Welcome to January 2021. By now, you may be done laughing at silly New Year’s celebration videos. You may have wished your friends and colleagues “Happy New Year” and told them how you spent the season. The holiday spirit is now fizzling out, and reality is kicking in: 2021 is here. Are you ready to take on the New Year in your business with confidence?

If so, how do you proceed with a clear, realistic vision? How do you mindfully create the best possible outcomes for you and others when the world’s stage has changed so much?

Speaking of the stage, I recently spoke with Brigida Pereira Neves, a leading international ballet dancer whose dancing is as graceful as her way of sharing her experiences and wisdom. As a professional dancer, she, like many business leaders I know, has been going through one of the biggest transitions of her life because she has not been able to create magic moments on stage. She has not been able to do what she dedicated her life to since she was 3 years old.

During our conversation, Brigida shared her routine, which she developed and perfected over years of extraordinary physical and mental discipline. The rituals she practices go a long way to managing her stage fright and delivering exceptional performances.

Her rituals are also universal. For your best chance at a performance that brings you rave reviews, apply these steps yourself as you take to your business stage in 2021.

  1. Put your makeup on

When I was an eager student at Comenius University in Bratislava, my amazing professor of philosophy was open to answering questions about life. One lady, a beautiful woman considering existential questions, asked if she should downplay her appearance.

“No,” he told her. “You should not hide your beauty. Whom would that help?”

That moment is engraved in my mind; his words became a gem I keep. I believe that being here in this world carries a responsibility to show up every day at our best. To become better than yesterday and improve all aspects of our being, whether health, skills or the way we engage in relationships.

Putting your makeup on, metaphorically or not, means being your best, most beautiful self in everything you do. When you put your makeup on, you feel good about yourself and know you’re giving your best.

What is your makeup in terms of your business? What do you need to be, do, and have to give the world your best?


  1. Warm-up

Your muscles need to be ready for your performance so you can be at your best and not hurt yourself. In that spirit, the more you train and understand clearly your vision of a great outcome, the more you’ll shine on stage.

Remember: your audience is not looking for technical perfection. They’re looking for the magic, the unique perspective, and skills only you can bring to the table.


  1. Eat a banana

Treat your body well. Nourish yourself. Be mindful of not depleting your mental and physical energies. It’s easy to be a short-term hero, but a real hero is someone others can count on for the long term. And for that, you have to know how to relax, even in the midst of a business crisis.


  1. Listen to music

How do you get yourself in the right mood? Different stages and challenges require you to be adaptive, mindful, and clear of what you want to achieve.

Know which stages matter to your business—and which don’t. Do your most intense prep work for the stages that are the most crucial to you.

Find the right music for each moment so you can shine once the curtain rises and you step onto the stage.


  1. Check out the stage

Now that you know which stages matter, check them out before the show!

How do they feel? What differences do you need to consider for your different performances? If possible, create relationships with your stages now, before the spotlight shines on you. Make the stages familiar. Make them yours.

That familiarity and confidence are what your audiences will feel!


  1. Greet your colleagues

`Say hello before you go LIVE. Create trusted relationships with and look out for your colleagues, vendors, and partners. Be the performer they can lean on when they’re in need of your flavor of magic.

Do these simple things because you can. Do them because they’ll help you create better results for yourself and others. Do them to create a better 2021 and better years to come.

If you’re in doubt or need help stepping onto your stages with confidence, reach out for a free initial chat about how you can set yourself up for a great business year—dana.poulgraf@gmail.com.

And stay tuned for a The Fear Project video interview with Brigida here soon.

Also, I want to know: What are your rituals? What would you add to the list?

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  1. Dani, how I love this article. It’s amazing how close I feel to these words these days and I think this summary will resonate with me for days and weeks to come. I would add 1 for my lost: be alone. Just yourself and your thoughts. What a luxury for me to achieve these days, but impact if having that time dedicated to just thinking is priceless.

    1. Ahoj Dasi, it’s heartwarming to know that this article resonated with you. “Be alone” is a big loss for so many of us – thanks for this important addition. Btw. there are ways how to simulate the space we are missing. Maybe we can chat one day again and exchange thoughts. I’m missing our conversations! Lots of love, Dana

    2. It’s a fantastic article, thank you for sharing it. It is interesting how complex and difficult some things are, until someone will simplify them and will make an effort to explain it to others. Having an audience who is willing to listen and act on it is another topic 🙂 I have been having similar routine for a while, but it took some time for me to get there, I wish I read this article earlier 🙂 one thing that I do extra on top of this list, I try to find some time just for me every day, to me its very important to clear my head, calm down, set my priorities straight or just be away of the daily “noise” that is around us every day.

      1. Hi Joanna, thank you for your comment and I’m happy this article resonated with you. Thanks also for sharing your “me time” routine. Self-care is such an important element that we often put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list. Looking forward to reading/hearing more of your views!

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