Book Review; Is Manifest by Roxie Nafousi really worth the hype?

If there’s just one self-development book everyone on Instagram seems to be reading this year, it’s Manifest by Roxie Nafousi.

With its stylish, orange cover and minimalist design, it’s been seen in the hands of plenty of influencers from Niomi Smart to Rochelle Humes and Bella Hadid.

It became an instant Sunday Times Bestseller within the first few weeks of its release and has had plenty of press attention.

But don’t worry if you haven’t yet added Manifest to your TBR list as I’m about to tell you whether it’s really worth the hype.

Here is my super honest and pragmatic book review on Manifest by Roxie Nafousi.

“Manifesting is a meeting of science and wisdom; it is a philosophy to live by and a self-development practice to help you live your best life.”

“Manifesting looks and feels like magic.”

Roxie Nafousi | Manifest

To manifest or not to manifest, that is the question

Manifestation is currently in Vogue. As in, it’s pretty damn popular.

Just look to Instagram, and the hashtag has been used over 7.3 million times. And on TikTok, the term has had 16.9 billion views.

But when something like this goes viral, you just know its real meaning is getting blown way out of proportion.

Influencers start claiming that they “manifested a new iPhone” although they literally just went to the store to buy one. The line between what manifestation really is, and how it is being portrayed on social media is becoming so blurred that it is literally being thrown around as the Gen Z answer to, “that is so fetch.” (Mean Girls, 2004)

“Cute bag!” “Thanks, I manifested it.”

It’s therefore no wonder that people are so into manifesting.

People want to believe that they can literally visualise what they want and it will come to them.

And this is where my issue lies.

Manifestation is literally being sold as the new “success” strategy, to make all your dreams come true.

Just like with the law of attraction, manifesting requires you to use “high-frequency vibration” to attract everything you want.

But what people are forgetting to mention, is that you still gotta do the work.

So for many reasons, manifestation has been a trend that I just can’t quite jump on.

Let alone take it seriously in the first place.

But I don’t want to be one of those people who judges a book by its cover.

I want to know the ins and outs of something first before I totally make up my mind. Rather than basing my entire opinion on an unrealistic version you see on social media.

So, I thought I would give manifestation another chance.

And that’s where Manifest by Roxie Nafousi comes in.

Because who better to learn more about manifestation from than “the A-list’s new favourite Manifester herself.” (The Sunday Times)

Who is Roxie Nafousi?

Just like with manifesting, Manifest (the book) is also having a moment in the limelight.

From headline news to being “the book you’re seeing all over your Instagram feed.” (Red Magazine) Manifest book is being named as an essential guide for anyone wanting to feel more empowered in their lives.

The book’s author and self-development coach, Roxie Nafousi is even being hailed as the “manifesting queen” by Forbes and “the face of manifesting” by The Times.

So you have to admit, this book, and the manifest expert herself, seem like a pretty big deal right now.

But has this all just been a clever marketing tactic from Roxie asking her influencer friends to promote the book?

All you need to do is search Roxie Nafousi on Google or scroll down her Instagram feed to see heaps of old images of her with famous faces at stylish events.

From hanging out with Lily Allen, Millie Macintosh and other members of the Made In Chelsea cast, Roxie was definitely an “It-girl” on the London party scene and a regular on the dailymail.co.uk

She also famously dated artist, Damien Hirst for 2-years when she was only 21 years old.

And although Roxie has since left her hedonistic, partying ways behind her and started a self-development journey, you need to be aware when reading this book and taking on her advice, that this woman is clearly privileged and well-known in the entertainment industry.

Even getting this book published seemed a little too simple. Although Roxie claims she manifested this to happen, she actually already knew someone from a talent agency who put her in touch with someone from Penguin.

This just goes to show, that it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s who you know.

Not exactly a rags to riches fairytale, but rather a party girl to self-sufficient adult tale.

“The change felt so magical, yet at the same time it made so much sense to me that it felt entirely logical too. My life transformed in every way imaginable; not an inch of it was left the same. And it all happened because of one thing: understanding the true art of manifestation.”

Roxie Nafousi | Manifest

The lowdown on Manifest

Spread across 7 chapters, better known as “the 7 steps to living your best life”, Manifest shows us how you can harness the power of manifestation to attract anything you desire and deserve.

If like me, you find manifesting confusing or misleading, then this book sets the record straight and establishes exactly what manifestation entails.

