Frequently, when we try to make a change or try to break a bad habit such as nail biting, we backslide. We have been strong for a few days or even weeks, but then something happens and we are right back where we started.
We have been able to stay away from our fingernails and even saw the white tips growing longer and longer. In some cases, even the friends, co-workers or family already commented on our newly-grown nails. You imagined what it would feel like to put your hands confidently on the table in front of you. It would have been one thing less to worry about.
But then something happened. Life events came up and you go caught up in more important manners. You had to deal with all the urgent demands that were coming in. You forgot about your resolution to stop biting your fingernails and then in an unguarded moment, you caught yourself nibbling on your fingernails even though you had promised yourself to never let your fingertips pass your lips ever again.
You then gave up and said: Well, obviously I'm not strong enough, so why fight it? This happens all too often. When we have a relapse, we give up completely instead of persevering. In many cases, even if just a single fingernail was attacked, we surrender and then go for the entire hand.
However, it doesn't have to be that way. If you change your perception of what a relapse means, you can actually learn something from it. Oftentimes, such events can teach us important lessons and give up hints about what we can improve, which strategy might not be the best for us and what we could do different.
So, next time you backslide, ask yourself the following questions: What triggered my nail biting? In which environment do I mainly bite my fingernails? What can I do in the future to prevent this from happening? By reflecting on your relapse, you can actually turn your failure into your strengths and increase the likelihood of succeeding.
Don't just give up after you have had a minor relapse, take it as practice. You are simply practicing to be a non-biter. If you fall off the band wagon, get back on. It's not in the number of failures that you experience which determines your success, but in the number of times you get back up after a relapse.