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

September 07, 2021

green crystals used for manifesting on tattered journal

The difference between an affirmation, intention, visualization and a manifestation is subtle. All are acts of faith. All require a dream, a plan, or a desire for a specific thing. None will produce the results you want without your personal drive.

Your drive (will + effort) is what transforms you from a person acted upon to a radiant being who co-creates the life you want to live (alongside Spirit/God/Universe/____ ) using the law of attraction. Incorporating just one or all of the above acts to support your drive for a better life can help strengthen the attraction to it. 

Join us as we explore four of the most powerful conscious living concepts below. Learn how to do them, why you should, when to use which one to maximize its effects and tools that can assist. That is, unless you enjoy being acted upon! 😲

*If you enjoy this article, make sure you join our tribe of conscious living beings just like you for weekly insights, inspiration and support.

conscious living tools such as crystals and journal and holistic skincare

Intentions First, Tools Second

Our intentions ARE the most powerful tools we have, period. First, we must focus our minds, set our drive (will + effort) and align with what we want, then we can support our efforts with tools.

Tools such as aroma sprays, crystals, plants, journals, music, etc... can be just what we need to stay 'on vibe'. Seeing them around our home can help remind us to take a moment to reflect and realign with our intention. Certain music can lift our spirits into a better mood. And with happier vibes, you get more positive results.

*Intention Kits by Nefertem help bring your intention to life during your daily shower. 

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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