How the Crab Effect Obstructs Growth and How to Conquer It

Some of the greatest words of wisdom for any man or woman seeking change or growth are, "Surround yourself with people who will support and believe in you."

Creating any kind of significant change requires determination, focus, energy, a game plan, and more than anything else, desire and a positive attitude.

Sometimes, we become stalled in our progress or just lose the desire to continue because we do not have a strong support structure in place.

How many times have you tried to create something for yourself but failed because your circle of influence provided negative input and little support for you?

I once worked with a client who wanted to secure the career of his dreams. He was in his late 30's and had spent a good deal of his life working in an unfulfilling job that involved heavy lifting all day long.

When he finally made the decision to commit to pursuing his dream career, he shared his goals with his co-workers, family and friends.

He received little to no support from his co-workers. Some told him he was too old, he would never make it and that he was a dreamer.

His family members tried to convince him that he was going through a phase and that he should be grateful for his current job. It paid the bills.

His friends wished him well, but didn't offer much in the line of support because they thought his goal was too lofty and unrealistic.

We worked together to create an action plan, to keep his momentum high and his attention focused.

His greatest struggle, however, was he could not understand why he seemed to be traveling this road alone; why he had such little support from his closest circle of influence.

One day at work after having his dream quashed yet again, he confided in a co-worker that he just didn't know if he was doing the right thing anymore because no one believed in him.

His co-worker then shared a story that turned his day around by giving him a new perspective. He told my client he was experiencing the "Crab Effect," then shared his explanation.

While vacationing in Florida, he observed a bucket of crabs on a fishing dock.

While all of the crabs were either motionless or squirming at the bottom of the bucket, one little crab kept crawling up the side in an effort to reach the top.

Each time the crab made his way closer to the top rim, a crab from below would reach up and pull him back down. Time and again, the little crab would climb the wall and time and again, one from below would pull him back.

By observing this behavior, my client's co-worker related this to how we function as human beings.

This one crab did not want to be confined. He believed he had a choice and did not have to accept his lot in life. He was willing to venture outside of his imposed boundaries in search for freedom.

Unfortunately, the others in the group did not recognize that they too had a choice, and would not allow the venturing crab to leave the rest of them behind.

This is the same for you. Have you ever wanted to create something new for yourself or make a significant change that would give you a sense of freedom or purpose?

Did you find that those around you did not provide the support you needed to succeed?

Unfortunately, you won't always receive the support you expect from those you believe should be there for you.

This doesn't mean they're bad or want to see you fail. They just might not be in the same place you are right now.

The Crab Effect usually occurs because others are not willing to expand their boundaries of thinking. They won't accept that they have a choice or the ability to create what they truly want.

You creating change for yourself may prove that their thinking is not sound and no one wants to be proven wrong. The ego does not like to be challenged.

The Crab Effect also occurs because some people are afraid of change or may not have sufficient confidence in themselves, and by you embracing change and creating a more desirable future for yourself, their self-limiting beliefs may be reinforced.

Some people are afraid of being left behind and don't want to be left alone. Like they say, "Misery loves company."

If you want to make a significant change in your life, surround yourself with people who believe in you and the power of creating anything you desire.

Don't share your goals and dreams with those who will bring you down or try to sabotage your efforts.

Sometimes the journey can be lonely when you decide to venture outside of the pack, but remain open and positive, and you will attract those who will support you and guide you in the right direction.

Be true to yourself and don't let the fear and limited thinking of others get in your way.

The day my client left his unfulfilling job for his new career, some cheered while others stood dumb-founded. It was a three-year journey, but he made it!

And once he realized he could accomplish what seemed impossible to many, he set new goals for himself and not only achieved, but exceeded many of them.

No one questions him anymore. They know if he says he plans to accomplish something, he most certainly will!

Laurie Hayes works with small and home-based business owners who feel stuck. To receive valuable tips, strategies and techniques designed to grow a successful business without sacrificing quality of life, subscribe to her free bi-weekly newsletter at http://www.wheretheheartis-lifecoaching.com

In The News:

Small Business Saturday  Investopedia
Something new on Small Business Saturday  WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

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