How Every One of us is Like a Thermostat

Every night (during the week) I have a short 20 minute phone conversation with a colleague of mine – we’re accountability partners.  Recently, we were brainstorming about how to better help our clients stretch and grow.

She is working with a client right now who, no matter what ideas she’s given, the client will say “no, I won’t do that.”  So, essentially…..she’s paying my partner to help her improve her results in life, but refuses to heed any advice she’s given!

Of course, we recognize her resistance as fear.  It’s scary to do things we’ve never done before.  It’s scary to ask for help or make calls to strangers.  It’s scary to consider you may have to change the way you’ve always thought about something.  And scary is uncomfortable!

Think about this:

A thermostat is a type of cybernetic mechanism.  You set the thermostat to a certain temperature – maybe 72 degrees fahreneit (22.2 celsius).  Now, if it’s a winter wonderland outside with the ground covered in snow and one of the kids leaves the front door open, the temperature in the house will begin to drop.  The thermostat will detect the drop in temperature and send a signal to the furnace to turn the heat on until the temperature is brought back up to the desired temperature.

Did you know humans have that same “mechanism” within them?

Let’s say you’re in sales and your typical monthly sales are about $50,000.00.  Then, one day, you go to a seminar full of motivation and you get all excited to go out and make double the sales.  You may do really well that following month and make $125,000.00 in sales.  Your internal cybernetic mechanism will pick up the deviation from your typical results and your behavior will change, causing your sales to plummet and when you average out your monthly sales at the end of the year, you’re right on target at $50,000.00 a month!

The great thing is that once you become aware this is happening, you can take appropriate action to keep yourself motivated over the long haul.  However, you know this is going to require you to do things differently!

One way that I ensure I continue to grow and stretch is through personal coaching.   I’m always engaged in a coaching relationship because I feel it’s extremely helpful for me to have an outside view on my behavior.  It’s AMAZING what you can “ignore” or just not notice about yourself!  And it’s certainly not intentional.  It’s simply a matter of habit.

When you behave a certain way for 5, 20 or 50 years, it’s programmed into you….it feels normal.  It takes conscious effort and discipline to step outside of normal.  It’s about really asking yourself some tough questions!

  • What am I pretending not to know?
  • Is there anything I’m afraid of that I’m not admitting?
  • Why does THAT bother me so much?
  • What value or belief am I or is this person violating that caused such a deep emotional response within me?
  • If I’m not achieving the results I desire, what could I change about ME?

An outside perspective….especially if trained to help you see a different perspective, can be extremely valuable!

If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of coaching, reach out to me at!  If I’m not the right coach for you, I will help you find someone who is!

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