“I’m so lucky. Everything works out in my favour. Great things are always happening to me.”
Lucky girl syndrome had TikTok in a chokehold back in January of this year, after a TikTok video by @lauragalebe explaining her miracle-working mindset in her get-ready-with-me musings went viral at the end of December 2022. The concept quickly gained internet clout, with many contenders for “lucky girl” taking to social media to share the positive, sometimes miraculous outcomes of repeating this self-affirmation religiously. However, the practice has also had its fair share of critics and detractors warning against the many potential pitfalls of banking your “luck” on a daily mantra. Based on the law of assumption—a concept introduced by 20th century philosophical writer Neville Goddard—and deeply rooted in psychology and psychosomatic teachings, lucky girl syndrome does in fact hold its truths and has its caveats.
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Vogue speaks to two experts in the fields of life coaching and psychosomatics to dig deep and uncover what we can really learn from the “lucky girl” movement. See here for their take on the practice, its pitfalls, and how to use it as a tool to tap into your own “luck”.
How does lucky girl syndrome work?
Development coach from Matter Inc. Yan Yi Chee sums it up best. “Someone who feels lucky will have a greater appreciation for even the small things in life, and is more likely to have positive energy, thus attracting the same from others,” she reports.
It should be no secret by now that manifesting your desires starts from within you. Self-affirming that you are a “lucky girl” is more about shifting into a positive mindset and knowing what you want out of life than anything else. Once you have that down pat, such a mindset will also build mental strength and empower you to do the best you can in whatever you endeavor to achieve. “A positive mindset also leads to stronger emotional resilience and a more optimistic and hopeful approach to life,” Yan Yi continues.
Once you are primed with the confidence and self-assurance that knowing what exactly it is you desire provides, in the vein of positive self talk, having “lucky girl” mentality can indeed take you far. “When someone is ready to receive the experience that they are calling in, they are able to authentically feel into the words of the positive affirmations,” Stephanie Leong, founder of somatic psychology and expression institute Soma Psyche Alchemy confirms.
Resisting toxic positivity
It should not come as a surprise that banking on a manifesting technique to materialise your desires can, when not taken with a pinch of salt and a bucketload of reality, result in adverse effects on your development and mental health. Stephanie cites toxic positivity as a particularly dangerous pitfall: an easy pattern to fall into when your expectations of “luck” do not come aligned with reality, leading to a facade of cheerfulness no matter how dire a situation is. “[Lucky girl syndrome] encourages people to be as delusional as possible,” Stephanie warns, “it doesn’t speak to the regular experiences of being human such as failure and sickness and having a bad day.”
Being a “lucky girl” still comes with the inevitable ebb and flow a human experience—particularly, it is vital to acknowledge the lows in order to truly earn and appreciate the highs. When the practice devolves into a streak of toxic positivity, “it can promote an inflated ego and sense of narcissism, making blessings feel like an expectation rather than a gift.”
The solution to this is the hard one no one wants to hear: march through the hardship—and more importantly, glean from it as much as you can. “Develop a stronger sense of self-awareness so you can adopt genuine optimism,” Yan Yi advises. “Accept difficult feelings as part of growth and development.”
Understanding the impacts of privilege and class
Another potentially harmful trait of the trend is its blind eye to socioeconomic standing and how it, more often than not, plays a pivotal role in one’s “luck”. As many “lucky girl” advocates effectively liken the practice to divine intervention, most fail to address the fact that privilege (in whatever sense the word) affords opportunity.
“[Lucky girl syndrome] may widen the already significant divide of people in positions of privilege,” Stephanie warns. “When cultural norms and systems are in place, one simply cannot positively think themselves into a different reality without social change and action.” She goes on to explain that this could be harmful as the trend’s largely young and impressionable audience may be prone to self-blame when things do not turn out as “lucky” as they did for someone else whose social standing had granted an easier head start.
How do I make lucky girl syndrome work for me?
All things considered, lucky girl syndrome is merely a tool in self-improvement, but it can be a powerful one if used with caution and heaps of self-awareness. “Positive self-talk is just one aspect of working towards materialising one’s desires,” Yan Yi says, adding that “creating a realistic and achievable plan, putting in place a support system, and practicing self-compassion and holistic self-care” combined are what gives the daily “lucky girl” affirmation its power.
“Discover the root cause of the desire,” Stephanie concludes. “It’s important to always know our why, our triggers, and what is it that we want—the long-term vision in the larger scheme of things.” In short: know what it is that you want and stick to it, and let the positive affirmations lend you confidence and motivation along the way.