40-Day Business Leadership Peak Performance Programme Day 16: Voodoo

Do you believe in voodoo? If you were born and raised in Haiti, you just might. I know a well-educated Haitian who definitely believes in voodoo. I am not saying I do, but he certainly does.

What about pointing the bone? If you were raised within the Worrabinda people in Rockhampton, Australia you definitely might. If you are in the tribe and the Kudicha man pointed his bone at you, there is a high likelihood you would go and sit under a tree and wait to die. And the fear would probably kill you quickly.

Most people don’t understand the origins of this powerful ‘medicine.’ Indigenous Australia is made up of hundreds of ‘countries’ – tribal zones or nations. For example between Gympie and Brisbane in Queensland, Australia – 50 miles – there are 43 countries. Historically, these tribal nations that basically have enough food to support about 120 people.

If hunting was bad and you wanted to hunt in someone else’s country – you asked permission. You would go to the spirit circle, make a fire and wait. Eventually, someone from the neighbouring tribe would come and you would ask permission to hunt.

Over eons, they learned to help one another but it was based on asking for permission, first. But if you started hunting without their permission, you could expect a fight to the death. If you were caught hunting in someone else’s country you would be chased away or killed.

Now if you did something really bad in your own country you were not allowed to hunt for food in your own country and if you were caught doing so you would suffer the same fate.

So you might try hunting in someone else’s country. But that rarely went well. So if you were banished from the tribe you pretty much knew that you were damned if you did and damned if you didn’t. That also meant exclusion from the social network. Being sent to Borstal for example. Being shunned. Rejected. Over time, a shorthand was developed called bone pointing.

Pointing the bone basically meant that you wouldn’t be able to feed yourself. It was a foregone conclusion that you would die. And over countless generations bone pointing took on the meaning that death was not far behind. Powerful stuff.

Limiting beliefs work just like ’voodoo’ and bone pointing. They are ever so powerful.

Milton Erikson studied hypnosis and he said that most people put them self into a trance! He said it was the ‘stuff’ you tell yourself about how your life works. What you can and can’t do.

Henry Ford said, “If you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t you can’t. Either way you are right.’

“I can’t …’ is incredible voodoo even if there is no reason why you can’t. So you need to discover if you can.

Rosa Parks was told she couldn’t sit in a White’s Only seat on a bus. In fact she had to give up her seat on a bus for a white person even if she had paid for a bus fare. One day she simply refused to give up her seat and she was arrested and from that one act she changed American history. She pushed through a very dangerous comfort zone at tremendous risk to her own wellbeing and safety.

My mentor Marva Collins was told you can’t be a teacher off you are ‘coloured’. So Marva went to Chicago where she could teach and changed the lives of children (and teachers like me) worldwide.

Right now I’m not expecting you to change the world. But I am asking you to look for opportunities to change your world by noticing limiting beliefs and faulty thinking. I am talking about the times when you stop yourself – when you barge for your limitations.

What ever the truth is, it doesn’t have to be the truth of your experience.

David ‘can’t lose weight. Ron ‘can’t’ ask customers to pay their bills. Jane ‘can’t ‘ask staff to arrive at work on time. That is their voodoo. What’s yours?

I want you to reflect on any aspect of your life where you are saying ‘I can’t’ and then reflect on why its not possible for you.

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