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Today marks a momentous occasion—the official launch of my new book, I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships.
The book is the result of nearly 3 years of work, and is my effort to share a relationship/communication skill that has had a tremendous impact in my life.
Several years ago, I started seeing a therapist for help working through a few things (best decision of my life). I was blown away by how much truth and insight I gained—both into myself and into how we as humans connect with each other. I learned a *lot* during that time, but one skill in particular stood out as being *amazingly* effective at strengthening relationships—romantic, professional, or otherwise.
As I began searching for books on the topic to share with others, I turned up empty-handed. And then…I felt inspired to write one myself. Crazy, but I went for it. I am both proud and humbled by the final product, and have already received dozens of messages from early readers sharing how it’s impacted their lives. Below are a few excerpts:
“I seriously cannot thank you enough for your words of insight, advice and wisdom in your book! You’ve helped me out more than anyone has with something I had been struggling with and didn’t even understand until I read your book. After finally realizing I needed to to validate the feelings that had been festering inside of me, I felt a huge sense of relief and calmness! I can honestly say that I use the principles in your book daily! It has been a life changer for me during this trial. So thank you. It’s really hard for me to put into words how grateful I am to you for writing this book!”
“So, funny thing that you sent this to me, as I have withheld contacting you until I finished the book to share with you just how amazing this is! I’m not kidding when I say that even though I’m not finished, I have found this so helpful! I have already started implementing the steps and have been even keeping notes! I’m not a huge reader, but THIS has sucked me in and has been incredibly fascinating! It all makes sense and I’m not too surprised. You were a fantastic listener and really seemed to care about me as my manager. I still remember coming into your office about something simple for a project. But, you had known somehow that I was upset and instead of trying to excuse it, you really cared and asked if I wanted to talk about it. I probably said something vague so I wouldn’t cry (because that’s an emotional reaction I’ve deemed as “bad”), and to stay professional. But I never said how much I appreciated that. Even though I didn’t go into things I still felt validated. Thank you. Having read the book so far, it just all makes sense and I didn’t realize how much people DO actually probe for validation CONSTANTLY.”
“I’ve already put into practice what I’ve learned from reading your book this weekend into two different situations, and I already feel closer to those people. I’m just floored. Not really sure how I’ve missed this concept in all of my studies. It has allowed me to get out of my own brain and actually connect with people that I’ve had a hard time connecting with. Can’t wait to read and learn more.”
I can’t tell you how humbled (and, honestly, surprised) I was to receive these messages. Each one of them came at a particularly difficult, vulnerable time for me, when I was feeling like this project wasn’t worth completing. Writing and publishing a book (especially one of this nature) is a surprisingly vulnerable experience, and even though I felt spiritually guided and supported throughout the entire project, I still hit many pockets of doubt and fear.
There were days I could write for 8-12 hours straight. Then there were days when I’d come home from work, try to write for 30 minutes, and give up. “Okay, that’s it. I’m done,” I’d say, and walk over to the TV. Yet…somehow, five minutes later, I’d find myself back at my computer, writing for another four hours. I can’t tell you how many times I “gave up” only to have God gently and kindly nudge me back to the computer saying “No…you’re not! Keep going…”
As I got closer to publication, the doubt and fear got stronger. “Is this really even worth it?” I’d say to myself. “Are people really even going to want to read this?” “Am I crazy for even attempting this?” Right in those moments (seriously—every time, without fail), I’d get a message or comment like the ones above, and be reminded that I wasn’t writing this for me. I was writing it to share with others something that had so clearly benefited my life.
So…here I am. Here it is. The skill of validation has become one of my most valuable “tools” at work, in dating, and in my day-to-day interactions. It’s power and versatility never ceases to amaze me. Now I can only hope that it benefits others as much as it has me!
Grab a copy here: