Transition vs. Change :: the neutral zone…

Learning to make it through the neutral zone is one important aspect of transition. Bridges points out that this uncertain time could last months, or even years. In chapter four of Managing Transitions, the neutral zone is described by Bridges as “a nowhere between two somewheres…forward motion seems to stop while you hang suspended between what was and will be.” Feels like my life right now… 🙂

Some more thoughts from the book…again, direct quotes:

“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear…It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.” -Marilyn Ferguson, American Futurist

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” -Andre Gide, French Novelist

“One of the most difficult aspects of the neutral zone is that most people don’t understand it. They expect to be able to move straight from the old to the new. But this isn’t a trip from one side of the street to the other. It’s a journey from one identity to another, and that kind of journey takes time.”

“Moses took care of transition’s ending phase when he led his people out of Egypt, but it was the 40 years in the neutral zone wilderness that got Egypt out of his people.” 

“The neutral zone is not the wasted time of meaningless waiting and confusion it sometimes seems to be. It is a time when reorientation and redefinition must take place, and people need to understand that.”

“People need to recognize that it is natural to feel somewhat frightened and confused at such a time.”

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” -Henri Bergson, French Philosopher

“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.” -Walter Lippman, American Journalist

“The key…is to look at the neutral zone as a chance to do something new and interesting–and to pursue that goal with energy and courage.”

“Neutral zone creativity is the key to turning transition from a time of breakdown to a time of breakthrough.”


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