Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges

I have given away countless copies of this book to people in the throes of change, disruption, loss, confusion, disenchantment, and despair. It has served me well in my own challenging times of change and has informed my work throughout my career.

You many find yourself at a threshold where there is no going back to your old life and your new life is not yet here. The path to get there is uncertain. This is the nature of transition.

Bridges lays out the stages of transition.

Phase One: The Ending.

Every transition begins with and ending. This is a necessary part of change. Endings can be welcomed, anticipated, sudden, disruptive, or slow to come. Bridge’s advice? Take time to grieve the ending, as each ending is a death of some kind.

Phase Two: The Middle (neutral zone).

This in-between place can be filled with uncertainty, fear, anxiety, disorientation, and disengagement. One may feel a lack of control,, clarity, and confidence. Bridges advises slowing down, reflection, and retreat as a way to surrender and listen.

Phase Three: The New Beginning.

Following the neutral zone, there will be a new phase. You might be surprised to find that it does not look like you thought it would!