Local Holistic Health and Life Coach shares first step to ditching old habits and creating new, healthier ones

By Hilary Dartt

When it comes to changing habits—eating healthier to lose weight, spending more wisely to get finances under control, or stop smoking for better health, for example—people know what they need to do.

Yet, for so many, doing what they know they need to do, especially long-term, is a struggle.

Kristen Dicker, who offers Holistic Health and Life coaching through her business, Blooming Into You: Coming Home to Your True Self, helps her clients do what they need to do: shift their habits for better health and well-being.

“If it was just about information,” she said during a recent interview, “we’d all be just [making changes] all the time.”

The problem: the part of your mind that controls your habits loves it when you keep doing what you’ve been doing. The comfort zone is real.

Kristen explained that role of our subconscious mind—which she refers to as “the critter brain”—is to keep us alive, or safe.

So while your conscious mind cares if you’re healthy, your subconscious mind only cares if you’re still alive, and will therefore override your good intentions and bring you right back to the comfort zone.

The reason: beliefs you formed earlier in life (often by the time you were five years old) create a story in your critter brain, and that story becomes a tape playing on repeat. Your critter brain, which Dicker said “runs the show” then forms habits that reinforce that belief.

For example, someone may believe, “I’m inadequate,” or, “I’m not worthy,” or, “I deserve to be poor.”

If that person doesn’t recognize that belief, untangle it, and create a new belief to replace it, she will struggle to make choices to improve her situation.

The tricky part, Kristen said, is that often these beliefs are so deep within our subconscious that we don’t even recognize them.

“Our conscious minds tell us, ‘Of course I’m worthy,’” she said. But that deeply held subconscious belief continues to sabotage our efforts.

How, then, does someone recognize if she has a limiting belief?

“Look at what’s going on in your life—what’s not working,” Kristen said. “Where is your pain? Where are you stuck? If it’s a pattern throughout your life, and you feel like you’ve tried, done everything they tell you to do … but you can’t will power through it, then you probably have a limiting belief.”

For example, if someone tries every type of diet but can’t seem to keep off the weight, or works hard and earns a great living but never seems to have enough money, chances are a limiting belief is to blame.

Once a person identifies what that might be, he or she can then work to see it in a different way, resolve it, and change their habits.

Kristen said she recommends that her clients start with very small changes that won’t necessarily “alert” the critter brain, and keep implementing those until new habits become automatic, replacing harmful habits. For example, if a client wants to lose weight, Kristen might have her deep clean the house, or organize the kitchen, or eat two servings of vegetables in a given week instead of zero.

“Then you’re not overwhelming your brain and body,” she said. “Slowly but surely, you realize, ‘I like this feeling, I like losing weight, I like eating vegetables and thought I hated them.’”

Over time, “You’re doing the new things like you’ve been doing them for 20 years. It’s automatic.”

The bottom line: “Coaching is always about going forward, getting on a pathway that’s a higher level.”

Kristen is a Health Communication Specialist and health writer and editor, so education is paramount in her business. She’s certified as a Spiritual Life Coach and a Health Coach, and earned her Master Level certification in Transformational Coaching this year. She’s currently working on a certification in Trauma Recovery Coaching.

Listen to her podcast, Try Self-Love, on Apple Podcasts.

Learn more about Blooming Into You at https://bloomingintoyou.com.