Ash Beckham redefines coming out of the closet in her talk at TEDx Boulder. We all have closets we’re hiding in; the darkness offers security and we’re familiar with every inch of our closets. Beckham reminds us that we can’t spend our lives confined in closets. It all comes down to hard talks.

We often try to prolong sharing bad news; convincing ourselves that it’s not the right time nor place (or sometimes, that it’s not that important anyway). However, the longer we hold it in, the longer we stress about it. We may spend hours thinking about how the other person will react, how things may fall apart, and how we’ll regret ever saying anything. Rather, why not just say it out loud and let the pieces fall where they may? The time that we spend worrying ourselves over something that hasn’t even happened, we can now use to move forward from that point, and hopefully move on to a better us.

Another important point she addresses is our inclination to reject others’ sympathetic reactions – because we feel they’re not doing it right. They’re not saying or doing the right things. They don’t know what we’re going through. All of which is true. But we forget that they are trying. It’s difficult for them as well. We can’t compare the levels of difficulty – if you’re facing a rock, they’re facing a hard place. The key is communication; it’s better to let the sunshine in than to wallow quietly in the dark.

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