I was talking with a client about her community years ago and the environment of people she surrounded herself with. Her response was “Oh, you mean crabs in a bucket.” I’d never heard this before. Apparently, if a crab is placed in a bucket alone, it can easily crawl out. But if you place it in a bucket with other crabs, they will each pull down anyone attempting to rise above them – thereby keeping all the crabs stuck in the bucket. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of the crab mentality.
How about you? Are you living in a bucket of crabs – pulling down anyone who tries to get ahead of you or being pulled down if you start to make some headway towards your goals? For me, it’s not always obvious.
Sometimes the crabs in the bucket are well meaning and trying to be helpful. They’re helping you figure something out, but the end result is that you’re both stuck in inertia. Or they want to protect you, so they discourage you from taking risks where you might get hurt.
A Ladder Out of the Bucket
The easiest way to get a ladder out of the bucket is by surrounding yourself with people who are already outside the bucket. People who are outside of the bucket think differently and have a different world view. They see possibility where those in the bucket only see walls. They’ve done it, so they aren’t stuck thinking about if it can be done. And they want to be associating with others who are outside the bucket.
New Crabs in Your Life?
Is it time to surround yourself with some new crabs? Maybe some successful and free crabs instead of those stuck in the bucket?
Photo by: Wonderlane