Don’t Let the Crabs Pull You Down


There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether It is positive or negative. – W. Clement Stone

As a coastal resident I’ve enjoyed several opportunities over the years to go crabbing at the beach. A good place to catch crab is along the jetties since they like to hide among the rocks. The rewards of crabbing are delicious as crab can be served up many ways- crab cakes being my favorite. It reminds me of the popular crab bucket story.

One time a man was walking along the beach and saw another man fishing in the surf with a bait bucket beside him. As he drew closer, he saw that the bait bucket had no lid and had live crabs inside.

“Why don’t you cover your bait bucket so the crabs won’t escape?” he said.

“You don’t understand,” the man replied, “If there is one crab in the bucket it would surely crawl out very quickly. However, when there are many crab in the bucket, if one tries to crawl up the side, the others grab hold of it and pull it back down so that it will share the same fate as the rest of them.”

In your desire to grow as a leader, succeed in business, and thrive in your personal life, you will come across the “crabs” in life that would seek to hold you back or pull you down. It’s up to you to get out of the basket if you want to reach your full potential. You have to escape the pull of the crabs. Here are four crab types to avoid on your way up.

The crabs with an attitude

Hang around in the basket with crabs long enough and you will be exposed to unpleasant attitudes. The crabs with the bad attitudes want to share their misery with others and want you to stay down with them. You must guard your thoughts and attitude at all cost – you must get out of the basket. When they are clawing at you with their negative attitudes, talk, and toxic ways – keep climbing. Don’t let those crabs pull you down on your way up.

The jealous crabs

When crabs in your office see your success and the dividends of your hard work it’s not uncommon for some to be jealous. Instead of being happy for your success and the progress you are making they will reach up and try to pull you back down. But remember this: the higher you climb the further out of their reach you will be. Ignore the small, petty, and jealous types. Soon you will be out of their company. Keep climbing.

The crabs with limited thinking

The danger in the crab basket is being around those who are too comfortable where they are. They have no drive, ambition, or desire to move forward. They find comfort in the company of mediocrity and resent anyone who dares to leave.  Don’t be caught off guard when in your desire to move up and achieve a greater level of success that crabs will try to pull down. The best way to rise above small and limited thinking is to get away from small-minded people.

The crabs who have accepted their fate

Being a leader with big dreams and goals is noble. But never underestimate the challenges you will face.  While some crabs have not embraced your destiny; they are resigned to theirs. Crabs are those who will tell you that you are not smart enough, talented or gifted enough, or that you will never make it, etc.

Your climb up and out of the basket begins when you rid yourself of the crab basket mentality and dare to embrace your God-given talents and dreams. Dare to believe that your possibilities are unlimited. Dare to believe that you can reach your full potential regardless of what others say or think. It’s when you begin the climb that you will discover that there is no lid at the top holding you back.

What do you say?


© 2015 Doug Dickerson






About dougdickerson

I am Certified Leadership Trainer, author, columnist, and speaker. Husband to Alicia, father to Katelyn and Kara, and "Pop" to terrific grandson Tyson. I am an avid photographer, love the outdoors, and like to travel. I'm passionate about sharing my leadership insights and helping people reach their full potential.
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