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What’s the Difference between Intentions, Affirmations, Manifesting, and Visualizing?

In the world of conscious living, we may come across words that seem to mean the same but have very different meanings and intended purposes. If you’ve ever been confused about the difference between an intention and an affirmation or visualizing versus manifesting something into existence, read on to learn more. 

Let us begin by saying that regardless of the system used, how we label things, tools we may use, the time of day, month, or year we do something, ultimately, our personal intention is the single most important factor in achieving what we want in life. 

Essentially, when we make up our minds that we WILL do something, our environment responds to our subtle change in vibration and attracts us accordingly. Think - the law of attraction. 

Of course, tools can assist in reminding us of our intention and support us along the way. Certain aromas can help keep our minds focused. lady holding crystal in her handsCertain crystals can amplify the subtle energy in our space, keeping our frequency on board. Music can help keep our spirits lifted and when we’re in a good mood, we are more likely to choose and act in alignment with our goals. 

With that said, let’s explore the differences between Intentions, Affirmations, Manifesting, and Visualizing.

Black woman manifesting


(n) “an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.”

Intentions are synonymous with the first pulse towards a thought to move in a certain direction. When we intend to wake up early, we create a thought of the desired result, which then leads to a plan of action to achieve it. We set the alarm for 6 am instead of 8 am. Our intention led us to act in accordance with our desired outcome. 

Purposefully setting intentions daily (as we strongly encourage with our Intention Kits) can help you create the life you wish to live. Upon waking, take just 2 minutes to breathe deeply and set your intention for that day. 

Some examples may be: “Today I will not take things personally.” “Today, I will allow the creative spirit to move through me.” “Today I will tackle the hardest task first with fierce determination.” 

The intention you choose to set will help you align your thoughts to act in the intended direction. If you believe in auras and spirits, by setting an intention with purpose, you also alter your energetic body (aura) and command from the spirit world their assistance in helping you throughout the day. 

happy lady making heart with fingers


(n) “the assertion that something exists or is true.”

Affirmations are statements that affirm or declare that something is as true as the sky above. Affirmations eliminate the negative and declare the positive aspect by way of sentence structure. For example, instead of “I am not afraid of the dark”, an affirmation flips the language to a positive “I embrace the darkness” to give it more power. 

Affirmations are best expressed out loud in front of a mirror to amplify and enhance their power. Affirmations require you to take a moment to align yourself with their meaning. 

Saying “I am beautiful” while feeling ugly will weaken their effect. Before you speak, breathe deep, calm your mind, and allow your heart to fill with joy. This raises your vibrations in preparation for the affirming statement to come, even if you don’t fully believe it yet. 

Examples of affirmations: “I handle conflict exceptionally well.” “I am settled in my own skin.” “My body is beautiful, just as God intended it to be.” “I am a loving parent.”

woman and child meditating on a couch


(v) “materializing; become apparent through the appearance of evidence.”

Manifesting is simply the end result of aligning your conscious intent with clear visualization of the desired outcome. Many people use tools to manifest such as lighting a candle, drawing, writing, herbal tea, a box of trinkets, etc.… 

An example of manifesting: you come up with a picture in your mind of the exact outfit you want to wear to your friend’s party. You draw it out, declare to the Universe that you will find this before XYZ day and at XYZ price. You might place that drawing on a dresser, under your pillow, or burn it outside to release it fully to the universe. 

The idea is that you have given the Universe instruction and now you simply align with what you want until the Universe materializes it for you. 

While the end result may not be exactly what you had envisioned, it’s likely going to be very close. And when it is, you know YOU purposefully manifested it into existence. 

lady with raised arms standing outside visualizing something good

Visualization / Visualizing

(v) “to form a mental image; imagine.”

The visualization uses the power of the mind to create future experiences as though they have already been lived. To visualize is to sit quietly, eyes closed, picturing the thing/event/experience/dream in as much detail as possible. 

Envisioning the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, feelings, emotions, lights, environment, people involved, etc.… helps your mind to believe it as truth. Studies have shown that the mind cannot differentiate between what has been imagined versus what is real. This is where the true power of visualization lies. The body believes what the brain thinks. Period. Your mind emits vibrations that lead to transformation. The more detailed you can picture it, the more your body aligns with it.

A study by Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared people who physically went to the gym versus people who were instructed to visualize a virtual workout in their heads! No movement, no weights, no actual workout. 

The results showed an incredible 13.5% muscle increase in those who only visualized the workout! With that said, the physical folks gained a 30% increase, which only proves that visualization is powerful, but even more so when coupled with action! 

girl with down syndrome meditating

A Set of Tools for Creating Your Life with Purpose

As you can see there is tons of overlap from intention setting to manifesting to visualizations and affirmations. But there are also distinct differences as well. Knowing the different techniques for creating the life you wish to live allows you to choose which tool is best for the moment or for the desired outcome. 

Keep in mind, that to access the full potential of each technique, you must first take time to pause, consider your purpose, your values, your direction in life, and your dreams. Reflect on life’s meaning to you and evolve into the best version of yourself with HELP from these tools. 

And remember that your personal intent, your personal will, is the true power behind everything you do. Live with intention and watch as the world shifts in your favor. 🙏🏻

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