Mental Model

So I read about Mental Models today.  Basically, a mental model is formed early in life and then they stick with us for the rest of our lives.  When things happen in our lives, our brains bring up these mental models and bring us back to the experience – the thing that was formed when we were young.

The illustration used explains how perhaps as a child your parents furrowed their brow and then there was an angry outburst.  That mental model gets imprinted on your brain.  As a young adult, you experience a furrowed brow by someone and immediately you experience the same emotions from when your parents did it when you were younger.

We can get stuck in these mental models.  It is possible to change the mental model so that react differently when you experience the initial cue.

I also learned that these mental models can really shape your sense of identity and self.  You can get stuck in these mental models.  Don’t get me wrong, if it’s a good mental model, keep that one going.  But we never think about these little things in our lives.  These mental models give us a context to start processing through our identity.

Can you think of any of those little things that you experienced as a child that has shaped your identity?  Tough expectations on you as a kid – either placed by a parent or yourself; the way that you retreat into yourself when you are yelled at or confronted?

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