Take a Break From Your Pilikia


Pilikia is a part of everyday life. Problems drive our decisions and general outlook on life. This can be helpful to a degree, as it can cause us to reflect and make choices with thoughtfulness. However, problems can occupy our thoughts to the point of being unhelpful, evidenced by endless worry, anxiety, and stress.

Take a break from your pilikia! This almost sounds too good and too simple to be possible, but it isn’t. This does not mean being in denial about your problems or pretending that there is nothing wrong. It means choosing to not be weighed down by them.

This can be done by taking a step back and looking at your situation from a different perspective. With a fresh outlook and time, what used seem insurmountable will seem doable.

With a change in perspective comes a change in mindset. A “mindset” refers to the beliefs, attitudes and thoughts that shape our perceptions and behaviors. It can influence how we view ourselves, the challenges we face, and our responses to various situations. It also impacts our approach to learning, success, and failure.

There are two main types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

People with a fixed mindset believe that they are born with a specific amount of talent or intelligence, and that it cannot be changed. They may see effort as fruitless and so avoid challenges.

On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe their abilities are developed through hard work and dedication. Challenges are viewed as opportunities for growth that can become learning experiences.

For example, if a person believes that their health is a matter of “fate” they may be unmotivated to make changes – versus a person who believes that their health is within their control and seeks opportunities to learn and to make positive choices.

Creating a mind shift is essential to breaking out of a fixed mode of thinking, a profound change in the way one thinks or views a situation. Our brains are neuroplastic, meaning they can change and form new connections throughout our lives. These neural pathways in our brains effect our thought processes – which, in turn, ultimately effect our decisions and actions in life.

Challenging ourselves with new experiences and skills, and confronting our pilikia head-on, will help form new neural pathways. And the more that new skills are practiced, the stronger these brain connections become.

The first step to creating a mind shift is to embrace challenges.

For example, if you don’t like exercising, start by simply walking around your neighborhood or at the park. And view setbacks as learning opportunities – if you slack off on your diet, get right back “on the surfboard” and include healthier foods in your meals.

It’s also important to replace fixed mindset language, with positive language. Instead of thinking, “I’ll always have diabetes; it’s in my genes,” instead ask yourself, “What can I do to reverse my diabetes?”

Surround yourself with growth mindset friends, who encourage personal development and seek to learn and try new things. Every huaka‘i (journey) starts with the first step.