Regulate Your Identity Thermostat.

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thermostat is a regulating device component that senses a physical system’s temperature and performs actions to maintain the system’s temperature near a desired setpoint. 1 A thermostat regulates the temperature of a system, and we all also have an internal thermostat that determines how far we think we can go. Our Identity thermostat is a threshold we place on our greatness based on factors such as early childhood programming, indoctrination, nurturing, societal norms and values. Most of what we consider our identity is a cumulation of early childhood belief systems that we choose not to question or evolve. Some of these beliefs serve us well in adulthood, while others need room for improvement.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’ – Carl Jung

A high school teacher might have told you that you are so bad at grammar and that feedback wrecked your self-confidence, which, ultimately, is at the core of your adult identity, stating, “I am not a good writer.” This is how a lot of our identity gets formed. Someone begins to believe they are not a good runner because they once felt tired while running or they were told running sucks. I get asked all the time: “Do you love running?” and my answer is always “NO.” Many people find that answer hard to believe, considering I ran nine full marathons, two half-marathons and two 10KM runs in 2023. I run not because I enjoy running but because I like how running makes me feel, the health benefits and, more importantly, the identity of being a runner.

We are the stories that we tell ourselves, whether true or not. As Automobile pioneer Henry Ford once said, “If you believe you can, you’re right. If you believe you can’t, you’re also right.”  Our self-identity determines what we think we can and cannot do. As Napoleon Hill famously quipped
“Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve.” Last year, when I set the goal of running across all ten Canadian provinces, many told me that it was crazy, nuts, or impossible. But I did it anyway, and attempting the challenge helped me recalibrate my self-identity as someone who can achieve anything they set their mind. I reduced my full marathon time from 3:44 to 3:20 last year and am on course to run a sub-hours marathon in 2024.

“Unconsciously, we always find a way to get back to where our thermostat is set based on what we think we’re worth.”

Adjusting Your Identity Thermostat

Your identity is the force that governs your life and regulates your results. Think of it like a thermostat. Your internal thermostat sets the conditions of your life.


You walk into a room, and if it’s too hot or too cold, you look for a thermostat to adjust the temperature to what you like. It doesn’t matter what the external conditions are. The temperature can be 100 degrees outside, but if the thermostat is set for 75 degrees, it kicks on, and the air conditioning cools down the temperature and regulates the environment. The same applies when it’s 30 degrees outside. The thermostat kicks in and warms your surroundings to 75 degrees.

Your life works exactly the same way. If you’re a 75‐degree person, you turn on the air conditioners of your life and cool it back down to what you think you’re worth. This is what happens every time your results begin to exceed your identity. You unconsciously turn on the air conditioners of your life and cool it back down to what you believe you deserve.

“If your thermostat isn’t set high enough, you’ll see these as coincidences, karma, or bad luck that conspired against you. But that’s not what they are. If your thermostat is set high enough, these are little more than temporary setbacks.”

Much like a thermostat, your identity regulates your internal self‐worth. It regulates your actions and results. Many people are under the false assumption that external factors are what regulates your thermostat. They believe that getting a promotion, getting married to the love of your life, or getting an advanced degree from college determines their identity.

If you don’t raise your identity, then eventually you will turn the air conditioning of your life on sooner or later, and that temperature will drop back down to 75 degrees, or some other setting you don’t want, simply because you didn’t take charge and decide what identity you wanted. However, if your thermostat is set the right way, it will transcend conditions and you will find success no matter what the external conditions are. The truth is that you can acquire all the talents, skills, and abilities you want, but until they align with your identity, you’ll fall short of the goals you’ve set.

You can’t achieve 100 degrees of fitness or wealth with a thermostat set for 75 degrees of fitness or wealth. Your thermostat boxes you in until you can create a new identity that triggers growth and change.


Adjust Your Upper Limit Switch 3
Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.

Unfortunately, our thermostat setting usually gets programmed in early childhood, before we can think for ourselves. Once programmed, our Upper Limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all the love, financial abundance, and creativity that’s rightfully ours. It keeps us in our Zone of Competence or at best our Zone of Excellence. It prevents us from living in the ultimate destination of the journey—our Zone of Genius.

People often experience big breakthroughs…and then find a way to avoid relishing their achievement. They receive an award at work and then have a screaming argument with their spouse later that same night. They get the job of their dreams and then get sick; they win the lottery, then have an accident. The newfound success trips their Upper Limit switch, and they plummet back to the familiar setting they’ve grown used to.

“The goal in life is not to attain some imaginary ideal; it is to find and fully use our own gifts.”

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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