If you want to know the meaning of “Crabs in a Bucket” mentality or phenomenon, this article will be very helpful.

It explains exactly what this is and reveals tips that can help you get out from being one of the crabs in a bucket!

It also answers some of the frequent questions you and others might have about this crabs in a bucket mentality.


Crabs in a Bucket Meaning

Evidently, if you observe a bucket that contains a number of crabs in it you will observe how the crabs endeavor to escape from that bucket.

First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Rather than helping each other out, they literally claw escaping crabs down towards the bottom portion of the bucket.

Consequently, none of the crabs escape from the bucket as each one pulls the other down to their level.

If crabs could talk, basically their actions are saying if I can’t make it out neither can you.


The Crabs Bucket Mentality

There is probably some truth to the idea that if you want to be a millionaire you should hang out with millionaires.

Another expression of individuals sharing the same thinking and realities of life is that “birds of a feather flock together.”

These expressions are all well and good if you are enjoying your current situation.

However, if your current situation is not where you want to be or you want to escape a negative situation, there are some steps that one can take.

This is especially true if an individual finds themselves in a financial hole and trying to claw themselves out from that dark place.


Personal Story of Crabs Bucket Syndrome

I found myself in a dark hole a number of years ago. Fortunately, my spouse was very encouraging and practical in her helping me to escape that hole.

She didn’t give me the money per se to decrease my debt but gave me something even more valuable. She provided me some opportunities to learn about my attitude towards money and honoring the expenditure of my life’s energy to earn money.

This was the best thing she could have done for me as it revolutionized my thinking about finances.

She also shared a poem about an individual who was struggling with an issue in their lives.

The gist of the poem was she kept going down this same road time and time again and would fall into this hole that was on this well-traveled street.

One day, rather than going down that same road she went down a different path and that made all the difference in her life.

So it is with my financial journey that I chose another path.


10 Tips to Help You Escape the Crabs in a Bucket Mentality


1. Enough is Enough

The first critical step in escaping the “crab bucket” and existing with other crabs is to come to the point where enough is enough.

Generally, this point is reached when an individual realizes that they are spinning their wheels or keep doing the same thing over and over and not getting anywhere.

Perhaps you’ve heard the definition of what insanity is. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Welcome to the crab bucket.

Therefore, if someone takes you out of that bucket, the tendency to return is a strong possibility.

This is due to the fact that the situation may have changed but the mentality or the person’s thinking has not.

It is those situations in which an individual is addicted to something and change never occurs until they hit rock bottom.

Change or transformation never occurs until the individual wishes to be transformed.

Also See: Growth Mindset Examples and Tips to Help.


2. Leave the Crab Mentality

So, the reality of leaving the “crab bucket” is to answer the question is the person ready to leave?

This can happen in a number of ways.

One of those ways is for the person to realize that it is a dead-end or the “boiling pot” is ready to consume the crab if they do not escape the bucket.

This realization can occur when the individual continually gets dragged down by the other crabs, is enlightened as to the effect that has on other individuals, or, most important of all, escapes from the bucket because it needs to be done for them.

Another way that an individual can be removed from the crab bucket is through the help of another.

This help is not offered to forcibly remove the individual from the circumstance but through mentoring, counseling, and other methods to provide self-discovery, the individual sees for themselves the futility of their actions.

Also See: How to Have Money Values and Why Having a Budget Is Important.


3. Get Education

Another powerful method of getting out of the “bucket” is through education. Often, individuals stuck in a rut or a negative situation are not aware that things can be different.

Education can be provided through reading books or listening to testimonials of other people who have been in that same situation.

This education can raise the awareness of the individual and provide practical steps and inspiration for escaping their negative circumstances.

Also See: Meaning of Tall Poppy Syndrome and Examples & Financially Sound Meaning.


3. Set Goals

Getting out of the bucket is oftentimes not a once and for all action. Sometimes it is a progression.

Therefore, as part of that progression, it is important for the individual to set up goals or take baby steps and achieve those goals through one actionable item after another.

It is often the mantra of Alcoholics Anonymous that they always remember that they are alcoholics and that in order to overcome this disease they need to successfully take one day at a time.

So, it is for the resident of the crab bucket. They should set goals and work on those goals daily as part of an empowering process.


4. Recognize other Crabs

Another powerful way of escaping the bucket and staying out of the crab bucket is to recognize other crabs.

They are those individuals who don’t want to see you escape or get ahead in life. The old axiom of misery loves company is true.

When we’re all together in the bucket, we can be fairly content with our situation and not worrying about improvement because nobody else has improved their situation.

Therefore, we are as happy as clams in a crab bucket.

You can recognize other crabs by the way that they talk.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Often their conversation is negative and expresses their outlook in life by saying things like “I’ll never get ahead in life because nobody in our family ever amounted to anything”, or “I can’t break my debt cycle because my dad and his dad were like that”, etc.

