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Mental Models and Vuja De (pt. 2)

If you have yet to read pt. 1, start here.

In pt. 1, I described how the mental model that consists of the three foundational mental skills–self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-reflection, can seamlessly map onto other models by way of vuja de–the familiar being seen in new ways.

In this part 2, I will connect self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-reflection to Erica Ariel Fox’s Winning From Within mental model. She also has a three part mapping system, which she refers to as the inner board of directors, that provides additional context for how the four negotiators can be part of an internal system for growth and development.

Fox’s inner board of directors includes:

  • The Lookout: Performs the role of the sports commentator. Shows you the negotiation that is going on inside of you play by play. Maintains a neutral point of view.
  • The Captain: Watches what is going on around you to take account of context. Guides from values and personal philosophy to make a conscious choice to take action.
  • The Voyager: Takes the long term perspective of growth. Its purpose is to expand one’s profile of negotiators and strategies over time.

The Lookout is comparable to self-awareness AND sensory clarity. The stronger your lookout is, the more capable you are of NOTICING which inner negotiators (DREAMER, LOVER, THINKER, or WARRIOR) are dominating your headspace and what their point of view is. Your Lookout gives you INSIGHT about your internal terrain in order to tell The Captain how to adjust its course of action.

The Captain is comparable to self-regulation AND your capacity to direct your attention. Your “Captain chooses what to do from a centered perspective, one that knits all the fragments together. You need access to each of the strengths of the four negotiators to call them out at the right time for the right purpose.” This is the practice of adapting your mindset and behaviors based on the situation, your intended outcome(s), and the interplay between the two.

The Voyager is comparable to self-reflection AND acceptance/equanimity. The more you engage in deliberate and multifaceted self-reflection, the more EQUIPPED you are to be accepting and at peace with your ability to grow and evolve throughout the entirety of your life. This is the practice of the infinite mindset. Through reflection, your Voyager reminds you of the fact that there isn’t a predetermined finish line. Your opportunity is to keep playing, and the way you continue to play is by renewing your commitment to the practice of expanding your internal relationships with each of the four negotiators.

  • Self-awareness, Sensory Clarity, LOOKOUT
  • Self-regulation, Capacity to Direct Attention, CAPTAIN
  • Self-reflection, Acceptance/Equanimity, VOYAGER

Each of these mental models (foundational mental skills, foundational mindfulness skills, and inner board of directors) point to the core principles of how humans are wired to adaptively grow beyond their current level of understanding, ability, and functioning. Because each model shares this in common, Vuja De allows me to see the overlapping focus and intent of all three mental models.

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