Originally posted on 11.17.21 WealthBuilders

It’s easy to have a dream, but it’s much harder to bring it to pass. Having a vision is only the first part—there are steps that must be taken to turn our dreams to reality. Here’s the thing–when you are given a vision from God, it’s always going to be bigger than what you can do on your own. It takes faith and perseverance.

In this post, you will learn about the four stages that occur in the process of turning dreams to reality. An awareness of these stages will help you persevere when the journey isn’t easy. My hope is that you will understand how to transform your vision from an ethereal hope into an actual, tangible reality. Luckily, success follows a formula! Here’s a breakdown of the four stages:

1. Dream

2. Distress

3. Develop

4. Demonstrate

(Be sure to check out the episode of The WealthBuilders Podcast that accompanies this post!)


1. Dream

This is the idea formation phase—otherwise known as the exciting part. In this stage, you begin to have a vision for something that God wants to accomplish in your life. There’s always high motivation immediately after you receive a dream. When that revelation is fresh, it can feel like the sky is the limit.

Even though you’re excited, oftentimes, your skills don’t match the requirements to bring that dream to fruition. The beauty of this stage is that you have unconscious incompetence. This is a blessing in disguise because if you realized how incompetent you were to turn your dreams to reality, you might never begin in the first place.

When you’re in the dreaming phase, you discover your what, how, when, and who:

What: Your Vision

How: Your Method

When: Your Timing (You may get a vision years before God intends you to run with it!)

Who: Your Team (When God gives you a dream, he has a team prepared. You need certain people around your table that will help you steward your dreams.)


2. Distress

Don’t be discouraged—after you’ve made it through the distress phase, you will have the necessary strength to turn your dreams to reality. Fulfillment doesn’t come easy, and every good thing goes through a period of testing.

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus refers to the ‘good soil’ as those who “hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15)

In this stage, you move from unconscious incompetence to a conscious incompetence. To put it another way, you know you’re not qualified for the job. You realize the difficulty of the task at hand and wonder what you got yourself into. This usually results in some kind of fear.

At its core, fear is deceptive. It tries to steal the vision or Word God has given you. You may question if you ever even heard from God. People who abandon their dream in this stage fall prey to the same fate as seeds who fall on the ‘bad soil’ in the Parable of the Sower. As for them, Jesus says, “And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.” (Luke 8:13)

You must make it through the time of testing, even when feelings of failure and rejection goad you to quit. When you have a dream from God, you are going to hit some resistance. Being prepared for resistance is half the battle. Then, when you work through the hardship, gain the strength to persevere until you succeed.

[Related: 3 Business Lessons from the Parable of the Sower]


Positives of Distress:

  • More courage and passion! When you choose to dig your heels in and persevere through hardship, passion develops. Passion is a gift from God, and it carries us through.
  • Affirmation of God’s vision for your life
  • Favor and divine appointments because you’ve settled it in your heart that you’re going to see your dream through to the end
  • Wisdom and peace
  • Resistance prompt you to look for models, mentors, and coaches that will help you step into the next stage with ease and fewer mistakes.


Challenges of Distress:

  • After distress, you have a better picture of your constraints. God has given you strengths and constraints. Leaning on others helps you overcome your constraints, and it promotes unity in the Body.
  • Constraints could come in the form of skills you don’t have, past experiences or failures, a lack of resources, or even family members and friends.
  • When entrepreneurs start a business, they often do it by themselves. At first, they must fill a lot of roles. That can be a constraint because they need to develop the willingness to let others partner with their vision in order to scale up. If you don’t work with others, you can cap your business sooner than God intended or you can burn out.

[Related: How to Create a Growth Environment in Your Organization]


3. Develop

After you go through distress, you will gain an understanding of what you need to develop to reach the next level. In this stage, you get knowledge, skill, and wisdom to overcome your restraints. You’ll partake in activities like developing a plan for funding, connecting with people and systems, bolstering your education and skillset, and looking for a mentor in the industry. At this point, through intentionally overcoming your constraints, you reach the point of conscious competence.


4. Demonstrate

This is a stage of enjoyment! Your vision is now reality, so your focus is now about how to improve and refine. At this stage, you are a model and mentor for others. And the icing on the cake is that you really start to see results! Better yet, you will have developed unconscious competence. This means that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing every moment of the day. Your craft has become natural for you. You have learned and developed in such a way that you no longer have to agonize over every step, so you can better flow wherever the Holy Spirit leads you to go. You may not even be aware of the degrees of influence you have.

Have you seen a vision from God come to pass in your life? What was that process like—did it follow any or all of these four steps? We would love to hear about it in the comments. We are praying that God would show you the strategy YOU need to turn your dreams to reality, and that you would have the endurance to see it through to the finish line.

(Be sure to check out the episode of The WealthBuilders Podcast that accompanies this post!)