And those 7 fundamentals are:

  1. Be clear in your vision
  2. Remove fear and doubt
  3. Align your behaviour
  4. Overcome tests from the universe
  5. Embrace gratitude
  6. Turn envy into inspiration
  7. Trust in the universe

Although slightly repetitive at times, the chapters are extremely digestible and easy to read.

It’s also a lovely book to flick through with thoughtful quotes, guided questions, diagrams and space at the back to make notes.

Manifest is basically a pocket-sized guidebook to manifesting and will look good on any bookshelf or coffee table.

However, from the get-go I had a few reservations about how manifestation was being portrayed in this book.

Roxie illustrates manifesting as being a magical tool that relies heavily on your “high-vibes” to get what you want rather than just putting these experiences down to coincidence or “shit just happens.”

For example, within the first few pages, Roxie claims she wanted to manifest unconditional love. A week later, she met her Aussie-actor boyfriend on the exclusive dating app, Raya. And then 3-months after their first date, she found out she was pregnant. Roxie continues to say that “exactly one year to the day after receiving his message, our baby boy was born. There is was: unconditional love.”

Now, correct me if I’m wrong but surely that’s not manifesting?

That’s just having sex with a man, ovulating at the right time and getting pregnant.

Not exactly “magic” but more like a probability. She had a 78% chance of getting pregnant.

My 3 biggest takeaways from Manifest

Before I go in heavy on what I didn’t like about this book, let’s first look at the things I did like about Manifest.

Here are my 3 biggest takeaways.

1 | Makes you feel less alone

While reading this book, I was going through a challenging phase of imposter syndrome and comparing myself to others online.

But some of the chapters in the book: Cultivate and Practise Self-Love, Embrace Gratitude and Turn Envy into Inspiration, helped me to put my emotions into perspective.

Roxie is someone who has also experienced imposter syndrome, as do so many others, so reading her story made me feel less alone.

She provides you with some helpful tips, practical exercises and tools to help combat your limiting beliefs and turn your envy into inspiration.

So to be fair to her, Roxie has definitely written a book that cultivates motivation and gets you to see that you are capable of absolutely anything.

2 | It was extremely easy to read

Any book that takes me longer than a month to read upsets me. I can’t explain why, it’s just personal preference. It’s probably because I get bored easily and find picking up the said book a burden.

I like to get through my books within a matter of days.

So, one of the main things I liked about Manifest was that it was extremely easy to read and I finished it within a week.

Reading this book didn’t feel like a chore either.

In fact, despite the topic, I did really enjoy reading it.

Is that weird?

Can you enjoy reading something if you don’t necessarily agree with what is being written? I felt as though Roxie was personally talking to me, as though I were a friend.

But anyway, if you also dislike long-winded and scientific self-help books then Manifest is definitely for you.

3 | Cultivates self-belief

Before you start any manifestation journey, you need to first remove fear and doubt.

Roxie has written a great, in-depth chapter on how to do this.

Using her own backstory, she draws on examples to show you what she did to change her negative thoughts and turn them into fuel to create her own dream life.

This chapter includes plenty of guided exercises and journaling prompts to help you make these mindset changes too.

The message in this chapter that I really resonated with was everyone is capable of change.

In fact, “change is not only possible, it is inevitable. The person you were yesterday is not the person you are today or the person you will be tomorrow.”

I was someone who had a pretty wild and chaotic twenties but for the past 3 years, I have been on my own self-development journey. I’m taking better care of my well-being and grounding myself.

Yes, I still get reminded by family what I used to be like and friends humourlessly tell stories of my previous drunken behaviour. But after doing heaps of mindset work and practising self-love daily, I know that I am capable and worthy. And these comments don’t bother me as much as they once did.

So if you are feeling a little low in yourself and are struggling with regular limiting beliefs, then give this chapter a read and turn your self-doubt into self-belief.

“Do not allow negative thoughts to roam free, unregulated and unmanaged. Take ownership of them and start to practise managing your thoughts so that they can work for you, rather than against you.”

Roxie Nafousi | Manifest

What I didn’t like about Manifest

1 | Manifestation comes across as slightly toxic

Toxic in the sense that it is damaging to the person practising manifestation or to the person on the other end of it. For example, one of the main manifesting examples that keeps coming up in the book is, “manifest your perfect partner.”

Now for starters, there is no such thing as “perfect.” But if we are left to visualise our perfect partner, isn’t it inevitable that we would all visualise someone who can do no wrong and is absolutely stunning?

Like why visualise Quasimodo when you can have Prince Charming.

And this is where it can get damaging. Because you are setting your standards too high.

