“Even as grown ups, social media has made it harder for us to feel confident, so imagine how much more difficult it is for young people.”
Two daily practices she recommends to help children build confidence
1. Using affirmations
Encourage your children to repeat positive affirmations every day. You could do them together, or find a place in the house where you have them written down for them to repeat, such as on the bathroom mirror or perhaps on a chalk board on the wall.
Each day, or week, you could change the affirmation. Affirmations such as “I am perfect just as I am” or “I am proud of who I am” or “I am strong” are lovely ones to use. There are lots more examples in the book.
2. Asking: what are they proud of?
At the end of each day, ask your children what they are proud of themselves for doing that day. You can always help them if they are struggling to think of something.
It could be that they overcame something they were struggling with, that they did something kind for someone else, or that they completed a task.
While manifesting is not without its critics – experts believe that trying to manifest change can have a negative impact on mental health, particularly for individuals prone to more negative thoughts – Nafousi’s new book is admittedly more about navigating different emotions, repeating positive affirmations, practising gratitude and goal-setting rather than simply wishing things into existence.
So, does it actually help children? Only time will tell. The author says she’s already shared her book with her nieces and has noticed they’re starting to use some of the tools in day-to-day life.
“They’ve been saying ‘thank you’ more often and expressing gratitude more,” she adds, “and when they’ve gotten angry they have done one of their breathing exercises rather than shout.”
We’ll take that as a win.