“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein (attributed) As one explores the influencing factors of personal growth and development, the importance of an individual’s mental models becomes apparent. Peter Senge (2006) defines mental models as “deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action” (p. 7-8). Our mental models are the frameworks we use to make sense of the experiences, problems, and successes that we face. A key factor in our personal growth is identifying the habits and practices that hinder us from becoming the people we want to be. It is vital that we are able to not only identify how we are feeling or what we are thinking, but we must also identify why we are thinking a certain way. It is unlikely that we will change growth limiting habits without understanding the thought process that produces them. For example, we may feel very uncomfortable and anxious dealing with conflict. We may want to change this and become more comfortable in these types of situations. However, unless we identify the life experiences that created our current conflict aversion, we are not likely to have the breakthroughs that we want. Changing our mental models can require a lot of work but the results are worth it. Unless our thought processes change, our actions will inevitably return to those that reflect our current mental models. How aware of your mental models are you? What are practices you use to change your mental models? Senge, P. (2006). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. New York: Crown Business.