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ESCAPING THE CRAB BUCKET - Why don't we set boundaries with the people holding us down?

Crab Bucket: A phenomenon that when crabs are placed in a bucket: if one crab tries to climb out, the others will pull it back down, preventing any from escaping and ensuring mutual failure. 

One of the more difficult part’s of my job, is helping people make the conscious choice to leave the past, and people that harm them behind. I know from experience, that when we change physically and mentally, we can only get so far if our environment doesn’t change. Even the thought of signing up for one of my courses can come with a feeling of discomfort and the idea “Do I really want to change?”


I was sad when I lost a client this year who was in an emotionally abusive relationship, and wasn’t ready to admit it to herself. I would watch her demeanour change when her partner walked into the room, and all the tension we alleviated would flood into her system, her posture would change and “She had to go.” I never pushed her to talk about it, I am not a registered therapist, but I offered her tool’s she could come to in her own time.


For the record, I love this client, she is strong, intelligent and very kind. You might ask yourself: Why would someone who was clearly in a bad situation not leave or speak up for herself?

Sunk-Cost Fallacy: A phenomenon whereby a person is reluctant to abandon a strategy or course of action because they have invested heavily in it, even when it is clear that abandonment would be more beneficial.


In abusive relationships, and power over dynamics, people can be overwhelmed with guilt about needing change. They positively project good qualities and memories  towards their situation, and ignore the more negative aspects. People are afraid to let go of the good qualities that they see in a person, or the benefits they get from a workplace, because they believe that doing so will create too much stress in their lives. 


It’s amazing how much strong people tolerate under the guise of keeping the peace:


  • Suppressed Ambition: Letting others discourage them from pursuing higher education or starting a business, suggesting that it's unrealistic or that they are abandoning their roots.

  • Gossip and Criticism: Tolerating those who gossip about and criticize them for making strides in their career or personal development, trying to bring them back down to “their level”.

  • Being Undermined: Having hard work and achievements undermined, whether in academics, sports, or career, out of jealousy or rivalry.

  • Discouragement: Being discouraged from pursuing certain career paths or educational opportunities, fearing it might change dynamics or lead to estrangement.

  • Negative Peer Pressure: Being pressured into unproductive or harmful activities instead of feeling supported around goals and ambitions.  

Why do we tolerate bullying and abuse? 

It can feel very scary to advocate for ourselves, or set boundaries around behaviour, especially if in the past people have reacted badly to our independence. We are genetically wired for social cohesion. In prehistoric times it was essential to our survival. Small hunter-gatherer groups relied on cooperation for hunting, gathering, and protection from predators and rival groups. Maintaining harmony within the group was critical because: individuals depended on the group for food, shelter, and safety. Speaking out against a group member, especially a dominant one, could lead to social ostracism or expulsion from the group.

You are not a cave person, you are capable of change.


This is why I curated The Boundary Babe to create gentle and progressive shifts!


  1. We get really clear on our why -  by exploring our values, our dreams, and our future goals. We tune into our bodies wisdom using tool’s to understand and regulate the nervous system, so your not looking through the lens of survival. 

  2. We un-learn the adaptive behaviours that have kept us surviving - usually this shows up as people pleasing, over-committing, conflict avoidance, emotional suppression, and self-betrayal. Using mindfulness techniques, systematic frameworks we let these changes happen gently and progressively.   

  3. We learn to make compassionate peace with reality - As I explained in this newsletter, survival dynamics are usually subconscious and not malicious. Instead of trying to change the world, we change the way we see relationships, and answer the age old question is the juice worth the squeeze?  

  4. We set boundaries - setting boundaries can feel scary, but by now you will have the confidence and self-awareness to know what you need to do and why. You get frameworks and language to have hard conversations.  

  5. We deal with the Crab Bucket - I always thought it was wild that teachers and coaches will teach skill’s but not leave space to integrate experiences. This is why in the final two weeks you have support to deal with the grief and discomfort that comes with boundaries and the space to reflect on your change. For the record, there's usually a lot more joy than grief. 


This course is not for everyone.


I created The Boundary Babe for people who want to shift from feeling: 

Overwhelmed -> Empowered

Resentful -> Appreciated

Exhausted -> Energized

Neglected -> Seen

Anxious -> Calm


If you feel like you have been doing everything you can to heal, but keep getting pulled back down this program is for you!


When I created this course, I did it understanding how difficult it can feel to advocate for yourself and make meaningful change. This is why:

  • You have a group of friends that will not only cheer you on as you get out of the crab bucket, they will lift you up! 

  • Instead of worrying about what’s going to happen as your life shifts, I will be with you every step of the way providing a clear roadmap to change.

  • You get a Guidebook for Grief that can help you understand and process every hard emotion that comes up.   

It’s time to stop keeping peace on the outside, just to feel conflicted and upset on the inside. It’s time to set boundaries babe!


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