Creative thinking requires clarity and the ability to think freely. This means we need to remove the blocks, which cause us to ignore certain options, simply because we assume something.

Untested assumptions kill creativity

Assumptions that have not been tested, can be a massive barrier to creative thought and creative problem solving. They cause us to discard possibilities and just as importantly, they can stop us following the lines of thought, which often lead to the answer or insights we need.

For instance, I recall working on the solution to a problem for a friend of mine. I came up with a possible answer within 30 minutes, but dropped it almost as quickly as I thought of it, because I assumed she would never go for it. It turned out to be the exact answer she needed. My hesitation to offer the answer for her consideration, means she wasted 3 months looking for an answer, which I could have given her almost immediately, had I not wrongly assumed she wouldn’t use it.

Assumptions that often block Creative Thinking

Here are just a few common assumptions, which we need to challenge if we want to think more freely:

  • That things have to be done a certain way.
  • That a person, whose help we need, will just say no.
  • That because no one else we know is already doing (whatever it is), it must be wrong.
  • That we will be unable to get the funding we need.
  • That it will take too much time.

The bottom line here, is to allow yourself the freedom to think, without barriers. Remember, once you have tested an assumption, it’s no longer an assumption.

Until then, never assume anything. Explore all possibilities.

Photo: The Tire Zoo