One benefit to using the systems and habits approach to improvement is that you get to start building the right structures in your life. This allows you to make progress towards your goals and know that you are on the right track.
There is a calming effect from this because you gain a confidence that you are doing what you can to improve. Instead of constantly worrying if you are on the right track, you can point to the systems and habits in your life and take the right path forward.
I notice this when I attend gatherings or parties that involve delicious food. In the past I would pig out but feel incredibly guilty knowing that I shouldn’t be overeating because I needed to start focusing on my health and eating right. Every bite would be delicious and full of guilt.
But now the narrative in my head is much different. If I decide to eat a lot of food, I know that the healthy habits are so solid that this will likely become just a blip on the path to being healthy. The event doesn’t define my path forward. It becomes an outlier.
This is why it is so important to have the systems and structures deliberately designed. By creating positive habits around these things we start to change the patterned behavior.
But in our society the focus is almost always on events. A good example can be found by looking at the news media. The news finds attention-grabbing headlines that look solely at the outliers. Some strange occurrence went on and it is in the news. The news rarely looks past the initial “story” (event) of what happened this time.
But when we shift to seeing patterns more than events we can start to see things differently. Suddenly an anomaly that pulls our attention can be viewed as something that is outside the normal system or something that is signaling a change to the system.
For me the result has been an incredible decrease in the amount of time I spend worrying. It brings me to the forefront where I have more control over my life and that helps calm down the worrying part of my brain that often felt out of control.
So if you find yourself in a constant state of worry try using the systems and habits approach to improve. As you do you will likely find that as you start to take control and have more ability to decide the path forward, you will slowly stop worrying so much about everything.
You will still worry about things outside of your control but as you gain more control over your own thoughts and behaviors the worry becomes less and less. You start to look at ways you can take the information and learn from it. You start to be confident that if an issue arises you can tackle it.
For me, worry and control went hand in hand. I always felt I had little control in a given situation and things were happening to me rather than because of me. But as I started to change this by using the systems and habits approach to improvement, I found that the worry started to subside as I gained more control and the ability to see my own role in a given system.