It is important to know that the positive illusions that we might have for ourselves hold the potential to our inner happiness and mental well-being.
There was a time when you had implicit faith in yourself and your abilities. Remember when you thought you could give flying a chance because you felt like you could? Well, a milder version of that exaggerated self-belief is likely to contribute to your mental well-being. These could be deemed as healthy lies - misbeliefs that are associated with happiness. Usually, these could be extended to your ability to care for others, the creative capacity that you hold, and work productivity. Though they may be a little off from what actual reality is, your belief that may be running along these tangents could make a difference in your real-time performances.
UCLA psychologists Shelley Taylor and Jonathan Brown of Southern Methodist University had written a paper exploring the positive illusions - the misbeliefs about oneself - and if they could really bolster one's ability to care for others, their capacity to be creative and be productive. It might sound like controlled narcissism to a lot of people, but it's not bad till you are producing positive results for yourself and others around you.
Here are some of the lies that you might have been telling yourself to feel stronger:
This is one of the most common lies we keep telling ourselves. Also, after considering evidence from other studies, Taylor also implies that we associate positive traits to the core of our being, while we also disregard the negative ones completely. Most of the times this belief is not that accurate. But when you associate it with honesty and intelligence, it can allow you to put a little extra effort in realtime just to match this belief.
This particular aspect of an inflated sense of self should be in moderation. You might have seen different people with varying degrees of this, making their way. If you are a competitive person, if you keep believing this, you can probably find yourself overloaded with work. However, if you are aware of where to exercise it - like when helping out your family, it can go a long way in allowing you to be there for them.
A lot of the times, you might have found yourself losing it when you felt totally out of control of your circumstances. A lot of studies have illustrated how personal control over life events can positively affect mental well-being as well as physical well-being. Though this heightened sense of self-belief, in moderation, can have positive effects on your overall sense of self. It can also shield you against depression and stress.
This could be stemming from some of your more narcissistic roots, however, if you think about yourself in this fashion, it is likely that you might have a lesser chance of drowning into depression. This particularly exaggerated self-belief can also keep you from feeling helpless and hopeless. However, again, if it exceeds moderation, it is likely that you'd reject most of the people's care even when you need it badly.
This sort of an illusion is more towards a bias of optimism. One can get really unrealistic with this one. But this sort of a denial of things going wrong can reduce your stress and anxiety and probably also enable you to work more towards achieving your goals. Since it keeps you from worrying too much about future problems and spending your energy just anticipating depressive outcomes.
If you are optimistic about your own efficacy and competence, it can go a long way to help your performance. It can support our need for agency and fuel our ability to take initiatives. Moreover, when you don't see it as a lie and have a healthy degree of this belief embedded in your efforts, you might just do something more unconventionally useful. Having a healthy balance of this bias could also result in more positive experiences since you are also taking the initiative that others might hesitate taking.