Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Put crabs into a bucket and you won’t need a lid. Because the moment one of them tries to climb out, the others will all drag it back down.
Crab mentality is a well known way of thinking, the conviction that "if I can't have it, neither can you.”⠀
In a crab shell, it is entirely normal human behaviour to reduce the self-confidence of any group member who achieves success beyond the others. It is part of self preservation, and the gossip that goes along with it is necessary to try to avoid the same mistakes. But it is something we can and have to change if we want to break the old mould.
When I became a yoga teacher and my life shifted (early hours, more sleep, less alcohol) I was often branded as boring - “oh, go on, just a couple of hours, just a couple of drinks - you only live once”.
In the beginning I kind of hid myself. I did not talk about my passion, and laughed good naturally at little digs into my way of living - they were jokes after all, nothing to be upset about - even although I started to feel a little bored myself. Not surprisingly I often felt like a fraud, both in my job, and my circle of friends.
Then the same thing started to happen all over again when I started working with dōTERRA. Reactions varied between ’hmmmm...if you think it works’ to ‘I can’t believe you fell for this’. I promise you, there was not a single ‘Wow! - this sounds interesting, you’ll rock this’⠀
Was I really making constant boring and unattractive choices? Was everyone else right?
This was perhaps the most difficult thing to accept on this journey into finding my true self: Some of my friends were not really my friends - they just were people I had gotten used to.
Research shows that your chance to become obese will raise by 57% if you have obese friends (!), So could our successes simply depend on the permissions we give ourselves, and likewise, limitations we allow others to set for us?
After struggling with self belief for the longest time, I started to realise that the way we talk to each other, and to ourselves are pure habit. Once you become aware of your gossiping habit, you can start to change it.
Instead of talking about other people, talk about your ideas and dreams.
Really ask everyone how they are. What they are up to. Congratulate successes and offer hope or solutions if something went wrong for them. Slowly but surely you will realise that the energy around you changes.
Your true friends stay. New ones appear. And the rest simply disappear from your radar, slowly and almost unnoticed.⠀
Here is an interesting exercise: Grab a pen and paper and write down 5 people you spend time with every week or even daily. Don’t include your kids. You’re stuck with them whatever their behaviour, but the amazing truth here is, while they are entirely their own beings, their actions are your mirrors - your successes, your communication skills, your self belief and your own shortcomings. Sometimes a not so comfortable truth, right?
But back to the 5 people: Include your partner, your parents if they are close, and your best friends and collegues. Ask yourself:⠀
Do they support you?⠀
Do they make you feel attractive, interesting and worth spending time with?⠀
Do they make you feel like you have what it takes to reach your goals?⠀
You you feel happy and energized after spending time with them?⠀
If the answer to this is no, there is work to do.
When we are on a journey to find our Dharma, our life’s true purpose, the importance of our sangha, our community cannot be underestimated. The wrong community, will work really hard to hold us back. Find your wise women sisterhood, your happy people brotherhood. They are your mirrors and expanders, bringing the subject matter to ‘If they can, so can I."
And then offer a helping claw to the crab next to you. If they can reach the sunshine, so can you.
If you want to become part of my tribe, drop me a line - I'd love to help you into your sunshine.