If your to-do list makes you feel anxious instead of inspired, it’s time to act. Coach and author Simone Niles explains how to take control of your life goals.

Running your own business is no easy feat. Along with the day-to-day challenges of being your own boss, there’s the cost-of-living crisis, family commitments and pressure from social media. No wonder so many freelancers feel overwhelmed right now.

To find out how to cut through the noise and get back to basics, BAST Training spoke to Simone Niles, vocal coach and author of Coaching for Performance Excellence.

“Overwhelm is usually associated with us feeling, thinking or visualising that something is bigger than we are,” Simone says on the Singing Teachers Talk podcast.

“Often it starts with ‘this is too big for me’, and so it either feels heavy or like it’s too much. The first thing is not to make it bigger than you.”

Identify your goals

What has kept Simone on track throughout her career is knowing her heart and being confident enough to follow it. “I am led by joy,” she says. “Joy comes when you start to align with what feels true to you and what you desire deep down. Many of my decisions are based on the question: Do I feel joyous about this?”

It’s also essential to regularly revisit your goals. “As you grow and evolve, your goals change. Life is not static; it’s a continuous and consistent dance between the outer world and your inner universe.”

Reverse engineer

Once you’ve decided on your goals, the next step is to reverse engineer back to right now. “Ask yourself: ‘What is it that I need to do at this moment, today, tomorrow, next month, to lead me towards that goal?’. Start by taking one step in that direction. That takes a lot of the focus away from what feels big. It’s a good way of dissolving some of the overwhelm that we feel.”

Step outside your comfort zone

Once you’ve determined your next steps, start moving forward (don’t wait for the ‘right time’, it will never come).

“Once you’ve set that intention, play. Have fun on route, experiment, and know that all of it is part of the journey. You can refine as you go along.”

Accept that you can’t please everyone

Whether it’s a parent or partner questioning your choices or pressure from society, you’re bound to come up against doubters. The question is: how will you deal with them?

“You have to decide where that is coming from,” Simone says. “Their doubts and fears are not yours – unless you make them yours. For me, it was choosing to believe in myself and that I’m okay to fall and get back up. Failure is feedback. Resilience is built in the fire. It doesn’t happen when you’re just chilling and lying on the beach.”

Learn more

Listen to the full interview with Simone on the Singing Teachers Talk podcast, where she also discusses:

  • How to help students deal with rejection
  • Her use of sound therapy
  • Self-limiting beliefs.