Why switch your thinking?

I am a great fan of Simon Sinek’s idea of Start with Why?

His core idea is that for too long business leaders and brand managers have started with the what and how and ignored the why.

Sinek’s proposition is that leaders should start with Why first.

Starting with why is around building a purpose and giving people a reason why they should consider changing.

So with this in mind.

Why switch your thinking?

A good starting point might be why do people switch not only their thinking but every other part of their life.

For example:

  • To gain new experiences (switch to a new travel destination)
  • To stretch yourself (switch industries)
  • To learn something new (switch roles)
  • To get ahead (switch lanes whilst driving)
  • To accelerate progress (switch to another gear)
  • To boost self-confidence (switch your hair style)
  • To take a chance (switch from being an employee to starting a business)
  • To escape a tricky situation (switch conversation)
  • To overcome a downturn in a project (switch directions)
  • To have a break (switch off)
  • To concentrate (switch on)
  • To adapt to an unexpected change (switch priorities)
  • To try something new (switch channels)
  • To surprise an opponent (switch stance in boxing, switch hit in cricket)

As you can see there are many reasons to switch.

What i like about this list is the idea of agency, you can decide to switch if something is not working out or you need a change or want to improve a situation.

Whatever the reason you can switch.

What’s more when you switch it often gives you a sense of adventure, creative expression and letting go of the past.

Sure it involves risk, trial and error and no doubt making mistakes but that is when we learn and grow.

So let’s apply these lessons to thinking.

Why switch your thinking?

Perhaps the same principles apply?

When you switch your thinking you feel a sense of control, choice and creativity.

In my workshops people talk about an ‘aha’ moment, when they see a situation in a new light,

New possibilities emerge.

They feel a burst of energy much like trying on a new outfit.

Change becomes not a burden but provides a sense of possibility.

Now imagine the reverse.

What if you never switched your thinking?

You would be stuck in the past.

You could not adapt to a change in the environment.

It would be boring for you and your clients or customers.

Your personal and professional growth would stall.

Your competitors could leap ahead of you.

So let’s agree that being able to switch your thinking is a great idea particularly in a changing, uncertain, complex world.

But here’s the rub.

Switching your thinking is not as easy as it seems.

This is because of:

  • existing thinking patterns that have been formed by past experiences
  • your thinking is based on what has worked before
  • your usual approach is efficient
  • safe and comfortable and
  • becomes your habitual way of thinking.

It’s why I developed Switch Thinking.

You need to proactively bring about a switch in your thinking otherwise your default approach will dominate.

This is the essence of Switch Thinking.

The good news is that it is a fun, creative and energising way of changing the way you solve problems, make decisions, innovate and grow.

It involves using a number of switches e.g. Switch Perspective.

For example:

How might my CEO see this situation?


How might a clown see this same situation?

This switch is instant.

You can see and think differently in a moment just like switching on a light.

My key message is this.

You can switch your thinking at any time, for any reason.

It can unlock new possibilities and opportunities for creativity, learning and growth.

You can be strong on your values, principles and purpose and still switch your thinking.

It’s a way of adapting to a new world order.


Check out the 6 Switches Canvas. It’s simple, practical and free.