Act like a victorious lobster
Lobsters have their home on the ocean floor and they favour secure places where they can live and hunt for prey. They know that territory matters. However, great spots are always in short supply. So territory-seeking among lobsters produces conflict. Conflict, in turn, produces another problem: how to win or lose without the disagreeing parties incurring too great a cost. This latter point is particularly important. Over the millennia, animals who must co-habit with others in the same territories have in consequence learned many tricks to establish dominance, while risking the least amount of possible damage. Lobsters are no exception.
There are often fierce territory battles between lobsters, with one winner and one loser. It doesn’t take that long before lobsters, testing each other out, learn who can be messed with and who should be avoided. And once they have learned this, the resulting hierarchy is fairly stable. All a victorious lobster needs to do, once he has won, is to wiggle his antennae in a threatening manner, and a previous opponent will quickly vanish in sand.
In the aftermath of a losing battle, regardless of how aggressively a lobster has behaved, it becomes unwilling to fight further, even against another, previously defeated opponent. It will simply lose its confidence. Sometimes the defeat can have even more severe consequences. If a dominant lobster is badly defeated, its brain basically dissolves. Then it grows a new, subordinate’s brain: a brain that is more appropriate to its new, lowly position. Its original brain just isn’t sophisticated to manage the transformation from 'king' to 'bottom dog' without virtually complete dissolution and regrowth. You – as a human being – may have experienced such a painful transformation yourself, e.g. after a difficult moment in your relationship, your life, your career, etc. The question is: how do you react to these dark moments?
Lobsters who have lost a battle will react in a very typical way: they will quit trying, accept their lower status, and keep their legs attached to their body. There will be no more energy and no more willingness to fight. Some people, when they are defeated or when something goes wrong in life, act very much like lobsters who have lost a fight. They lose their pride. They face ground. They feel threatened, hurt, anxious and weak. They feel completely changed (just like the brain of a defeated lobster).
However, bear in mind: if you present yourself as defeated, then people will react to you as if you are losing. However, if you start to straighten up, then people will look at and treat you differently. So whatever the circumstances, walk tall and look ahead. Dare to be dangerous again – even after being (of feeling) defeated. Do not allow people or circumstances to change you or the perceptions about yourself. You may lose today, but you don’t have to continue in that mode. Look for your inspiration to the victorious lobster, with its 350 million years of practical wisdom. Stand up straight. And fight back.
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