My Worse Case Scenario with Giant Asian Hornets

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:

  1. Focuses on negative. Our attention and imagination works toward negative, rather than positive outcomes.
  2. Causes unnecessary worry. Most things I worry about don’t happen. Those that do were not improved by worrying.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Focus your mind on what you can do. You have control of some things. Especially, you can control our thoughts and emotions.
  2. Make small steps forward. Move and keep moving. Each small step builds on the others, moving you toward your objective.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Question: What is your experience with worse case scenarios? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

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