One of the important teachings of Islam is to be truthful. It is no doubt relevant when dealing with people/society.However does it apply equally in the realm of our psychology & subconscious mind? In Psychology,it is a well known fact that one can change oneself thru positive self-affirmation & visualization .It is believed that the self-affirmations to the subconscious mind is best done in an “already achieved mode”. For example,a student who is weak in mathematics and wish to improve on it should say the self-affirmations as “I am excellent at mathematics” & also visualize himself as ALREADY being good at Maths repeatedly. Or a person who is a coward could reprogram his mind by saying to himself,” I am brave”,etc.This is so that the subconscious mind is set with the positive intended goal and thus will program the whole body with the message.But the question is that such self-affirmation is not the truth (or not the truth yet).
When he is telling himself that he is ALREADY being good at Maths, he is actually “lying “ to himself. Is it acceptable in Islam?
Affirmations are merely positive mental reinforcements for some people. To view them as lying is a harsh and excessive judgement. The fact is, some people need to uplift their spirits by focusing on a good aspect within themselves. The point is to grow, help develop and progress that positivity by magnifying it in one’s mind. This is not lying; the person is not deceiving him or herself, because they already know the truth. Moreover, lying is usually employed for negative purposes rather than positive.
Keep in mind that Islam forbids lying in the context of a person gives false information to another person. In the case of affirmations, the individual is speaking to their oneself not to another individual. Additionally, even if the person tries to motivate themselves with something untrue (e.g. being good at something they can’t do well) it is not “false information.”
There is nothing wrong with people finding what is good in themselves or what they feel they are lacking and help themselves by reassuring themselves that they will improve. After all, giving yourself positive feedback is a great way to develop the good qualities you seek to have.
I hope this helps.
God knows best.