Wishful Thinking Distorts the Truth
The fallacy of wishful thinking is that it is harmful and a distortion of the truth. Wishful thinking is described as interpreting things as you would like them to be instead of how they really are. It has been argued when we want so bad for something to be true(or false), that we actually believe it to be true(or false). I believe there is nothing wrong with wishful thinking. I'd go so far as to say that wishful thinking is good for you.
In extreme cases, wishful thinking can be a form of self-deception. Our beliefs are rooted in emotion and any strong emotional attachment to a belief could make it a dangerous alternative to the actual reality. The more skillful the ability to conceal your true feelings, the more successful you are in deceiving others, as well as yourself.
I, on the other hand, would also like to perceive wishful thinking as a form of positive affirmation. The ability to develop a positive mindset can lead to creating a better life. There are multiple studies that support that the practice of positive thinking techniques, visualizations and positive affirmations do lead to measurable achievements. To keep things simple and concise, positive affirmations create a positive attitude to life.
Example of How They Differ
An example between the difference of wishful thinking and a positive affirmation concerning a person with low self-esteem would be:
(1) I wish I was more confident and outgoing so that everyone would like me.
(2) When I believe in myself and my own abilities, so do others.
The first example is merely wishful thinking. You are not creating a new feeling. You are not feeding you subconscious any material to digest. It is only a statement that has no relation to reality.
However, statement #2, you are stating it as if it is already true and existing. When you express this thought and perceive it to already be a truth, the subconscious accepts it as a truism. The more you say it, the more you reinforce it in your core belief system. It is also important to say it with passion and excitement. A vague and disinterested effort will not result in developing a new belief. Remember,
our beliefs are rooted in emotion. So the more positive and passionate your affirmation, the more the subconscious will perceive it as truth.
I am by no means an expert in these matters. I am a person who is trying to turn things around in my life. I have read materials and listened to tapes on positive affirmations, and I believe that they work. The beauty to using them is that there is no limit to applying them into your life. You also will get better at using them as you continue to do them.
So, wishful thinking does not have to be a negative force in our lives. By tweaking a few words and speaking with conviction and purpose, we can definitely become the kind of person that God wanted us to be. Wishful thinking also keeps us from regretting the past and can help us remain focused on positive things.