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crabs in bucketAre You Listening to Crabs in a Bucket?

Do you find yourself being dragged down by other people's pessimistic opinions or negative comments to you? This is like the story of crabs in a bucket.

The story goes that you can throw a bunch of crabs in a bucket and they'll all be climbing all over each other in a frenzy. And if one crab starts to move to the top and climb out of the bucket…

the rest will pull him down back into the chaotic frenzy. It's as if they are saying, "Hey, you can't leave–you have to stay here with the rest of the confused mass."

Now I'm not saying that you're a crab, but the mass of people around you can be acting like that bucket full of frenzied crabs, trying to keep you stuck in the bucket with them and not going anywhere (except eventually into a boiling pot of water, I suspect).

It tends to be human nature to want to keep people around you at your same level. This creates a state of familiarity, which reinforces a feeling of comfort. Most people get really antsy when it comes to change. Change feels unsafe, uncomfortable, unknown. They can put a lot of effort into maintaining the status quo–even more effort, sometimes, than it would take to allow for change to occur.

So when you try to change, people in your "circle" get uncomfortable–usually because they're afraid. That fear can be about one or many things, like:

  • you're going to change in a way that they won't like
  • you will be too different to be compatible any more and you'll leave them
  • you'll try to change THEM
  • it will make them feel bad about themselves because they're not growing too

In response, they'll (deliberately or unconsciously):

  • try to sabotage you by criticizing what you're doing or planning to do ("That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!")
  • try to convince you that you can't do it or it won't work ("Do you really think you know enough to do that?")
  • belittle your idea or you ("Good luck with that!" with a sarcastic tone or roll of the eyes)
  • try to make you feel guilty ("That seems pretty selfish to me; how are you going to spend enough time with your me/you family if you do that?)

Although it's important to listen to the needs or fears of others whose relationship to you is important, if someone's fears and insecurities keep you from doing something that you know will allow you to grow, they are not giving you the same courtesy. Being able to honor your dreams by having an open and honest dialog with those you care about is the best thing you can do for both of you because it demonstrates self-care and models courage to take action to get what you want (so it serves both of you).

And if the naysayers are people who you don't really care about, whose opinion you do not respect, or who have not achieved their own dreams and goals (or are not at least actively working on doing so), then they are the worst kinds of crabs of all–the ones who will probably never get out of the bucket. Just turn a deaf ear to them as you keep your focus on climbing out of the bucket, because they have nothing to offer you except a final swim in the boiling water with them!

So who should you listen to?

  • Those who you know support you unconditionally,
  • Those who are positively working towards their own big goals, and
  • Those who have already achieved a similar level of success that you aspire to in a way that you admire.

I wrote more about that in another blog post you might like to read to help you find the voices that will keep you taking action and live your dreams instead of just reading about or watching others living theirs.

Do you need a supportive, encouraging voice that will validate your goals for your business and clear the negative voices that infuse you with doubt?  Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me
to strenghten your vision, identify what you are missing in the three keys of creating a successful business–Marketing, Mindset and Manifesting–and share IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!

Your partner in success,

Lisa Smith
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach

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