More people in this new economy are becoming entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, or some kind of “neur.” The point is, we can no longer hide in a cubicle and work away sliding under the radar. E-commerce is growing at a blistering rate and, like it or not, you’re going to have to  fully commit to it at some point.

Kahneman says that people do business with those they like and trust over those they don’t even if their product costs more or is of lesser quality. Basically, the most important business tip is to be liked or trusted, and if possible, both.  When you’re the most authentic version of yourself, you’re loved and trusted by those you connect with. When the amygdala shuts off, trust is magnified.

It’s vital to have a great product or service to grow a successful enterprise, but if you aren’t trustworthy or likable… good luck.  Dan Kennedy, an internet marketer-wizard, finds that the highest paid people in almost every industry are paid for WHO they are rather than WHAT they do.

It can be hard to concretely say what it feels like to “be authentic,” but having had extensive experience in not being authentic, I can tell you what that feels like.

HERE ARE 6 SIGNS THAT YOU’RE LIVING INAUTHENTICALLY:

1. You’re exhausted.  Bottom line, numero uno.  It takes an enormous amount of precious energy to NOT be yourself. If you’re always tired, simply ask yourself,: “Am I being true to myself, my gifts, and my desires?” It’s no fun to ignore authenticity, but many of us are unaware this is the issue.

2. You constantly feel obligated. Do the words, “I should,” “I need to,” or “I have to,” pop up a lot in your conversations or thoughts? Most of us have unconsciously been living an obligated life. We feel guilt because we are not meeting an ideal that our society (parents, family, friends) expects of us and many of our decisions are made simply to meet that expectation.

Those are the feelings of dread and guilt (life suckers) that permeate our life. That’s not to say a life of authenticity is a do-as-I-please type of lifestyle, it’s just understanding that our greatest contribution should come from serving with our authentic gifts and talents and finding ways to use them daily. Becoming more of yourself and sharing that is a key to removing the feeling of obligated living.

3. You’re a perpetual learner. When you’re not authentic you’re always looking for answers from outside sources, thinking that other people have it figured out better than you do. You don’t trust your own uniqueness and what it has to offer. When you tap into the endless source of wisdom that your Gut has to offer, you’ll find it easier to live in your authenticity.

4. You don’t have a lot of spare time, especially for things like passions and hobbies. This may seem unrelated at first and is not always a hard and fast rule but many times our inability to have fun and enjoy a hobby or passion goes back to acting how we “should” act. Our brain says, “I can’t waste my time on stuff like that.” The opposite is true, and as you work to Narrow The Gap, you’ll find that the road is often paved with unconventional solutions. When you pursue your passions vigorously, you put yourself in a place that’s not only authentic and magnetic, but in a state of connection to pure inspiration.

5. Your personality varies depending upon your surroundings. If you’ve ever had someone say, “Wow, you are so different here than you are at work!” This should set off a few alarms in your brain. Being such a chameleon takes a lot of energy and is confusing to people. Who are you? It has been shown that if people are confused, even subconsciously, they will always say no to whatever you are offering.

I went through three years of this and it just about ruined me. It wasn’t until I was congruent in who I was in all aspects of life that I began to thrive. To do this, you may actually have to show some of your weaknesses, but that’s okay, you’re human! You can’t believe how liberating and relieving it is to be at peace with your weaknesses.

When I realized it was ok to let my patients see that I wasn’t this picture of perfect health it kind of blew my mind and theirs at first. I started letting them know my health philosophy consisted of the 2 C’s: caffeine and chiropractic. Once they picked their mouth up off the floor, I saw a light go off. Some were disappointed and some were relieved, but most patients said, “Hey, Dr. D is just like me!” What a relief. I no longer had to hide my Red Bull in a paper sack!

6. Hollow victories. When you strive for things that you think you want but they don’t truly align with your authentic self, you experience hollow victories. Being inauthentic creates a void that needs to be filled. If this void isn’t filled by aligning with who you really are then it needs to be filled somehow. If you’re lucky enough to not try to fill it with booze, pills, porn, TV, Facebook, cars, wives, etc., you may try to fill it with achievements or results.

“If only I could do this [blank]. I’ll be happy when I reach my goal of [blank].  If I lose 50 pounds it will change my life.” For me, the [blank] result was the number 300.

In my Fat Tim days, I was told that if I could adjust 300 patients in one week I would be successful. I set that goal and did everything in my power to achieve it. I used all the old tricks like visualizing, affirmations, writing it down repeatedly, hummed it, etc. This number was the Holy Grail for me. I couldn’t wait to get there because I knew I’d feel something great once I was there. Finally, 300 came and I felt NOTHING. In fact, I felt worse than nothing, I was pissed! I felt lied to.

The bottom line is, we all experience these signs at various points in life. Reviewing the list is a good way to check yourself and become aligned with your authentic self.

Learn to kick the hollow victories and become magnetic here.

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