08/26/2014 11:23 EDT | Updated 10/26/2014 05:59 EDT

The Many Steps to Becoming an "Overnight" Success

An overnight success story typically travels through many "nights" before the surreal moments are enjoyed. Some time often passes between when the dreamer first sees the vision and the moment when it comes full-circle. To the onlooker it all happens so quickly. To the dreamer it seemed like forever. To the dream it is cognizant of the needed processing:

1. In the incubation period, the messages it receives via it's "umbilical chord" determines if and how it grows. What messages are you telling yourself and ultimately feeding your dream? If you want an idea of what your "dream baby" will look like take inventory of your thoughts and the picture will be clear.

2. When you would like to know how the development of your dream is progressing, check what you spend your time on and with who. Where you deposit your energy and attention is what grows.

3. Do you believe enough in your dreams to keep going beyond the pains? I can't recall hearing a success story that included dreams and goals being achieved seamlessly. There will be resistance and a few bumps along the way. How we deal with it determines how far we go.

4. Your dreams are just that, your dreams. Not meant to be measured against the accomplishments of others or altered based on popular vote. Your intuition -- that little voice inside, is guiding you on your journey. You're competing against your personal best, no one else. When you find yourself empty of the joy your dreams once gave you, take a private look at where your gaze has been. Did it lead your eyes from your own race to comparing it with someone else's dream come true?

5. It is written or scribbled somewhere with a tentative plan on how to achieve bite size accomplishments. With the big picture established and a working plan in place, even the smallest daily steps in the right direction are taking you towards your ultimate goal. Becoming consumed by the outcome could overwhelm you to take the needed "baby steps."

6. Who or what is your pacer for this race? In some cases, we have established completion dates. For others, they are broken down into quarterly goals. Regardless of how your progress is being tracked, who or what is helping you to stay on course?

7. Identify your dream speakers, dream killers and the dream changers. Is your circle speaking life into your dreams, speaking "ill" of them, or trying to rewrite them with unrequested opinions? The wisdom to know who is playing what role will equip you with the mental floor plan of where everyone "sits."

8. Change. When committed to bringing your dreams to reality not only are you growing, in some areas you may be outgrowing certain things. Sometimes what once was great can no longer operate in your life in the same capacity. With growth comes a shift. Change can be a great thing and also a difficult one dependent mostly on how hard we are hanging on to the way things were or the personal need to have them stay the same.

9. Your dreams will consistently leave you dissatisfied with what is "just enough."

10. There is a big chance that your dream will exceed your thinking when it comes to fruition. Seeds are planted knowing beautiful flowers will eventually spring from the ground. Until that first bloom on an orchid no one knows for sure just how mesmerizing it will be. When it blooms, it steals our gaze. Don't frame it with our limitations.

11. You have to be able to encourage yourself and not be emotionally dependent on others. Even in their best intentions others may talk you out of something, simply because it's not their dream and they don't understand it. Dust yourself off, and keep it moving. Rinse and repeat as many times as needed.

12. As tempting as it is to wait for the big chunks of our dreams to fall into place, don't despise small beginnings. Begin anywhere, simply begin. Four months from now, you will wonder why you waited so long.