EP 417: How to Stop Nervous Habits with Jessica

The essence of this coaching call is about our protective patterns manifesting as nervous habits. Today’s caller, Jessica, picks her skin. She would like guidance about understanding her nervous habit and how to stop it. Christine sheds some light on why these kinds of habits exist and why wanting to get rid of them or making them wrong is exactly what not to do.

The origin of our nervous habits is a tender, scared, powerless part of us. When pain is inflicted upon us, either emotional, physical, sexual, or mental pain, and everything feels out of control, our ability to cause ourselves pain and being the one controlling the pain gives us a sense of power.

When we are in overwhelm of any kind, we can use our nervous habit as a soothing strategy. It sort of shuts down everything else and brings our focus to the habit so we don’t have to feel other things. We use it as a sense of control, as well as a soothing strategy. It is a useful strategy our subconscious creates to help us manage our pain.

Remember, our inner protector is protecting a very scared child who felt powerless and had pain inflicted on them. When we feel the urge to apply our protective strategies, AKA act out our nervous habits, the last thing we want to do is try to force them to go away because they will just try to do their job even stronger. We need to make a conscious effort to be aware of our habits and not judge or shame ourselves for them.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Do you have any nervous habits like skin-picking, nail-biting, pulling apart split ends, etc.?
  • Did you have pain inflicted upon you as a child and you felt you had no control?
  • Do you notice nervous habits emerge even in situations where you should feel safe?
  • Do you try to stop a habit by shaming yourself or making it wrong and you aren’t getting anywhere?

Jessica’s Question:

Jessica asks for guidance on how to break her nervous habit of skin-picking.

Jessica’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • Her skin picking interferes with her being fully present.
  • She feels anxious when she picks her skin.
  • She is a high achiever.
  • She finds it difficult to break her habit.
  • Her habit soothes her.
  • Pain was inflicted upon her which left her feeling powerless.
  • She is in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • She wished she had an emotionally present, nurturing mother.
  • Her grandfather caused her distress as a child.
  • She feels she has to put everyone else first.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Let go of the shame and judgment she has about her nervous habit.
  • Have compassion for herself.
  • Sign up for the Inner Child Workshop.
  • Get herself into the present moment as much as possible.
  • If she has the urge to pick, go ahead and pick but do it consciously.
  • Take care not to go into the martyr-mother role.


  • If you have a nervous habit let go of your shame and judgment around it.
  • Be patient and gentle with yourself and nourish your inner child.


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The origin of our nervous habits is a tender, scared, powerless part of us. Click To Tweet If you have a nervous habit, let go of your shame and judgment around it. Click To Tweet When we are in overwhelm of any kind, we can use our nervous habit as a soothing strategy. Click To Tweet

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