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Don’t Let ‘Crab In A Bucket’ Mentality Derail Your Health Goals In 2022

Written by: Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Imagine a bucket of crabs escaping one-by-one in a tidy arrangement, until all are free. Possible and logical right? Not so fast. Did you know a fisherman can confidently leave his bucket of crabs without a lid and know they will never escape? Why? Because as soon as one crab tries, the others will pull him back down.

This is called ‘crab in a bucket’ mentality, and it applies to humans too. And when it comes to your health, it is a very real phenomenon that can keep you stuck.

Let’s take a snapshot of where you are right now. Maybe you lack energy. Maybe you can’t sleep. Maybe you are wondering which diet you can try next to shed those excess pounds. Maybe you are completely fed up with feeling this way and are desperate to feel good again. You’re tired of just talking about it; 2022 is going to be the year you take action!

You’re committed and ready. The vision is clear. The plan is solid. You attempt the first move.

So far, so good. The path is open, and you feel confident. Focus and determination are keeping you on track. The end goal, once so distant, is now in view. Inch by inch, you’re scaling the bucket.

Suddenly, you feel a gentle pull.“Oh, one drink won’t hurt!” “Go on, it’s the holidays, you’re allowed to indulge!” You shake yourself free and stand firm. You have a goal, and a mission.

But then, there’s a tug. “You don’t even need to lose weight! I don’t know what you’re worried about!” And “wouldn’t you rather hang out with me than go for a run?” The other crabs are starting to question your motives, and you’re having doubts.

But on you go. You’re feeling great! This new lifestyle is really working. You’re feeling happier than you have in a long time, and things are looking up. The top of the bucket is clearly in view, and you’re getting so close! You start to picture what might be waiting over the other side.

Then, without warning, there’s a sharp yank and you feel yourself tumbling. You land with a thud, with the voices of the other crabs ringing in your ears. “We’re going out for pizza and cocktails and you’re coming with us!” “Being fit and healthy is over-rated, let’s party!”

Before you know it, you’re back where you started. You feel miserable, and angry at yourself for giving in. Your ultimate goal was within arms ‘reach, and you failed. Another year passes and nothing changes.

You’re still in the damned bucket.

This is a familiar scenario for many of us. For reasons that aren’t always clear, our friends, family and acquaintances can derail us from achieving our goals. Maybe they will feel lonely at pizza and cocktail night. Perhaps your new way of being highlights their unwillingness to make positive changes. Do they feel threatened about being left behind? Sometimes, these behaviours can even be quite well-intentioned. Either way, they are not helpful, nor will they help you get to where you want to be.

‘Crab in a bucket’ mentality is a very real part of human nature, but it doesn’t need to control your destiny. If achieving your vision of fantastic health is of utmost importance, you must find a way to make it happen. It will require a super strong resolve to stand your ground when temptations arise. It may mean spending more time with the people who want to support you and walk beside you on the journey. It may involve challenging and uncomfortable decisions.

It will definitely involve the most difficult question of all. Do you really want to escape the bucket? Are you truly ready for what awaits you on the other side? Or is it more comfortable to stay where you are, with all the familiar crabs and daily routines?

If you have doubts, that’s okay. No-one is forcing you to change. The status quo will remain, and life will continue, with all your current ailments (and probably more as time goes by).

Wait, what?

If that thought sends a jolt of despair and horror through your bones and makes you curl up under a blanket of melancholy, something has to change.

Fortunately, the top of the bucket is still right there! It’s beckoning you! It’s promising a world of opportunity for you to embrace!

What are you waiting for?

Take the steps, no matter how tiny, each and every day, to where you need to go. If you fall, pick yourself up and start again. Ignore the cries, pleas and pulls of the other crabs. They don’t get a say anymore.

Your big wide world is waiting.

So where will you be spending 2022? Inside the bucket, or out?

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You can also visit our book page here!


Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Heidi Jennings is a Holistic Health Coach specializing in Plant-Based Nutrition. After a health crisis left her bedridden and disillusioned with conventional medicine, she embraced a holistic approach to help her heal. She now runs her business alongside her husband Steve, and together they deliver holistic coaching programs to their clients. They specialize in chronic pain, anxiety and depression, stubborn body fat, menopause symptoms, autoimmune dysfunction, and sleep issues by focusing on the five pillars of health; nutrition, exercise, gut health, sleep, and managing stress. Heidi is also a guest speaker and the author of ‘From Living Hell to Living Well’. Her mission is to change the lives of 500,000 people around the world by empowering them to take control of their health and happiness.



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