What to know about TikTok's 'lucky girl syndrome' – and where it falls short

We can all feel lucky sometimes.

It might be when we find extra money in our pocket, or a great opportunity falls in our lap – but TikTok is telling us there is more to it than a simple stroke of luck.

‘The best things just happen to me’, says TikToker Laura Galebe – who is championing a phenomenon called ‘lucky girl syndrome’.

In fact, the term has exploded on the social media platform as countless users claim that because they believe they are lucky, then great things happen to them.

Psychologist Emma Kenny tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It’s very much about a belief system of optimism.

‘It’s the idea that if you consider yourself to be lucky, you invite positive energy, and because of that positive energy you amplify the good things that happen to you in your life.’

There’s even scientific proof that it works. Emma says the more positively you think, the more positive neural pathways are created in the brain.

And the more you create them in the brain, the more automatic your positive thinking becomes.

So it seems like there can only be upsides right?

After all, TikToker Laura claims that ‘nothing ever doesn’t go my way’ and says that we should all ‘be delusional’.

The secret is to assume and believe it before the concrete proof shows up. BE DELUSIONAL. #bedelusional #luckygirlsyndrome #affirmations #lawofassumption #manifestationtiktok #manifestingtok #lawofassumptiontok #manifestation

Emma agrees that this mindset can certainly make your life better.

‘I think it’s really helpful to have that attitude for gratitude, and also attitude that to some degree “I have agency, I control the world around me, I am in the driving seat, it’s not driving me, I’m not a passenger”,’ says Emma.

‘Therefore every obstacle that you overcome you win, every time you fall over you accept that you’re the person tripping and because of that, every single thing is fulfilling.

‘So this mindset does not protect you from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. What it does is it creates an antidote to the long term devastation of that.’

But the fatalistic idea that you’re simply born under a lucky star, or simply have a lucky disposition, is slightly missing the point.

Luck only goes so far

Emma explains: ‘We could argue that being unlucky is something that just happens, but that fatalistic perspective is probably untrue because there are so many things that we can control.

‘It’s not luck when you get the good job, it’s determination and ambition. You may feel that the interview went really well and that felt like a more lucky experience, but if you’re honest it’s because you put the graft in.’

i don’t know why it works but… everything works out for us #luckygirlsyndrome #luckygirl #luckygirlsyndrom #manifestation #affirmationsoftheday #affirmations #collegelifehack #lifehack #college #collegegirls

Beware of toxic positivity

‘Lucky girl syndrome’ can have some not-so positive impacts, so when adopting this mindset it’s important to be aware of your environment.

‘The downsides to the trend on TikTok is that sometimes there’s a toxic level of positivity for people to endure,’ says Emma.

‘If you’re having a really awful time and then you just see people talking about how great their life is that can be truly jarring and grating.

‘It can be something that compounds those feelings of helplessness and grief – and makes you feel that your life is not as good as other people’s lives.’

Emma also points out that it’s easy to maintain this positive mindset and cultivate this ‘lucky’ attitude when things are going well – but the real test of this mindset is ‘are you still lucky, even when the house of cards has fallen?’

If you can, then arguably you can reinforce the reality that ‘yes, this belief system is truly helpful for me’.

But it’s important to remember that ‘lucky girl syndrome’ isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, when stripped back to basics, the concept of affirmations has been around for a long time.

It doesn’t acknowledge privilege

Another crucial thing to note is that ‘lucky girl syndrome’ doesn’t take privilege into account.

What it fails to touch on is that opportunities presented to certain individuals are not available to everyone.

This is where the phenomenon has received criticism online, with one person pointing out: ‘If you’re going to tell people with mental and physical disabilities, that absolutely cannot be changed with the power of thought, that “you just have to think positive” or people who have lived in systemic oppression or have lived in systemic racism.’

While another highlighted it could cause anxiety and a negative spiral for many.

Another said: ‘This whole “lucky girl syndrome” thing is going to feed people right into the law of assumption and law of attraction – AKA, think positively at all times otherwise everything is your fault.’

Emma’s eight tips for having positive experiences without championing ‘lucky girl’ syndrome:

  • Shift the idea of just ‘being lucky’ into a paradigm of ‘I feel lucky because the work and the attitude I put into my life pays off’.
  • It’s great that you have a positive attitude to your life and you really value the fact that good things happen but never underestimate the self within it.
  • Choose what you are going to do carefully and diligently, set goals and make plans, work towards milestones and reward yourself when you achieve them.
  • See every single experience, good and bad, as wealthy to your learning – the good things are reminding us to repeat those scenarios and the bad things are teaching us what we need to learn.
  • When you find yourself suffering, as opposed to suddenly believing you’re unlucky, acknowledge that part of being a very fortunate person we also have the good fortune to balance that when terrible things happen.
  • Adopt a gratitude mindset so write down three simple things before bed that you are grateful for that day and one thing you struggled with but overcame.
  • Stay humble – people don’t like arrogance and gloating so be aware that because great things are happening to you doesn’t mean you need to brag about them because others may be struggling.
  • Share the luck with other people. Think how can you extend care and compassion to those other than yourself.

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