There are crabs in this post but not the kind you were thinking of, shame on you…

One of the nights last week in Temple Bar, amongst the usual mixture of hard work and banter, we got talking about one of Danny’s personal training client’s results and how happy he was with them (he was in the room, we weren’t talking behind his back, we’re nice like that).

This guy started training about 14 months ago and he told us that when he let it slip to a friend about his new adventure he replied:

“You’ll never stick to that, there’s no point starting.”

the-crab-mentality (1)


Imagine that?

Somebody trying to make a change and then their friend, spouse, family member, or anyone close to them for that matter, trying to make them fail before they’ve even started.

It sounds crazy, but it is more common than you think.

These people are called saboteurs. Sometimes they don’t actually realise they are doing it. More often than not, it is not pre contemplated or malicious – it is subconscious.


It’s because they have tried and failed before so they:

  1. Automatically assume you are going to fail because they did,
  1. They are afraid you might succeed because they failed, or 
  1. They aren’t in the same situation as you and don’t understand WHAT you are doing or WHY you are doing it.

Well, there may be a ‘4’. They might just be an asshole and they CONSCIOUSLY don’t want you to succeed. In which case, you should eject this person from your life immediately.


Make a little more sense now?

These people are all around us. You may even find yourself doing it sometimes now that I’ve mentioned it. It’s a shit part of human nature, but it is there and it rears its ugly head more often than we’d like to think.

A great analogy for this is the ‘crabs in a bucket’ scenario.

Have you ever seen crabs on a pier just after they’ve been caught in a fairly shallow container? It looks like they can get out because there’s no lid, but they don’t. You can see the crabs clambering towards freedom and then all of a sudden some little jealous asshole pulls them back into the bucket condemning them to become somebodies appetiser later that evening.

Think to yourself now, is there anyone holding you back? Telling you:

-“You spend 2 hours training in the gym per week, that’s selfish” 

-“You look fine the way you are, why bother?” (when you’re not happy, it doesn’t matter what they think) 

-“Oh, you’re going to the gym, I wanted to go to the cinema tonight” (as if you can’t go before, after or the next day?)

-“You’re so selfish, we could spend that money on a new sofa so that we can scratch our ass and watch X-factor”

I don’t want you to dump your partner or tell your mates to take a hike, just be aware that it is happening and make your OWN decision. Don’t be influenced by nay-sayers.

Sound good?


Bryan Kavanagh BSc. CSCS


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