As I was browsing TikTok for work (lol this is my job), I kept seeing these posts about “Lucky Girl Syndrome” and discovered that the videos under that hashtag have been viewed around 150 million times. Needless to say, I had to dig a bit deeper.
For some background, the central idea behind #luckygirlsyndrome is that if you tell yourself that you’re lucky and things just go your way all the time, they magically will. I’d also like to point out that this “advice” came from someone who is 22. I don’t want to age-shame here but…stop. You haven’t lived enough yet to say that everything works out in your favor. That said, there is some realism behind the annoying name.
The basis of LGS is rooted in the law of attraction – the idea that thinking/focusing on good things will bring good things into your life. I found this article in the Washington Post that brings up a lot of good points while simultaneously making fun of Gen Z, which you know we appreciate around here. Here’s a quote:
The affirmations we tell ourselves can be a useful tool to interpret life in “a more positive light” and it’s useful “for certain people in certain situations,” said Mark Manson, the author of a best-selling self-help book.
“Maybe it makes you feel better today, but in the long run I don’t think it’s doing anybody any favors,” he said. Manson has called the law of attraction a “candied up version” of confirmation bias.
First off, love Mark Manson. If you haven’t read his book, buy that here. Highly recommend.
Anyway. This article claims that the law of attraction has been debunked as “pseudoscience,” but if thinking positively helps you live the life you want, then why stop? While I believe in things like manifestation (to a degree) and the power of positive thinking, I also believe that a key element to its success is practicing what you preach.
You can say affirmations daily about what a great person you are, but if your actions don’t reflect that, you’re not going to magically become a great person. I’d like to think that would be obvious but the internet astounds me every day with much, much less.
Mindset is important, but it’s more about taking that mindset and adopting it into your every day life. So when someone does something that pisses you off, you ask yourself “how would a good person handle this?” And then you act in that manner. But if you lose your shit and call them a brainless asshole, I don’t think you’re going to be collecting any good samaritan awards anytime soon.
Taking life advice from TikTok is probably not the most sound strategy for living. I mean, remember Sleepy Chicken? Or Healthy Coke? You see my point. I have seen a number of videos on there that have made me think (in a good way), but I’ve seen far more that were just plain dumb. Find your people and find what works for you.
What I WILL say about this Lucky Girl Syndrome, is that I’m sure at the end of the day, we could all use an extra dose of positivity. Maybe you write down some positive affirmations and say them every day, then keep a little journal of how your week went. I can almost guarantee that it will be better than if you were to wake up and call yourself a piece of shit every day. Obviously that’s extreme but if you think negatively, that energy bleeds into your life elsewhere. Trust me.
Looking through the lens of “lucky girl syndrome” is similar to a practice I learned from the book Atomic Habits – simply changing ONE word in a sentence can make a task go from daunting to exciting. Watch:
“I have to shoot this content before 5 pm today.” → “I get to shoot this content before 5 pm today.”
Here’s another example:
“I have to create 4 content calendars today.” → “I get to create 4 content calendars today.”
Fun fact: when I told myself that last one, I immediately added onto that sentence and made it even more positive. “I get to create 4 content calendars today…AND I get to browse through all the funny sounds on TikTok.” The latter is sometimes something that I find exhausting, but framing it differently in my mind helped me get past it.
So, you see my point. You can look at your life through any lens you want, but choosing a positive one is probably better for your mental health in the long run. It won’t magically solve all of your problems, but if you use that mindset as a subconscious driving force behind the decisions you make, you can see why people believe in the power of positive thinking. Because it’s not so much the thinking as it is the actions that follow it.
If you try this, I’d love to hear how it went. Oh and men, don’t worry, there is obviously #luckyguysyndrome. Not nearly as popular but we won’t tug at that thread…
When it comes to work, i also try to replace “i have to” with “i get to” like in your article. I read a lot of Chicken Soup for the Soul as a kid 😂😂😂 also good point about LGS not being good in the long run. Apparently Trump ignored Covid bc he thought the same as LGS – “if we just stay positive about the situation, it wont be that bad” 🙄 of course, that mentality in that position of power cost the country hundreds of thousands of lives.
Exactly! Also Chicken Soup for the Soul omg memory unlocked lol <3
Lizzo is a big believer in positive affirmation and I’d say she’s doing pretty well for herself! and as someone who constantly berates myself or the things I “have to do” this was a nice reminder to reframe or at least restate.