Your intentions and task performance strengthen when you talk to yourself as you!!!
I find that one of the most fascinating phemonena that occurs within people is that during their daily life humans talk not only to other people but also with themselves. Statistics suggest that around 96% of adults report engaging in an ongoing conversation with themselves. People often talk to themselves through either the first or second person but often appear to prefer the second person in situations that require explicit self-regulation. It is widely beleived that seld-talk as an intervention can enhance most sport performance and influence various psychological states.
Self-talk invovles using cue words aiming at facilitating some kind of behaviour be it focus, learning or enhancing a performance through the stimulation of an appropriate response. Meichenbaum (1977) suggested that our self-statmenets are reflections of our inner beliefs and these may play a meditational role in behavioural performance. There appears to be two broad dimensions of the functions of self talk. These are motivational and cognitive. Within the motivational dimension self talk is used to perform functions such as psyching-up, increasing confidence and regulating anxiety (i.e. ‘i talk to myself to enhance my confidence), whereas within the cognitive dimension self talk referes to the execution of skill and development strategy (i.e. I talk to myself to give directions). More specifically self talk can serve to enhance attentional focus, increase confidence, regulate effort, control cognitive and emotional reactions and trigger automatic execution (Theodorakis, Hatzigoergiadis and Chroni, 2008).
Experiments have found that self-talk improved the task performance signiciants for motivation and instructional self-talk in water polo and participants reported less cognitive interference which in turn increases performance and enhances concentration. A further study in swimmers using both motivational and instructional self-talk found that motivational self-talk had a greater impact on effort that instructional self-talk. Similarly to the previous experiment it was found that self-talk reduced the interfering thoughts and increased effort.
It may be useful to come up with some key words or phrases using either motivational or instructional words that can help improve your performance in certain situations. I will go further into the uses and ways to develop self-talk over the coming weeks. Retweet if you like what you read.