Ash Beckham Ted Talk
Ash Beckham

No matter what your walls are made of, a closet is no place to live.

I’m sure we have all heard at least one Ted Talk in our time. Ted talks range in so many topics, with the slogan of Ted Talks being “Ideas worth spreading.” I came across one I definitely feel is worth spreading.

Ash Beckham presented a Ted Talk called “Coming out of your closet”. By the title you may think it’s purely based on “coming out”, but it’s much more than that. She defines living in a closet as any hard conversation you fear having. Whether it’s that you are gay, you are pregnant, getting a divorce, have a terminal illness, or any other conversation you deem to be hard.

Ash makes mention of ‘hard’ not being relative but simply just hard. This is important to understand as we all go through different battles but whose to say someone’s situation is any less of a struggle than yours? Instead of competing with each other we need to be more understanding and compassionate instead.

We know that these hard conversations we don’t talk about usually are because of fear. Whether you fear, to be honest with yourself or the reaction of others. It’s a very real thing as no one knows how someone else will react to something so close to our hearts. Ash mentions the “fight or flight” response.

This tends to kick in when we are scared. Whether it be a grizzly bear or a hard conversation, to our brain, either situation is as troublesome. So, we either become defensive over the conversation or ignore it altogether. Fear is dangerous as it stops us from reaching out and being open and honest. Not only with others but with ourselves. Keeping us in the dark enclosed space of our closet.

Another reference she makes is to a grenade. As in when we hold onto a secret and stay in the closet, it’s like holding onto a grenade once the pin has been pulled. We can’t hold onto these things that need to be spoken out about. Even if you only tell one person, it lessens the burden.

Don’t try to do things on your own. We need people to help and support us. This world is made to be lived alone. Communities and unity are so important but we often get stuck in old habits alone. If you don’t throw that grenade it will blow up in your face.

Beckham talks about 3 principals to escape the closet. 1. Be Authentic 2. Be direct and 3. Be unapologetic. The third being the most important. Never apologize for who you are and don’t feel to blame for the way someone views you. That is their problem. If you are being true to yourself that’s what’s important. Once you get out of your closet you will be amazed how much you can then do. No longer be contained in a small place, but open to a new world of possibilities.Then you can also help others still stuck in their closets, because “A closet is no place to live”.