You may have heard the story of a bucket of crabs before, also known as crab mentality.

If not, you’re in for a treat as this story is one that I think about often – not just when it comes to working out and eating healthy. I think of it when it comes to my business, my beliefs, and my lofty goals, but many of our members experience it first hand as they start to see results and success.

Here’s how I’ve heard the story told…

A man was walking down the pier in Florida one summer and noticed a fisherman sitting near the edge.  As he walked by, he noticed the fisherman had a bucket full of crabs. The fisherman seemed focused on his line and the expanse of the ocean that was before him.

He didn’t realize that the crabs were about to crawl right out of the bucket as it had no lid! Being the helpful person that he was, the man decided to tell the fisherman that he was about to lose his crabs. The fisherman turned around to face him, and looked down at the bucket of crabs.

“Oh, they won’t go anywhere.  If I just had one crab in there it could easily crawl out.  But if you put more than one crab in a bucket… well, they won’t let anyone get away.”

As he talked, the man stared into the bucket. Sure enough as one crab climbed to the top of the pack and was close to the top… the other crabs pinched at him and pulled him back down. As another crab started to get to the top on the way out, the same thing happened.

None of the crabs could escape because the group would always prevent the individual from succeeding.

We all have crabs in our life.

That person, or those people, that don’t want to see you succeed.

The friend, well-meaning or not, who laughs at you when you tell her you’ve joined a new personal training program – “You would be starting THAT again…”

The in-law that scoffs at your effort to become a better parent by attending a seminar or workshop.

The spouse that sabotages your new healthy eating routine by bringing sugary, fatty, and bad foods into the house.

Your co-workers who now talk behind your back because you got a promotion and they didn’t.

Now that summer is approaching, those friends who say “oh, just come for a couple drinks on the patio, you’ll be fine…”


We all have crabs that want to keep us where we are – not because it’s good for us, but because it makes them feel better about themselves and where they are.

Bettering ourselves in any capacity (health, career, parenting…) is not for the faint of heart.  It takes commitment, determination, encouragement, and a steadfast resolution. The funny part is, just like with the crabs in the bucket, they can all succeed. It’s not like when one gets out, the rest can’t. It’s not a finish line with only one winner.

In the same way that your success can create crabs in your life, those people forget they can also succeed.

It’s frustrating, because usually the biggest crabs in your life are the people closest to you. If it was a stranger or acquaintance, we wouldn’t tolerate their negativity for a second. But when it’s your mom, your spouse, your family, your friends, and your closest co-workers, for some reason we put up with it.

What if all that negativity could disappear?

Never let crabs pull you away from your goals and your dreams. When you think of your life a year from today… where do you want to be? What behaviors does the person you want to become do on a regular basis?

Pursue that vision at all costs.

If you’ve studied successful people, you know it isn’t this ‘ONE monumental thing’ they do that makes them who they are. It’s the accumulation of little habits, practiced daily, that builds the best version of themselves.

There are 3 ways to approach this.

  1. What things do you need to start doing to become that person?
  2. What things do you need to stop doing to become that person?
  3. And most of all, what do you need to keep doing?

Get started by adding one NEW thing you should be doing first.

Master that skill (also called a habit) and then add a new one. Then master it. Then add a new one.… I think you see where this is going.

Most importantly, don’t let those crabs hold you back as you build your habits to become the best version of you!

Think you need some help building your habit? Get in touch with us! We would love to help you!

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