You go on date after date with great people, but no one quite ticks all the boxes. Because them picking their nose at the table wasn’t on your vision board.

And what happens when someone doesn’t quite meet our expectations?

We get annoyed. And probably slightly desperate.

Ever heard of the phrase, “you’ll find someone when you least expect it?”

Well, manifestation goes completely against this narrative.

But honestly, isn’t it way more fun not knowing that your soulmate is just around the corner? Rather than manifesting them and constantly waiting for them to show up?

There’s always a possibility that this waiting game will turn into an obsession.

And what if you do find the one? Someone that you visualised and is absolutely perfect.

But they don’t feel the same way?

Do you just blame this all on the universe? Convincing yourself that it is just another test you have to go through until you find the actual one?

This shit already sounds exhausting.

Which brings me to my second point.

2 | Unknowingly promotes self-indulgence and unaccountability

I found that while reading this book, Roxie puts a lot of emphasis on the universe taking control to give you what you want. And if you don’t quite get what you manifested this is probably just a test from the universe.

But doesn’t this take away responsibility from the individual?

Say you manifested a new a dream client. They book in a discovery call with you. You think it goes well but the potential client wasn’t impressed and turns down the opportunity to work with you.

As manifestation would suggest, this is just a test “you must overcome before you can progress any further.” That there will be other dream clients who will come your way and will want to work with you.

But how are you supposed to learn from your mistakes if you just blame everything on the universe and don’t hold yourself accountable for what goes wrong?

Manifestation also seems to teach us to go after the best because we deserve the best.

Say an amazing job offer comes your way, but it wasn’t at the company that you manifested.

Roxie encourages you to be patient, “to put back the things that aren’t right for you.”

But doesn’t this just feed our egos?

We become entitled to think we deserve the best. And even though Roxie has written an entire chapter on gratitude, I feel as though this step goes completely against this.

Shouldn’t we be happy and grateful for what we are given? Even if it wasn’t quite what we expected? Rather than constantly striving for the best?

I can’t help but wonder if this is Roxie’s privilege coming through. Someone who clearly hasn’t had to struggle with achieving the things she wanted.

Remember, she already knew a talent agent who helped her get a meeting with Penguin and was probably already well-known at Vogue magazine thanks to her previous “It-girl status. If Roxie didn’t already have these connections, would the results have been the same?

So if you do end up reading this book, please be aware that even the author’s life is unattainable and you really need to be realistic with yourself about what you can achieve.

And just go with your gut rather than waiting for the universe to do its thing.

3 | Language was too “woo-woo” for me

I did try as much as possible to approach this book with an unbiased opinion but sometimes I just couldn’t grasp the fluffiness of the language.

There were many sentences that went like this; “whenever you make the energy shift to overcome your test, you will be rewarded with abundance.”

Like I just can’t handle that shit.

I need practicality! (100% running back to Brené Brown after this.)

This book also puts a huge emphasis on the universe.

“It is the universe that holds the power and magic behind manifesting.”

But I am not someone who wants to surrender herself to the universe.

I want to be the one in control.

Final thoughts

Whether you believe in manifestation or not, this book will be the catalyst you need to inspire and motivate you to make your life what you want.

There’s a great section on gratitude and self-love which you can use as a tool for cultivating a healthier relationship with yourself. And the pages on envy are super valuable for anyone looking to kick their “comparisonitis” to the curb.

However, if you are looking for a book to help you on your manifestation journey then I would encourage you to stick with one from the OGs. Like reading Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein or The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

Manifest is extremely basic. Roxie doesn’t really share anything new, and although she does clarify that you need to be proactive on your manifesting journey (which I appreciated) I still can’t really get on board with this trend.

I’m a practical person. And I personally prefer to be in control of my life rather than relying on the universe to do its thing. I also do not want to blame everything that happens to me on the universe. I want to take those mistakes or rejections and learn from them as they shape me into the person I want to be.

And surely, if I want something badly enough, I will make sure I will work hard enough to make it happen.

I don’t need to visualise it or trust the universe to make it happen for me.

I just need hard work, ambition and motivation.

Things that I can find all within myself.

Until next week,

♡ Thalia xx

Let me leave you with this one last quote…

“Get crystal clear on the person you want to be and love that person unconditionally from this very moment. Know that this version of you already exists within you, dormant, but patiently waiting to be brought to life.”

Roxie Nafousi | Manifest

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Notes by Thalia

Notes by Thalia

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Here to help you mindfully navigate and balance your day. Notes on self-care, mindful productivity, mental well-being and wellness.