Fear… It can be paralyzing. It may be what is keeping you stuck in that job or relationship that you hate.
Neuroscience tells us that when the fear system of the brain is active, we are less likely to take risks, and more likely to cling onto what we already have. Moreover, fear requires massive energy—so much, in fact, that it impairs your ability to focus on other tasks at hand.
With the ever-present threat of not having a job, suffering a hit in business, or the uncertainty of finding success on your own, the reality is that fear has got most of us locked in its grips.
Can you imagine what might open up for you if, instead of spending all that time worrying, you decided to confront your fears head-on?
One man did exactly that, and the result was astounding.
Meet Brian D. Evans, the founder of Influencive, a content platform with over 1 million readers a month, though it was only created 8 months ago. Evans is also responsible for the 25th fastest-growing advertising and marketing agency in the U.S., BDE Ventures. He launched Influencive as a way to tackle his lifelong fear of sharing his voice as a writer, and now, he’s helping transform the day-to-day lives of millions of aspiring entrepreneurs.
I caught up with Evans about confronting fear head-on in the latest episode of the Unconventional Life podcast, “How To Use Fear To Fuel Your Greatness.”
Evans says the catalyst to dive into his fear was a near-death experience he had as a child. At the age of eight, he suffered a near-fatal bike accident that would forever change his perspective after he went head first over handlebars into the corner of a brick wall. It awakened him to the fleeting nature of life and the urgency to rise up and create something meaningful.
Through that experience, Evans recognized the importance of overcoming what is standing in your way to serve a greater purpose. For Evans, this was the fear of being heard. “I was scared to death of writing,” he says. “If you had asked me three years ago if I would be writing on big sites one day, including my own, I would say absolutely not.”
Though writing wasn’t his strong suit, Evans saw a need in the world for inspiring content that would motivate young entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. They were hungry for daily inspiration backed by concrete and applicable direction, and no platform on the market was offering this. Thus, Influencive was born.
Day by day, Evans began testing his ideas by simply throwing new content out there. He started improving his grammar and technical writing and before he knew it he had a network of people—first 5, 10, 50, now 105—that wanted to write for the site. Soon after he started getting invited to write for Inc. magazine, Entrepreneur and many other leading media outlets.
Today, Influencive has over one million readers per month, a hundred thousand plus Facebook followers and is quickly becoming the go-to platform for inspirational content for young and aspiring entrepreneurs. Evans currently serves as editor-in-chief and CEO alongside his partner and COO Clinton Senkow.
Below, Evans shares how you can use your fear as fuel for success.
Eliminate conditional statements from your vocabulary.The words you speak reflect your mindset and determine the outcome of your success. To be successful, you must align your beliefs, words, and actions with certainty. Evans says he views success as inevitable, and has removed phrases like “try,” “if it happens,” and “maybe” from his everyday vocabulary.
Focus on one task at a time. “Ambitious entrepreneurs are like, ‘I want to do all these things, I want to conquer the world’… but you have to start somewhere,” Evans advises. “People have this idea of wanting to do all these things at once, but it’s too much. You really just need to have incredible laser focus on 1 or 2 things.” He recommends writing a list of 25 things you want to accomplish in your life, and narrowing down just five that you want to accomplish in the next two years. Commit to finishing these first five things before you move on to the rest of the list to ensure that you’re actually accomplishing what you intend to.
Mobilize others to support your mission. Whatever it is you are creating, it’s much easier to achieve with the help of others. Enroll others in a collective vision that isn’t centered around a single person, but rather is dedicated to the whole. “You have to have a collective vision. It’s not about one person, it’s not about me, it’s the collective vision of the whole thing. If you can find people and bring them together into a bigger vision, I think that bigger collective is a stronger base to make things successful quickly,” says Evans.
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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com