Gen Z has introduced the world to dozens of internet trends via TikTok. There’s been the Tide pods challenge, videos hating on skinny jeans, choreographed dances to pop songs and now, there is lucky girl syndrome.
What is lucky girl syndrome?
Lucky girl syndrome is the Gen Z version of having a positive attitude, an idea thats trended in past generations under different names. Boomers had “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale, Gen X swore by “The Secret” written by Rhonda Byrne and millennials manifested positivity using vision boards.
The lucky girl syndrome trend took off near the end of December, when TikTok influencer Laura Galebe posted a video explaining how her belief that “the best things happen to (her)” has led her to greater opportunities. (Note: the video contains some strong language.)
“I genuinely consider myself one of the luckiest people I know,” Galebe said in the TikTok. “I get the most insane opportunities thrown at me out of nowhere.”
Galebe’s TikTok took off. The video has been viewed over 3.1 million times and videos with the hashtag #luckygirlsyndrome have been collectively viewed 149.6 million times. Now TikTokers are posting their own experiences with lucky girl syndrome.
Samantha Palazzolo and her friend swear that lucky girl syndrome has changed their lives. The friends began by telling themselves and each other positive mantras.
“Anytime we would see each other we would say, ‘everything works out for us,’” Palazzolo said in the TikTok video. (Note: the video contains strong language.)
Palazzolo and her friend both wanted the bottom bedrooms at their new apartment, but they wanted to let their roommate select her rooms first. “A couple of days later, our roommate came to us and (said), ‘I want the top bedroom, you guys can have the bottom ones yourself,’” Palazzolo told the New York Post. They credit their good fortune to lucky girl syndrome.
How does lucky girl syndrome work?
Those who practice lucky girl syndrome adopt the mindset that everything works out in their favor and that good opportunities come their way.
Some of the popular phrases people with the syndrome tell themselves are: “Things are always working out for me” and “The universe is rigged in my favor.”
The idea is based in the law of attraction, a theory which states that positive thinking can feed positive results because positive energy proceeds positive results, reports Forbes.
“The energy, attitude, acts and emotions one puts out into the world are more likely than not to attract similar or resonant energy, attitudes, acts, vibrations and emotions,” says James Michael Nolan, a licensed psychologist, law of attraction coach and former president of Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, per Forbes. “This is not unrelated to the common notion of karma, you reap what you sow, or what goes around comes around.”
The potential downsides of lucky girl syndrome
Lucky girl syndrome has some critics.
Lucy Baker, a life coach from the United Kingdom, cautioned that people who believe manifesting positive vibes is all it takes for things to work out should be wary of disappointment when things don’t work out in their favor.
“(It) triggers disappointment for some whilst others completely lose their confidence,” Baker told the New York Post. “I use positivity techniques with my clients — but believing you are the luckiest person on planet Earth and luckier than any other living being can be dangerous.”
A study by Gabrielle Oettingen, a professor at New York University, found that putting too much focus on daydreaming about the future might provide momentary happiness, but could zap energy.
“Positive fantasies and daydreams are fine for putting a bandage on our present mood, but they’re problematic if we expect from them that they bring us a wish fulfillment. In reality, they won’t,” Oettingen said, per The Washington Post. “On the contrary, they zap our energy, which makes us less likely that we’ll actually achieve our wishes.”
Positive thinking can be beneficial
There are proven benefits to positive thinking, especially when done right.
Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty,” per Forbes.
An optimist recognizes that life is naturally unfair and full of challenges, while remaining focused on the positives and opportunities within every scenario.
According to Harvard Health, optimists are less likely to have a heart attack, less likely to develop heart disease, likely to live longer and have overall better mental and physical health than pessimists.
Some ways to adopt an optimistic mindset include: writing in a gratitude journal, practicing positive self talk and spending time with positive people.