Liminal or Threshold Zone


The second of the three stages of inner transition that accompany your outer journey to your vision is called the liminal stage. (The previous one was separation.)

This is the chrysalis or cocoon stage between the caterpillar and the butterfly. In this intermediate stage the old structure has been lost and the new structure has not yet formed.

This can be an unnerving and scary time for people, especially if it lasts for any length of time. People may feel uncertain, disoriented, lonely, and vulnerable.

There are three priorities for navigating this phase successfully. First, remind people of the outer vision you are working to build. Second, use the ambiguity and lack of clarity of this time as an opportunity: for experimentation and to build your inner leaders. Third, start to live the values and principles of your vision now.

Explaining to people that it is normal to feel uncomfortable during this time may help to reassure them, especially if you emphasise that it is only temporary. Reminding people of the future vision will distract them from the uncertainty they are experiencing, and give them something to align with and to hold on to.

Even better is to use the lessons of Chapter 3 and see the challenge of this time as an opportunity: an opportunity not only to build the outer solutions that people are seeking, but also the strength of their inner leaders.

At the same time, use this time to implement the values and principles of the future vision now. When issues arise, are they important under the new vision, or can they be ignored? If they are important, how can we handle them as if we are already living the future vision now?

Following these simple pointers can enable you to navigate the liminal zone quickly, building the inner aspects of the vision now, seeing the difficulties as opportunities to build your people’s inner leaders, and putting in place the culture and values of the new vision from Day One.

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The third and final stage is called Incorporation or Consolidation.

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