Recognize other crabs and distance yourself from them and their claws trying to hold you back.


5. Change the Way You Talk

Along the same lines, it is important to listen to yourself and hear what you are saying.

Do your doubt your abilities?

Do you hold yourself back personally because of perceived influences, etc?

Watch out for words like I can’t do it, or they can’t do it.

It is important to use language that is positive and encouraging. Don’t give in to the crab mentality but utilize words such as I can, and I will in your vocabulary.

Be positive and inspirational in your thinking and in the use of your powerful words.


6. Focus on Your Growth

By being in a crab bucket an individual is limited as to what they can see or what is beyond the parameters of the bucket.

Therefore, in order to escape the crab bucket, it is important to expand one’s vision and see what is beyond the restrictive containment of the bucket.

It is imperative that the individual continually focuses on their own personal growth.

This can be accomplished by associating with other individuals who have a growth mentality.

Also, it can be accomplished by educating oneself through formal training and reading self-help books penned by other individuals.

A practical step can be taken during commuting. Insert a self-improvement CD or place on your playlist personal growth affirmations or teachings from life coaches who focus on positivity.

This should be done on a daily basis.

Also See: How to Be a Travel Agent Working from Home and Making Money While Sleeping.


7. Encourage Others

As part of your development process, it is also important not to forget about those that are left behind in the crab bucket.

Obviously, you can’t change their mind or pull them out if they are not willing to do so.

However, by encouraging others and being an inspiration as to what is beyond the crab bucket, others may then be strengthened by your experience and endeavor to take the same route.

By encouraging others, you are not only helping them, but you are solidifying your chosen new transformational path.


Crabs in a Bucket


8. Challenge Yourself

The human spirit is meant to be challenged. If we are not challenged and make an effort to meet that challenge and succeed, we like an unused muscle will experience atrophy.

This means that something that is not used withers. Atrophy is the non-use of human muscles. If they are not strengthened by exercise, they will lose tone and strength.

So, the human spirit needs to be exercised through challenges that are faced.

Additionally, there may be times where old thoughts may try to reenter one’s mind and influence actions.

It is important to recognize those thoughts, challenge them, and distance oneself from their venomous influence on people’s lives.


9. Set Boundaries

In endeavoring to get out of the crab bucket and stay away from its confinement, it is important to set boundaries.

Specifically, there will be, at times, a reemergence of individuals who see that we are endeavoring to change our thinking and working towards a healthy outlook on life.

Possibly, in their jealousy, they will sometimes seize the moments and whisper in our ear the old haunting negative assertions about who do we think we are, or do we think of ourselves as better than others?

Therefore, it is important to set boundaries, and even despite potential friendships, boundaries need to be established. If those individuals cross those boundaries, they need to be called out and be avoided altogether.

One needs to remember that it is not selfish to think about yourself. Remember, we are called upon to love one another as we love ourselves.

By setting boundaries we are affirming our love for ourselves.

Also See: How to Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Really Need.


10. Believe You Can Do It

It is possible to escape the crab bucket despite the fact that one is pulled down to the level of crabs trapped in that bucket.

You can escape the bucket. You can be more and do more by leaving the confines of that restriction and bettering yourself bettering the world and your sphere of influence.

Remember, it is a process that contends with lifelong thinking and actions that need to be addressed.


Crabs in a Bucket Mentality FAQs


What Causes Crab Mentality?

There are many reasons why crab mentality is demonstrated.

Some of the motivational factors of exhibiting crab mentality, not only in the workplace but in everyday lives, are envy, jealousy, and spite.

It is that negative factor of not wishing to see anybody else succeed and therefore the crab mentality pulls those crabs wishing to excel back down into the bucket.


How Does Crab Mentality Affect Businesses?

If there is a crab mentality in the business, it will be demonstrated by a lack of teamwork amongst the employees.

Nobody wishes to see anybody else succeed or be perceived as excelling in their job.

Therefore, the business will suffer from dysfunctional teamwork and most likely will overflow into the business dealings with customers as well as reducing the financial bottom line.


How Does Crab Mentality Affect Our Personal Finances?

If an individual accepts their crab mentality when dealing with their finances, they will have difficulty in becoming financially independent.

Their thinking will be that if their family was never good at finances neither will they.

Also, if they subscribe to the idea that they never have nor will they ever be good at finances, this is an example of crab mentality as well as a self-fulfilling prophecy.



As this article has revealed, it’s indeed possible and even easy to escape this mentality.

Now that you have read this article:

  • It is time for the great crab bucket escape.
  • It is time to leave self-limiting beliefs expressed by others and ourselves left behind in that crab bucket.
  • It is time to stop flocking with the turkeys and soar with the eagles.

And what’s even more awesome is that – you can definitely do it!

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Previous articleHow to Become a Beekeeper & 10 Best Ways to Make Money
Next articleHow to Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Really Need (20 Helpful Tips)
Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!