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Expectations are great when they help you think about what you want to accomplish. Expectations can also help you envision opportunities and problems you could face before they actually develop.

Expectations can also force you, however, to do things that aren’t good for you or even relevant to what you’re trying to make happen.

When expectations keep you clinging to the same old ideas or stuck in the same old ways, you have to do something to deal with them. We have a creative thinking exercise that can help.

A Creative Thinking Exercise to Try

Expectations-SignHere’s a creative thinking exercise for when expectations are boxing you in and stopping you from accomplishing new successes:

1. List all the expectations you or others have about a situation that is screaming for change. You may want to note whether each expectation belongs to you or someone else.

2. Imagine throwing out each expectation one by one and asking as each is eliminated, “What would I do or not do now WITHOUT this expectation in place?”

3. When you’re all done, ask yourself, “Which of these expectations am I now willing to quit recognizing?”

Can you use this creative thinking exercise to be more effective?

No expectations on my part about you using this creative thinking exercise, but I think you’ll be more creative and happier if you do use it…frequently. – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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10 Responses to “Creative Thinking Exercise – 3 Steps to Take Away Expectations”

  1. markallenroberts says:

    interesting post, thanks
    For years I have told clients ” expectations only make you miserable” and they challenged me.
    I will share this with a number of them
    Mark

  2. I was expecting this post, Mike. Thanks! 🙂

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