Can You Benefit From “Lucky Girl Syndrome”?

Can You Benefit From "Lucky Girl Syndrome"?

What if the secret to getting everything you wanted was as simple as proclaiming to anyone who would listen that you’re extremely lucky? Let’s take it a step further: what if you simply had to say you’re lucky to no one but the ‘universe’ for you to have the life of your dreams? According to TikTok, this is the secret to unlocking your best life ever. 

Go ahead and type ‘lucky girl syndrome’ into TikTok’s search bar. You’ll see two things: dozens of videos with shop links to purchase a lucky girl-guided journal (more on that later) and creators sharing how they were able to score nice apartments, new jobs, great loves, and random treats by shifting their mindset to focus only on the positive

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

As with any mental wellness fad, there are upsides and downsides:

  • The upside: lucky girl syndrome may be instilling hope in those who have believed they’re doomed to an unfulfilling life. There is scientific backing that positive thinking can enhance our well-being, and it promotes stories of optimism.
  • The downside: much of the content about lucky girl syndrome ignores how privilege plays a role and can emphasize spending money to access this mindset, which can prey on especially vulnerable people.

Let’s get to the truth of lucky girl syndrome and how you can implement realistic positive thinking strategies that help enhance your well-being.

Related: The Benefits of Positive Thinking and Happiness

Understanding “Lucky Girl Syndrome”

Curious about what lucky girl syndrome is? Look no further than Laura Galebe, a TikTok creator who is recognized as the first person to introduce this concept. In her viral video, she shares, “It wasn’t until I genuinely believed that great things just happened to me out of nowhere that things literally started flying at my face.” 

In another TikTok video, a creator and her friend shared anecdotes about lucky girl syndrome working out for them, citing their belief that everything would work out for them as a key reason why they found success with a viral video they created.

https://iframely.publishing.yahoo.net/wufBLmY?app=1&v=1&img=1&lazy=1

Something that is often unspoken about with lucky girl syndrome is how hard work and dedication are left out of the conversation. It takes effort to create content – a video with a great concept must exist for it to go viral. Even cultivating positive thoughts can be difficult work, especially if you’re going through a hard time.

To understand lucky girl syndrome a bit better, I turned to Amanda Sacks, LCSW, E-RYT 500 and founder of We All Feel. Amanda works with anxious millennial and Gen-Z women through holistic individual therapy and somatic yoga sessions. Considering her expertise and how it aligns with the expected demographic of those interested in lucky girl syndrome, I was eager to ask her thoughts about it. 

“As someone who is adamant about acknowledging that we all feel a wide range of emotions, it is important to note that it is okay if you do not feel ‘lucky’ every day,” she explained. She continued by giving the example of Gen-Z and millennial women who are searching for romantic partners. “Having a lucky girl syndrome mindset while dating can be uplifting, especially when the process is daunting for so many,” she shared.

However, she was clear that positive thinking alone isn’t enough, explaining that if someone isn’t taking any actionable steps toward finding a partner, then it is time to look deeper. “Positive thinking has value, as long as it is partnered with reality.”

The Power of Positive Thinking

While some may be quick to write this off as delusional thinking (which, it is worth adding, Galebe encourages folks to be delusional to see the magic of these thoughts), there is some scientific backing behind positive thinking.

In a study for the Behavior Research and Therapy Journal, it was proven that replacing thoughts about potential negative outcomes with either images of potential positive outcomes or positive images unrelated to the worries leads to significantly less anxiety and worry. Skeptical about the extent of the participants’ worries? They were substantial – the study was conducted with participants who were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.

Related: Toxic Positivity—Why It’s Harmful and What to Say Instead

Manifesting and Law of Attraction

Lucky girl syndrome isn’t an original phenomenon. Its rhetoric has origins in the law of attraction and New Age discourse on manifestation. The law of attraction can be best understood as ‘like attracts like,’ meaning positive thoughts attract positive thoughts, and negative thoughts attract negative thoughts.

Manifestation is understood as the ability to attract what you want based on positive thinking alone. While the idea that just our thoughts can give us everything we want sounds pretty great, things just don’t always work that way. 

The Dark Side of “Lucky Girl Syndrome”

Let’s say you’re down on your luck. You can’t seem to get out of debt, you’re facing housing and food insecurity, you were recently dumped, and you can’t find work that feels like the right fit for you. This is an experience that is unfortunately all too common for many. Yet, if you’re experiencing any or all of those things, does that mean your thoughts are to blame?

Let’s take it a step further—you’re experiencing all of those things and taking every action you can while remaining hopeful things can change. What does it mean when the struggles persist? These questions are at the core of the perils of lucky girl syndrome. Luck isn’t enough, especially in a world that is especially cruel to those with marginalized identities

“They [law of attraction and lucky girl syndrome] are faith-based beliefs… They require that you suspend your logic and critical thinking,” explains licensed marriage and family therapist Alegria Louise Demeestere.

She continued by sharing that, especially for those who struggle a lot and feel powerless, the law of attraction, manifestation, and lucky girl syndrome can give you a sense of agency.  However, there is a lot we are powerless over. “The law of attraction ignores all systemic oppression and inequalities and tells you that the power is in you: all you need to do is think the right thoughts and your dreams will come true,” she concluded.

Takeaway

Be aware that rhetoric around manifestation, the law of attraction, and lucky girl syndrome can come with promises of change from life coaches and invitations to purchase adjunctive materials, like a guided journal. When in a place of desperation, folks can feel so eager for change that they will do anything, including purchasing goods and services they cannot afford. Alternatively, some practitioners may make unrealistic promises.

Related: It’s Time to Ditch Toxic Positivity in Favor of Emotional Validation

Practical Strategies for Cultivating Positivity

You’ve heard the good and the bad about lucky girl syndrome. Now, it is time to find a middle ground that is realistic, effective, and easy to implement. We asked Alegria what she would suggest to a client who is expressing interest in lucky girl syndrome.

She explained that many may simply want a sense of security, not necessarily the external things, and security comes through our personal relationships. “A lot of my work with this client would be to help them create supportive, secure relationships in their lives—and for many people, this will involve processing relational injuries and trauma.”

Amanda turns toward somatic-based practices, stressing the importance of breathwork to support folks in soothing their nervous system. “With breathwork, you can calm your nervous system or quickly shift away from unhelpful thought patterns,” she explains. 

Keep in Mind

If you’re feeling called to lucky girl syndrome, it wouldn’t be surprising if it was because you were feeling particularly unlucky. There can be many reasons for this, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

Consider reaching out to a therapist who can support you in healing the hurts, moving towards what you want, and staying rooted in reality along the way. Inclusive Therapists is an excellent therapist directory that offers a wide range of diverse providers. If finances are tight, Open Path Collective is another directory that is specifically for therapists who offer sliding scale sessions.

Life is nuanced and full of complicated emotional experiences. Amanda put it best: “Feelings come and go. As humans, it is our job to let them.”

Read Next: The 13 Best Online Therapy Services That Are Tried, Tested, and Expert-Approved

Read the original article on Verywell Mind.