I was stung by a Giant Asian Hornet. I quickly found out that worse case scenarios didn’t help. Instead, a can-do attitude may have saved my life.
In South East Asia, where I lived, there are several species of giant hornets. These wasps are about the size of a man’s pinky finger in thickness and length. You can actually hear them fly by from 5 feet away!
There was no consensus among my friends about what happens to a person stung by a giant wasp. Some said you will die. Others said you might be paralyzed, hospitalized, or have heart failure – then die. Either way, the universally agreed upon strategy was to avoid being stung by giant wasps.
One day, I rode my motorcycle to the store. I left my helmet resting on the bike’s mirror. While inside the store a giant wasp flew into my helmet and was trapped by the clear face plate.
When I came out of the store I grabbed the helmet and put it on. Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain on the top of my head. It was like a pin sticking me. I removed my helmet and felt my head. Then, I saw a giant wasp buzzing angrily behind the clear face plate.
I had been stung. On the head no less. By a giant Asian hornet as big as my finger. Worse case scenario: I was going to die.
Why Worse Case Scenarios Don’t Help
I had been stung in the head by a giant Asia hornet. In my mind, panic was just under the surface waiting to be released. A worse case scenario didn’t help me one bit. There are a number of reasons. Here are a few:
- Focuses on negative. Our attention and imagination works toward negative, rather than positive outcomes.
- Causes unnecessary worry. Most things I worry about don’t happen. Those that do were not improved by worrying.
- Can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We notice the information that confirms what we are thinking. We can notice the bad to the exclusion of the positive.
- Takes away energy. Worse case thinking eats up a lot of energy. We can become paralyzed; unable to move forward.
The Power of A Can-Do Attitude
The first thing I did was sit down and assess my head for swelling, my breathing, etc. I said to myself, I am not about to die from a wasp sting.
When I realized that I was still breathing and my head hadn’t doubled in size, I phoned a nurse friend. She asked if I had any prior allergic reaction to bee stings. No. Am I’m breathing ok? Yes. Is my head swelling up? No. Prognosis: I’ll be fine. She told me to make sure the stinger was out and take some Benadryl.
A can-do attitude kept me from panicking and doing something stupid like wildly rushing to the hospital. A can-do attitude is like this:
- Focus your mind on what you can do. You have control of some things. Especially, you can control our thoughts and emotions.
- Make small steps forward. Move and keep moving. Each small step builds on the others, moving you toward your objective.
- See your success as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Decide that you will move forward. Decide you can and will accomplish your objective. You begin to see ways forward.
- Use your energy for forward movement. Use all your energy to move toward surviving and overcoming. Don’t give up any energy to worry.
A can-do attitude and clear mind was much more helpful to me than becoming panicky over worse case scenarios.
When a worse case scenario pops into your mind, say, “It’s possible, but not likely.” Instead take refocus your thoughts. Put them into action to move forward.
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