It is easy to become complacent when you do the same things day in and day out. Just this week I realized how comfortable I am at work, at home and even in my church.

My dad has always told me that moving up in life is hard to do if you don’t leave your comfort zone, so I’ve been making a conscious effort to put myself in “uncomfortable” situations lately. For example, the company bosses came into town Wednesday for a meeting with the Times-Journal editorial staff.

Their being here was enough to make me uncomfortable because they are important people who play vital roles in the company, but I knew that they were here to help us. After getting over the initial intimidation I felt, I took my chance to make myself uncomfortable — I asked a question.

For those of you who know me, you know that I have a difficult time asking for help. Most of that comes from stubbornness, but some of it comes from wanting the satisfaction of figuring things out for myself, so asking the bosses a question was a big step for me.

My question was about the DeKalb Living magazine and how I could improve it, so I asked Leonard Woolsey, the president and publisher at the Galveston County Daily News, for advice.

I want you all to know that instead of feeling silly for asking for help, I felt silly for going this long without asking. Leonard didn’t make me feel clueless and he didn’t judge me for not having the answer already; instead, he jumped right in the middle of the DeKalb Living sea I was drowning in and gave me the advice I’ve been needing to stay afloat.

He answered all of my questions and then some. He brought different magazines for me to look at for design examples and ideas, and he even left me with an order form for a subscription to the Savannah magazine. After all of that, Leonard took the time to sit with me at my computer and tinker with the current issue of DeKalb Living.

He made small changes while I took notes and he talked me through things I would have never figured out on my own. Within a few minutes he helped completely transform the cover of the magazine. Now, it looks beautiful and it’s a product I will be proud of in the end.

The excitement I had about the knowledge I gained far outweighed the prideful pain I felt when I asked for help. It was worth it and all I had to do was take a small step outside of my comfort zone.

Now, thanks to Leonard and the rest of the bosses’ helpful advice, I can focus on looking for and learning from the next uncomfortable situation I put myself in.

Kayla Beaty is the art director at the Times-Journal. Her email address is kbeaty@times-journal.com.

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