Have you ever heard of “crab mentality”? Here’s a quick overview from our good pal Wikipedia:
Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that of a group that will attempt to “pull down” (negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy,conspiracy or competitive feelings.
This term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also often used colloquially in reference to individuals or communities attempting to “escape” a so-called “underprivileged life”, but kept from doing so by others attempting to ride upon their coat-tails or those who simply resent their success.
Unfortunately, people can be the same way. We tend to surround ourselves with people of similar mindsets. This is a huge benefit if you happen to be naturally motivated, highly productive and forward thinking. If you are that way, congrats! You’re way ahead of the game.
Most people are simply not that way on their own. If you are a procrastinator, you tend to surround yourself with other people who procrastinate. Why? So you can support each other in staying stuck and feel good about it.
Here’s the thing – to be (and stay) successful, you must take risks. You have to step up to the plate, be bold, do things you may not be comfortable doing. You must step into the highest version of you. That can be scary. And as you begin to step into the best version of you, your peers that have been “in the bucket” with you can become threatened.
When you begin to change, it forces the other people around you to change. When you begin to make better decisions, to start finding success, the people in your life begin to assess their own choices. Unfortunately, many people simply are not willing to change (or to do the hard work that success requires). Instead, they complain, blame circumstances, and feel resentment for the success of others.
That’s pretty messed up.
If there is “crab mentality” in your life, it’s time to escape the bucket! Connect with like minded people who ARE willing to work hard, have a positive attitude and support more success for all. There is plenty to go around. Surround yourself with people who support your dreams. You are much more likely to make them happen than by hanging out with people who would rather you stay as stuck and miserable as they are.
Escape the bucket!
The key to success is actually pretty simple (which is not the same as easy):
1. Know what you want
2. Make a sound plan to get it
3. Take action every single day until it happens
A favorite quote of mine (the source of who said it escapes me – if you know, leave a comment please) goes like this:
“Don’t Let Small Minds Convince You That Your Dreams Are Too Big”
Watch out for where there might be “crab mentality” in your life. And escape the bucket!
Leave a comment. Do you find that the people you surround yourself with have an influence on your expectations and actions? Discuss it below.