Today we’re going to break down TikTok’s “Lucky Girl Syndrome” and talk about whether or not this form of radical positivity and optimism will be the thing that changes your life this year, or if there’s such a thing as toxic positivity.
Lucky girl syndrome can be a great way to reframe your mind and think more positively – but it can also make you feel worse, especially if you’re already feeling fragile. So while we’re going to break down Lucky Girl Syndrome in this post, I’m also going to share a strategy that might work even better for you.
What is Lucky Girl Syndrome?
“I’m so lucky, everything works out for me.” If you’ve heard this viral affirmation then you’ve already got one insight into Lucky Girl Syndrome. At its essence, Lucky Girl Syndrome is the law of attraction brought to you by TikTok.
And the law of attraction is a philosophy that claims the energy from our thoughts can attract and determine our experiences in life. So essentially, Lucky Girl Syndrome is a manifestation trend that people are using to achieve their dream lives.
Lucky Girl Syndrome Affirmations
- Everything always works out for me
- I am so excited for how great today is going to be
- I am the luckiest girl in the world
- I know what I deserve and I will get it
While we’re seeing specific affirmations like these pop up with this trend, the actual concept of Lucky Girl Syndrome is bigger than repeating some specific affirmations every day. It’s about rewiring your brain to see rejection and redirection and treating the good things that happen in your life as “good luck.” While that sounds really great, let’s dive a little deeper into the effects that radical positive thinking can have on your life. But first, where did Lucky Girl Syndrome begin?
Where did Lucky Girl Syndrome begin?
We can pretty much trace Lucky Girl Syndrome back to a couple of big TikTok Creators, namely Laura Galebe (AKA the CEO of the “Memoir Technique”) and Sammy K (AKA the college girl with a flip phone). They helped popularize this trend and hashtag by sharing their experiences using these specific affirmations and beliefs to achieve things in their lives.
This trend is growing quickly, videos on TikTok tagged with #LuckyGirlSyndrome have already been watched a collective 222 million times (at the time of this post).
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What is Manifestation?
Manifestation isn’t new – it’s essentially been around forever. Before the days of social media, manifestation trends existed in the books we read. We can trace the concept at least back to the 1800s. Christopher Chabris, a cognitive scientist and co-author of “The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us” said, “It’s kind of like a super-meme that every 15 or 20 years, as far as I can tell, sort of changes into something else.”
And before Lucky Girl Syndrome we had the Law of Assumption. In the book “The Law of Assumption: An Essential Lesson”, author Neville Goddard explains the principle by saying that whatever we assume to be true will eventually become true, for better or worse. This is the exact same thinking as Lucky Girl Syndrome.
The problem with Lucky Girl Syndrome
The big problem with Lucky Girl Syndrome is that it doesn’t take into account that life isn’t fair. It ignores structural biases, the hierarchy of privilege and the inequality that exists in our societies.
So, radical optimism and positive thinking are great. But you're walking a fine line between being optimistic and practicing toxic positivity which can actually have negative effects on your mental health. These types of mantras can really help people – but when things do go wrong in our lives, Lucky Girl Syndrome tends to make you feel like it’s all your fault – when in fact, it’s not.
Lucky Girl Syndrome can easily be compared to the “That Girl” trend that’s completely taken off in the last year. And the problem with striving to be That Girl… is that it’s often harder than people think and when your life isn’t always ‘Instagram Perfect’ it’s easy to feel worse about your reality. Plus, striving for ‘Internet Perfect’ is one of the fastest ways to get burnt out and actually end up giving up on the goals you’ve set for yourself.
(That’s why I’m determined to be your “Anti-That-Girl” BFF this year)
Not everyone on TikTok is on board with the idea of Lucky Girl Syndrome. Melody Walker, a singer/songwriter from Nashville called the trend “toxic spirituality” that ends up making people blame themselves for anything that goes wrong in their lives.
Melody said, “I don’t think that people realize how things that sound so lovely and kind can be twisted into very harmful ideas when taken to the extreme. There is no magic pill, no absolute answer, and usually things that are selling you an easy fix are actually selling you short.”
I am in no way trying to discourage the power of positive thinking, or cause you to feel like the world is out to get you, or that you have no control over the things that happen to you. But, there is a difference between your belief in your abilities because of practice or past success – and romanticizing your future by believing that everything will just work out because you have the right attitude.
What to try instead: The W.O.O.P. Method
I’m all about leaving you with steps you can actively take to improve your life – and I’m always wary of jumping on trends. So before you dedicate your life to this new form of manifestation… Try this instead!
The W.O.O.P. Method
WOOP – which stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan, is a science-based mental strategy that you can use to find and fulfill your wishes and most importantly – change your habits. I truly believe that the best way to change your life is by changing your habits.
The thing about WOOP is that it actually takes into account the things that can get in the way of our dreams. And it’s a good reminder that things can get in your way, under no fault of your own. At the end of the day, we can get better results if we can anticipate and plan for what might go wrong, or what might get in our way.
The WOOP approach encourages you to dream big, think hard about what you want and what the outcome would be, but also to think about what might get in the way – and then plan accordingly.
Don’t forget to take every ‘trend’ with a grain of salt. Toxic positivity and manifestation have been studied for years and have (at times) been found to have negative effects on the way we live our lives. In one study in Germany, a researcher, Gabriele Oettingen, found that students who fantasized about their dream job, sent out fewer applications had fewer job offers and earned less than the other students did, just two years after graduating. There’s a danger in believing good things will just happen, so you stop working towards your dreams.
Instead, try methods like WOOP which help you create a plan of action to work towards the changes you want to see in your life. And don’t forget that change happens when you form new habits aligned with your goals.
Download my Habit Tracker to help you stay on track with the small and big changes you want to see in your life. I promise these methods will help you more in the long run.
What do you think of Lucky Girl Syndrome? Have you heard of it before and do you follow anyone who’s jumped on this latest wellness trend? Join the conversation on one of my latest posts here. I’d love to know what methods you’ve tried to live a more positive and productive life.