Yesterday I talked a little about seeking out positive peer pressure especially when you embark on a fitness or weight loss goal. Each and every one of us will excel at our endeavors if we have someone in our corner to support us or to coach us (both is best).
Each one of us needs a “team” AND each one of us will be called on at some point to BE the team for someone else.
But what is a crab? How do you identify crabs in your own life? And maybe more importantly, how do you make sure you are not being a crab?
First let me explain the crab analogy:
Have you ever seen a bucket full of crabs? They pinch and pull as they struggle to climb over one another to reach the top of the bucket – to freedom.
Ask any fisherman and they’ll tell you that a bucket full of crabs doesn’t need a lid – they simply won’t escape.
Why? Well, it’s not impossible for a crab to climb to the top, and really if they worked together it would be quite easy. But crabs don’t work together…
Instinctively crabs pull each other down-literally.
When one crab breaks away from the pack, reaching its pinchers toward the top of the bucket, the others promptly grab onto the escapee’s leg, pulling him back down. That crab is then pushed to the bottom of the pile and his dream of freedom is crushed.
People have a way of acting just like a bucket of crabs. Have you ever decided on a personal goal only to have someone in your life talk you out of it?
- The person who discourages you from going to the gym
- The person who scoffs when you mention your weight loss goals
- The person who snickers when you choose salad over pizza
The crab mentality says “If I can’t have it, then neither can you.” When you decide to do something different, to reach for a goal and to improve yourself, the crabs in your life will do their best to hold you back.
present or, hopefully, your past. These people live in an “I’m not OK, You’re not OK state” and only feel better when keeping you down.
BUT, you can also be a crab without even knowing it. Sure you may not be harboring any low-self esteem or jealousies like the outright crab does, but could you be crab-like in the way you fail to motivate and support a friend that has specifically asked for your help?
Picture this; a friend has asked you to be her workout partner and you agreed. You both state that in times past you’ve never been able to stick to a workout routine and that you need the push from someone else to stay consistent. You have agreed to meet 3 nights a week to workout. A couple of weeks into it she calls you an hour before your scheduled workout and says “I am so tired. My day was CRAZY! (and explains)… I think I’m going to skip our workout tonight, I need the rest.”
Now stop and think: Your friend enlisted your help to prevent her from doing this very thing. She asked you to help her break old habits and stay consistent this time so that she actually reaches her goal. You said you would, and now, you just let her down. And you probably won’t go workout this night either, so maybe she was being a bit of an unconscious crab to you too. And trust me; this will NOT be the last time this happens.
Or what about calling up a friend you KNOW is on a clean eating plan and saying “wanna go out for drinks?” how about: “We just ran 5 miles, let’s go grab a (sugar and fat LOADED) latte.” Or maybe you agreed to run 5 miles and your friend wants to stop at 2 ’cause she’s just not into it and you say “OK”. And then there’s the “Yeah, I totally messed up too, ha-ha, oh well. It happens. It’s so hard to stay on track”.
You see, sometimes by failing to do the job asked of us, to be the support, the cheerleader, the one who calls our friend out when she needs it most, we are being a passive crab.
What if instead you pushed back and said “no, you’re not in pain, lets just keep running the 5 miles as planned” or “Hey, let’s go for a hike and I’ll bring healthy pitas.” And the one you’ll run up against most “It does sound like you had a bad day, but you’ve had them before and you’ll have them again. Let’s go ahead and stick to our plan and workout. You’ll feel better afterward, I guarantee it.”
Really think about it.
The next time a friend asks for your help, look her in the eye and ask her if she REALLY wants you to do what you need to do to help keep her on track. If you get a firm yes, then take your role of team mate/cheerleader seriously and do it!
No crabs allowed, passive or otherwise.
Are you ready to make a positive change in your life? Don’t wait any longer. Join the ranks of my successful clients-schedule your first workout today.
And don’t let a single crab talk you out of it! 877-288-1231