Crabs in a Bucket – The power of social support in reaching your goals!

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  – Crabs in a Bucket –

The power of social support in reaching your goals!

This past week has been full of action and excitement! We kicked off our “Summer Sizzle” Six Week Body Transformation Challenge, and I was able to take two days outside the gym to connect with a mastermind group I belong to with other fitness business owners from around the world. What stands out to me as I reflect on this week, is how powerful it can be to share your goals with others, as I was able to in my mastermind group, and our Challenge members did with each other

In fact, having social support from your peers can be a big factor in determining whether or not you will succeed in reaching your goals. We all need people on our “team” who will support us when things get tough, and tell us “You’ve got this!” We need people to help hold us accountable, ask how we’re doing, and help keep us on track if it seems like we’re going astray. We need people who believe in us, and truly care about seeing us succeed.

Unfortunately this doesn’t describe all people. The sad truth is that we have all been around people at some point in our lives who, whether consciously or unconsciously will try to hold us back in some way. People who not only won’t understand why your goal is important to you, but won’t support your efforts or may even try to sabotage them. These people are “crabs in a bucket”.

“Crabs in a bucket” is an old analogy for negative people that goes like this: A fisherman has a bucket full of crabs. The bucket has no lid, but he isn’t worried about the crabs escaping. Each time one crab gets close to the top of the bucket, one of the other crabs below him pulls him back down to the bottom. In human terms, this is the idea of “If I can’t have it, neither can you.”

Sharing your goals with positive people who support you will amplify your ability to achieve them, but sharing your goals with “crabs” will have the opposite effect. If you think back, you may have experienced this in the past. Maybe you’ve told your family that you want to eat healthier, only to have someone else in your house go out and pick up donuts the next morning… or maybe you tell a friend that you have a goal to pay off a credit card balance, and she invites you to meet for a shopping date next weekend… Maybe you have a goal to compete in race or strength competition, and your friends give you a hard time about hitting the gym for training instead of the bar for happy hour. You may be able to use will power for a while to stay on track, but if you keep getting negative feedback from people around you, it won’t be long before you eventually give up on your own goal and get pulled back down to the bottom of the crab bucket.

You probably won’t be able to entirely avoid people with crab mentality. But, here’s the deal – You don’t have to share your personal goals and dreams with them! Your goals are important and need to be treated that way.

I feel so fortunate that in addition to having supportive family and friends, we have a great community of people here at Breakthrough. Everyday I get to see our members encourage each other and cheer each other on, especially when things are challenging. It’s pretty amazing what people can accomplish when they know everyone around them believes in them, and cares about seeing them succeed. And the best part is that the positive energy feeds off itself and grows bigger and brighter everyday!


If you feel surrounded by crabs, you might despair that there is no one out there that you can share your goals with. I promise you, there are good people out there! Find your community of like-minded people, and you will discover people who are not only happy to see you reach the top of the bucket, but are even willing to help you get there instead of pulling you down to the bottom!

Strength & Love – Kati

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