How many projects have I begun where I just didn’t finish? A skirt left un-hemmed, a piece of baseboard still needing to be painted, a drawer full of old coupons? While finishing a project offers fuel for the victor the opposite is also true when we fail to finish. All those pesky unfinished projects drain us. They remain in our minds and slowly, little by little take up space in our thoughts. Add to this the guilt and embarrassment that it only took 30 minutes and 3 years to hang a curtain, we sometimes prefer to leave them undone forever.
Take An Inventory
I want to invite you to stop and take an inventory of all the unfinished projects taking up space in your brain. It is often said the longest journey begins with a single step; as we begin to learn the benefits of crossing the finish line, let us begin small. Pick the absolutely easiest project you have left undone that nags you 24/7. For me it is cleaning out my filing cabinet. There are papers in there for things I no longer even own, including a house, car, and vacuum cleaner. Why do I just keep ignoring it? It is the feeling of dread that comes over me, but in reality there is only one drawer with about 35 papers to look through. Taking an inventory can help me see the reality of the situation. If addiction does nothing else it distorts reality.
Facing the Challenge
While there are great rewards for crossing any finish line there is also a real struggle to crossing any finish line. As the old saying goes, “Count the cost” before taking on any unfinished project. There will guaranteed, be something blocking your way, even if it is only your own thoughts. In my case it is the dread of looking at all those papers. I need to make the finish line my focus and not let any fearful thoughts or obstacles stop me. Name the obstacles that are blocking you from completing your task: money, others' opinions, or fear of failing again. Other obstacles may appear you hadn’t planned on, but your chances of success are much greater if you start out with a battle plan. I tell myself "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."
While my struggle sounds silly and logically it is, that is the tricky part about finish lines. They reside in a spiritual place where the mind and logic does not reign supreme. For me if I was being honest is the fear of sitting still and facing my reality is the real obstacle. Once I can name the actual problem it seems to give me freedom. For some people it is a fear of dying once they complete a task that keeps them from trying. What is holding you back? Finding the real issue changes everything.
Why Completing Tasks Is Important To Recovery
I encourage all of us to take a leap of faith and start crossing those waiting finish lines. Not only the ones we have today, but all that will appear in the future. I want to be a person who finishes something everyday not only so others will know they can count on me, but also so I won’t be bogged down with endless unfinished projects cluttering up my life. In recovery many times people can feel out of touch with reality. Not only will others begin to respect your courage to recovery from the disease of addiction they will seek you out as one of the rare humans who complete what they start. This is a simple way to keep our lives in balance, not let our life become cluttered with incomplete tasks, and regain the trust of our loved ones.
On your mark…get set… GO!
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive by Nadine Knapp
If you need help with addiction or mental health, click on the image below to find professional resources in your area.