Monday, May 31, 2010

Stages in Transition

There is a difference between change and transition. Change is something that happens which we may or may not choose. Transition is my response to change.

Change is from the outside. Transition is from the inside.

William Bridges outlines the three stages of transition (notice the books from the previous post):

1. Ending, losing, letting go. Transition begins with loosing something.

2. The new beginning. Eventually, something new will start.

3. The neutral zone. The key to understanding transition is this stage. It is the in-between time. The old is gone. The new isn’t fully operational. This is usually a time of confusion, disorientation.

Notice in the illustration that often one will be in all three stages at the same time. There will be the fear and sadness of the ending. There will be the excitement of the new opportunities. And on the same day will be confusion and wonder if anything will ever be normal again.