10/21/2014 01:48 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2014

4 Key Steps To Making Your Dreams Come True

Ilya Bushuev via Getty Images

I love a good daydream. There is nothing more fun than conjuring up images in your mind's eye of where your life is going, what goals you are going to achieve and imagining the feeling you will have once you achieve that vision.

Studies have shown that daydreaming is even healthy (I wish someone had told that to my high school algebra teacher). But how many of us get stuck there? As an intuitive life coach, I spend my day speaking to clients who are fairly clear in what they want to achieve in their life. They can almost taste their goal, so much that they even dream about it. They tell their friends, have it flushed out on paper, and yet nothing has manifested in their actual life.

It doesn't help that there are what appear to be easy answers everywhere you turn. I had a client so passionate about finding a relationship that she spent $20,000 with a Feng Shui consultant to redecorate her bedroom, just to attract a mate. When I casually asked if she had gone on any dates, tried online dating or even mentioned to her friends that she wanted to find love, she looked at me like I was crazy. "No, I just say my mantra, light my candles and I know he will show up."

I hate to break it to you, but it is my opinion that you can't simply think your way to love, happiness and success. Don't get me wrong; I am a firm believer that your thoughts do affect your reality. But that is only one piece of the puzzle. There are four significant steps in helping to achieve greatness in your life.

Step one: Claim Your Vision!
It is so important that we claim our vision. Give yourself permission to really engage in the fantasy. What exactly are you looking to accomplish or change in your life? Allow your mind's eye to flow with the vision -- get specific in your daydream. If it's a relationship goal, visualize how you two will spend time together. If it's a work related goal, see yourself in that position and assume the posture of what it will feel like to achieve that. If it's a physical fitness goal, allow your brain to fantasize about how your body will change, and play out a scene in your head of how you will live differently.

Step Two: Observe Possible Fear
Our brains use fear to protect us. They tell us to look both ways before crossing the street so we don't get run over. They remind us not to touch a hot stove so we don't get burned. But what is the chance that your brain's fear is keeping you from taking the steps that will help you achieve your goal? You may think about creating change, but there is a strong possibility that your brain generates fearful thoughts to keep you from stepping outside of your comfort zone. Try and have an honest dialogue within yourself about what fears may be hiding just below the surface. Some common fears might be:

• Fear of rejection
• Fear of being seen
• Fear of not being understood
• Fear of failure.

People often assume that they must ignore their fear to remain in a positive space, but this is not true. There is great wisdom in acknowledging how our own fear causes hiccups in our journey. Raising your fear into the light will help diminish its power.

Step Three: Take Action Steps
This is the hardest, yet most basic part of manifesting any goal. Just like my client who spent all that money on Feng Shui without going on a single date, or people who vision boarded and lit candles to accomplish their hearts desire, we often forget the physical component of this process. Your positive thinking won't mean a thing unless you take action steps. We must take physical action to get us closer to our goal. Try to take a step that is within your comfort zone, something easy to do that doesn't trigger any emotion (like attending a creative writing workshop). But you should also take a step that is outside your comfort zone (like going on a blind date). Lovingly challenge yourself! In order to create great change we have to challenge ourselves. When we stretch we create.

Step Four: Reward Yourself
At this point, you have come full circle in the process. You have claimed your vision and desire. You have stepped back and examined the possibility that your own fear is holding you back from creating that achievement. You grounded your energy and idea by taking action in your life, and now you deserve a reward. Many human beings struggle with acknowledging when they've done something good. It's a little bit of a mental trick, but as you step out of your comfort zone you deserve some TLC or a treat. The reward doesn't have to be opulent. But setting up a system where you reward yourself will continue the desire to take action.

Now rinse and repeat until your dream becomes a reality!

To connect with Dougall on Facebook, click here.
To connect with Dougall on Twitter, click here.
To learn more about Dougall's work, click here.