It’s time to romanticize life.
Every time a new year rolls around, I’m filled with a teeny sense of dread. “New Year, new me” messaging reliably implies that I need to skillfully use the next 12 months to become the best-ever version of myself — even if I’m not sure what looks like. But in recent weeks, a manifestation trend on TikTok has given me a refreshing outlook on self-improvement. You see, in 2023, I will be doing nothing but relentlessly believing in myself.
Dubbed “lucky girl syndrome,” the aforementioned viral tactic is pretty simple. It involves, as you may have guessed, feeling and thinking that you’re really lucky — and then regularly speaking your good fortune into existence.
“There’s literally no better way to explain it than, like, it feels like the odds are completely in my favour,” says Laura Galebe in a video posted about the trend in December 2022. “Ever since I can remember, I have always made it a point to tell everyone: I am so lucky. I just always expect great things to happen to me, and so they do.” The logic here, as I’ve come to learn, is that with these constant positive reminders, you’ll automatically adopt an optimistic outlook, and in turn, things will fall into place.
As it turns out, feeling like the most beautiful, fun, capable person in the world is easier said than done. It takes intention, and despite the self-involved sound of it, actually requires you to put your pride aside. To truly trust that things are going to work out for you, you have to push past self-doubt and disregard the fear of looking silly.
Of course, nobody’s life is perfect at all times. But “lucky girl syndrome” is about shifting your perspective to always find a silver lining. “Nothing ever doesn’t go my way,” Galebe continues. “Like, if it doesn’t go the exact way that I wanted it to go then something better comes up after it.” My assessment? It’s about existing in a daydream of your own making. And that is a skill in itself.
We’re taught to be realists; to (cautiously) hope for the best, but expect the worst. As such, approaching life with unwavering pragmatism has somehow become a sign of aspirational adulthood. But there’s something to be said about reverting to childish wide-eyed naivety; getting excited about the small things and feeling like each day is a personal gift from the universe to you. Is that mindset a little impractical? Absolutely. But it’s exactly the kind of indulgence we deserve to gift ourselves again and again.
In recent months, the concept of “being delusional” has gone viral on TikTok as the ultimate life hack. “I have been delusional my entire life,” says creator @mckenziejaidaa. “I have everything that I’ve ever wanted. In my mind, I’m like, ‘Obviously I’m gonna get it. Like, why wouldn’t I? I’m that girl. I deserve it.’… And it works out for me every time.”
This line of thinking is not new — within the practice of manifestation, it’s called the Law of Assumption. The belief, essentially, is that what you want is destined to be yours. Instead of obsessing over the way things might turn out, it’s about having peaceful certainty that your greatest desires are part of your reality. Basically, picture how you would feel if you already had everything you wanted, and then act that way.
By feeding yourself the notion that great things are just around the corner, you may feel encouraged to pursue your goals with more confidence. In my experience, it’s also been a remedy for burnout. While hustle culture is rooted in the self-critical concept that you could and should always do more, the “lucky girl” method is simply about acknowledging your self-worth as you are.
Of course, manifestation doesn’t determine how everything plays out. Factors like class, race, and ability influence the type of “luck” — and systemic advantages — people may have in their day-to-day routines. But there’s something empowering about wholeheartedly feeling like the universe just has your back. I mean, life is hard enough. Why not approach things with a little baseless self-confidence?
Each New Year’s Eve, my family plays the same game: go around the table and say one resolution. Sometimes I get anxious about sharing mine. I feel like I’m putting pressure on the year ahead by setting a defined measure of success that I may not live up to. But this year, a family friend stated they simply planned to “find something each day to smile about.” Ultimately, that’s what “lucky girl syndrome” comes down to. It’s about finding beauty in life, ditching rationality every once in a while, and genuinely believing that serendipity is abundant. Bring it on, 2023.