But lying to oneself can also be detrimental.
It takes a certain amount of self-discipline to keep self-deception from becoming a hindrance on the job or in relationships. Getting too wrapped up in achievements or public image is one danger sign. Dodging a chronic problem by telling yourself you'll solve it in the future is another.So what little white lies do you tell yourself? Do you think you could employ this technique when you give a classroom presentation?
The trick, Dr. Norton says, is finding the line. While "a little bit of self-deception isn't an unhealthy thing, a lot is an extremely unhealthy thing." Benefits tend to come, research shows, when people simply block out negative thoughts, envision themselves enjoying future successes or take an optimistic view of their abilities—all of which tend to improve performance or persuasive ability.