I overcame a 40+ year nail biting habit and you can too!

I felt that my nail biting habit was something that I could never change. And I felt that nice looking nails would never be in my future. I was so wrong. It just took time.

nail biting habit
Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

I was a lifelong nail biter until my late 40s. Over the years, I had tried everything possible to break the habit — and I’m someone who was able to quit a pack-and-a-half daily smoking habit!

And for years I thought I would be a nail biter for the rest of my life.

I could stop for a while, but…

There were times when I could stop for a time.

Back in the day when I did office work, the only way to increase your salary was to switch jobs every two to three years. And when I took my office admin training, it was drilled into us that you had to look your best when interviewing for a job. To me, that meant my nails had to look presentable.

When I decided that I wanted to get a new job, I was able to stop biting my nails because, subconsciously, getting the job was more important to me than biting my nails.

And after I got the new job. I could relax — and I could start biting my nails again! Back on the old hamster wheel. Start, find a temporary reason to stop, and start again.

I tried all the things you have probably tried

Let’s have show of hands! As a nail biter, have you:

  • Used that terrible-tasting stuff you brush onto your nails? (I did. I got past it or stopped using it!)
  • Gone the acrylic nail route? (Yep, more times than I can count, including once biting off an entire set of tips!)
  • Put bandages on the fingers that were badly bitten?
  • Tried willpower?
  • Focused on keeping one finger nice?

What else have you tried to stop biting your nails?

I was pretty hardcore

Some nail biters just lightly bite their nails. I guess I’m an over achiever because I really went to town on two of the nails on my right hand, so much so that, at times, there wasn’t much nail on either finger.

This caused some lasting damage. Whenever the nail on my right index finger grows to any serious length — like an eighth of an inch beyond the fingertip — it starts to split. But long nails are a moot point for me anyway. I was a nail biter for so long that they feel kind of weird to me now.

And because I was a nail biter when I learned to type, I type with the tips of my fingers instead of the pads, and longer nails interfere with that.

A scary story

In 1995, my husband and I went on a trip to San Antonio, Texas. I was really excited about the trip, and, of course, my nails looked terrible. So, before we left, I hit the salon and had a set of acrylic tips applied.

Off we went to Texas, and I was really pleased with how great my nails looked. One evening, when I was in the hotel pool, one of the tips came off. It was the nail I really abused.

I thought, “No problem. I’ll find a salon in the morning and have it replaced.”

I found a salon in a local mall, went in, sat down, and showed the technician my sad finger. I was blown away when she said to me, “I’m not replacing that tip.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, shocked.

“That nail is simply too short for me to put a tip on,” she replied. “No one should have applied a tip to that nail.”

Salons in Toronto had no problem applying tips to nails that short!

You have to wait until the time is right

As you may have guessed by now, I’m a bit stubborn.

Until I reach the point at which I really want change, no amount of fear, intimidation, etc. can change how I feel.

Take smoking, for example. In the 1980s, it became illegal to smoke in offices and public buildings in Toronto and I couldn’t smoke at work, so I took a lot of smoke breaks. It wasn’t until I worked in an office where we were allowed to smoke in the lunchroom that I made the decision to quit smoking once and for all.

So, five years passed after that incident in San Antonio before I decided that it was time to stop the nail biting once and for all.

I seem to do momentous things on the cusp of a major birthday. For example, I quit smoking just before my 30th birthday. As I was approaching my 50th birthday, I decided it was finally time to deal with the nail biting.

I found a hypnotist in my town, had a telephone consultation with her, and booked an appointment. She helped me quit that habit, and acrylic tips became a thing of a past.

It was so liberating to be able to release that habit! For a non–nail biter, it may not seem like a big deal, but, trust me, it is.

Here’s why hypnosis works to break a nail biting habit when nothing else does

Nail biters aren’t born nail biters. It’s a learned behaviour. Something in our lives caused us to start biting our nails.

The root of the nail-biting habit is planted in the subconscious, and that part of the mind does not like to change. The subconscious is a huge database in which every experience you have is stored — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Those experiences inform our beliefs, habits, and feelings.

In hypnosis, we can penetrate the subconscious and change the programming that causes us to bite our nails.

But here is an important qualification: the nail biter must WANT to change. You can’t be made to do anything through hypnosis that you don’t want to do.

I finally reached the point where I said, “enough is enough!” And I made the decision to make a call and the rest is history.

So, if you are a nail biter who has reached the point where you want to break habit once and for all, let’s talk.

If you have the will, hypnosis can give you the power.

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