Surround Yourself With Geese, Not Crabs

A wise man once said to me, “Joanna, don’t surround yourself with people who are like crabs. Surround yourself with people who are like geese”.

What on earth was he talking about?

He went on to explain himself and it went something like this:

You know when you go to the seaside and there’s lots of families dangling bits of bacon into the sea, on bits of string? Well, have a look at the behaviour of the crabs once they are captive in their buckets. Most of the crabs assume that they are going to die at any moment. 

This is it. Their numbers are up! 

Every now and again though, you get a plucky little fellow who makes a bid for freedom. It starts to scale the side of the bucket, hooks a pincer over the lip of its plastic prison and starts to pull itself towards its victorious escape. 

What a lovely tale of determination. 

It doesn’t end there though.  The other crabs, who have resigned themselves to their fate, don’t want the determined crab to escape. They want all of their fellow inmates to suffer the same fate. They could look at the escapee and be inspired by its tenacity, but they don’t. They feel sorry for themselves. 

They accept that they are victims of their circumstances and accept what is surely to come. So, they drag the would-be escapologist back into their fold. They don’t want “Tenacious C” to be free because they are jealous. 

Why don’t they follow?

They don’t believe they can. 

So, why would you want to be surrounded by geese? They are vicious creatures that hiss and peck, if you get a bit too close. A goose bite comes keen, let’s be honest, so why do we want people like that around us? 

Well, they work together in an extraordinarily effective way. 

They fly for miles and miles in their V formation and they take it in turns to fly at the front of the group, so that no one bird gets too tired and has to give up. They are a well-oiled machine, like a team of riders in the Tour de France – except there is no single champion flyer who gets the glory at the end of their epic journey. 

They have each other’s backs. 

They keep each other going. 

They are super team mates. 

Sure, they might hiss and be a bit aggressive, but only because they are protecting their gaggle.

Who wouldn’t want a team of people like that behind them (not the hissing and pecking)?

So, it is important to recognise the crabs among your number, so that you can ensure that they don’t use words or tactics that stop you from making your bid for freedom. 

We are highly influenced by the people around us and our subconscious minds take in what they are given, whether it is true or not. 

It is far better to have people around you that encourage and support you. That is obvious. However, if you have no choice but to be surrounded by crabs, then it is vital that you don’t take on their stories about the world. 

Remember to be good to yourself and to nurture your own positive thoughts. 

If you recognise that you might be a crab yourself, then it’s time to re-evaluate what is making you think and behave that way. 

What is stopping you from mustering some courage and climbing out of your bucket?

Oftentimes, what keeps people believing that they are stuck where they are, is FEAR. 

Fears grow and spread like wild fire. The more you talk negatively about something in your life, irrespective of whether or not it is true, the truer it becomes in your mind.

The truer it becomes, the less likely you are to take steps to change or move forward.

People get caught in situations that make them unhappy all the time.  This may resonate with you or you might recognise it in people you know. It is a dangerous situation to be in over a prolonged period, because it isn’t easy to just start thinking positively. 

There are lots of things that can be done to train your brain into seeing the world from a fresh and healthier perspective. The first thing is to acknowledge that, when you feel like there is no way to get out of the situation you are currently in, what you are telling yourself about your inability to move is probably not true. 

If you want to change the way you live your life, you need to pledge to yourself that you are going to make a concerted effort. 

Learn about the thought patterns that are damning you to misery and stop them in their tracks. 

For me, when I announced to my nearest and dearest that I was leaving my teaching career and starting my own business, there was a lot of crab-talk.

I ignored it. They thought I was being an idiot.

When I went through tough times...

When I felt isolated all on my lonesome, working from home...

I felt like I couldn't talk to anyone because they'd would tell me,

I told you so!

So, I found myself some geese.

And then, I created a community of geese for other women entrepreneurs to share advice, wisdom, solutions and friendship with each other.

Enter the Global Success Syndicate.

If this rings true for you, get yourself into a gaggle and make those moves that you've been avoiding.

For more info about the GSS, click here: