Recording Voice Messages Will Make You a Better Person
Replace texting with voice recording for effortless self-improvement
My favourite self-improvement hacks are those that integrate seamlessly with daily life. I don’t have to force them. They disguise as mundane activities — but can be seized as fantastic opportunities for growth.
As you go about your day, you have a chance to up your game at every turn. How you do anything is how you do everything, remember? Every moment is a possibility to realize that.
Take personal communication. Every day, you send tens, if not hundreds, of messages. You speak to your partner, your kids, the cashier and your dog. You make calls, share images and choose the emojis to reflect your mood.
But have you tried recording voice messages as a deliberate way of communicating? If not, I encourage you to try. Since I started doing it, not only has my communication become faster and more efficient. Voice recording also forces me to express myself in new ways. It improves the way I think and talk.
These three things are likely to happen when you start recording yourself as a way of communication.
1. You Speak More Intentionally
When you exchange thoughts in a conversation, it’s not just you deciding its course. Your interlocutor co-decides how you talk and what you talk about. They do that by nodding, asking questions or expressing their point of view on the subject.
When it’s just you recording a voice message, this changes. You speak, but there’s nobody to validate what you’re saying. Similarly, no one contradicts your point of view with their comments (people do that more often than they realize).
In other words: you don’t get any instant feedback on how your words come across. You alone are responsible for deciding what’s worth talking about and where you take your story.
When you record a message to send to someone, you take initiative. Waiting for them to prompt you to speak obviously won’t work. You need to decide which of your thoughts are worthy of verbalizing. Suddenly, you’re faced with a question:
What do I want to communicate and why?
This is a question we don’t usually ask in conversations. It’s easy to just flow with whatever topic comes to mind. We often speak just because we don’t want to hear the awkward silence.
But pausing to notice the intention behind what we say — that’s rare. Recording voice messages makes you do exactly that.
2. You Become More Confident
Recording yourself can be a great practice if you see yourself as a shy, quiet person. That’s probably why I like doing it so much. Voice messaging allows me to confront my shyness.
In conversations, I comfortably take the passive side of the equation. My default attitude is to give the spotlight to the person in front of me. I know how to hold space and listen — but when it’s my turn to speak, I struggle.
Rather than simply saying what I have to say, I often wait for the other person to ask questions. I count on them to fill in the gaps in my story. Many times, this resulted in someone else speaking for me. I would give up my authentic voice to avoid the challenge of unapologetically speaking my mind.
If this sounds familiar, recording voice messages and sending them to others can be a great practice. It forces you to own what you’re saying and take responsibility for it.
When there’s no one to interrupt you, you may also discover you have more to say than you thought. As you talk freely, your mind makes connections and produces thoughts you didn’t expect you had.
3. You Gain Self-Awareness
Deep self-awareness comes from noticing not just what you say — but also how you say it. Hearing yourself talk can help with that.
When I record myself, I create a new outlet for my thoughts. I connect with them differently than if I was typing or swyping. My mind goes into speaking mode. At the same time, there’s no other person to respond to that speech.
In this way, recording yourself bears traits of a monologue and dialogue at the same time. The trick is, in this dialogue you have to supply both sides of the conversation.
You speak — but you also listen to yourself speak. You must be aware of what you say and how so you can follow it up with something that makes sense. You also become more conscious of how you feel as you speak.
In a sense, talking out loud with no one else in the room is like a meditation. Your words become your object of focus.
Knowing that what you say is being recorded also gives you an incentive to be more selective with your words. Your speech is being registered and can potentially be replayed in the future. This drives additional awareness to your speech.
If you want to leverage voice recording as a self-awareness tool, you can take it one step further. Listen to your message after you record it — and check what you notice. We rarely get a chance to grasp how we come across to others. Listening to your voice messages may be as close as it gets to understand how you’re being perceived.
Once you break through the initial barrier of cringing at the sound of your voice (who doesn’t?), you may discover it’s a goldmine of insight.
Use Technology To Boost Your Growth
Technology is often demonized as something that numbs and dumbs us. As we stare into our phones and talk to Alexa, we can indeed lose contact with reality — and with ourselves.
But this isn’t the only route available. You can also use technology in creative ways that benefit your growth.
Thanks to the magic tool we all have in our pockets — the smartphone — we can shape our lives in ways that weren’t possible a decade ago. One of the areas that’s impacted the most is our communication. The way we express ourselves and perceive others changes as we use text chats, emojis or voice recordings.
The latter, if done deliberately, can be a fantastic tool for self-improvement. It can help you become more intentional, confident and self-aware in everything you do.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
All you need is to replace some of your digital communication with voice messaging.
Technology isn’t evil. It’s the way you use it that determines whether or not it serves you. Make it a point to become a better person by using this fantastic device in your pocket to your advantage.