Inspiring People

Inspiring People

At a basic level, people make sense.  We might not be able to see it at the time or work out what it is that makes sense but ultimately we do – make sense!  For me mentoring and coaching is a chance to walk with others as we try to make sense of what it is that’s going on.

Transitions are a period of life when things seem to be up in the air and there doesn’t seem to be much sense.  Sometimes there is a known destination.  Sometimes the outcome is unknown.  Sometimes there is a fuzzy picture of what might be there but it’s not that clear.  It is definitely one of the trickiest times to manoeuvre through.

And thinking about this season when it is the end of the academic year, there are often a lot of questions.  Questions from students and those that they live with alike!  Whether it’s thinking about a change of schools; exam results; university subject choices and locations; apprenticeships; career options; or holiday work.  It’s all going on.

Yet in all this, it is wonderful to see the clarity that takes place when the pieces begin to fall into place.

As a coach and mentor it has been my privilege to have seen this from both sides in working with young adults as they transition from college to the great beyond and parents/carers as they support and direct.

I don’t believe in the answer to a personal question being “I don’t know”.  I get it if it’s a math or science-based question that has facts behind it.  I would have to answer “I don’t know” to most of that!  But if it’s personal that’s different.  To me “I don’t know” means that the answer needs to be dug out.  Walking through this transition with someone is a great chance to dig it out of them.  I can’t answer the questions for them because it’s not about me.  But I can help them find the answer for themselves.  As I mentor someone it’s those moments when the lightbulb goes off in their head that gives me delight.  Something has fallen into place and they know what they want to be doing or even what they don’t want to be doing.

These moments don’t happen every day but when they do they are the drive that keeps me going as I journey with someone.  It’s exciting to see these life-changing moments.  But so is the journey in getting there.  Every time I meet with someone we build on our relationship and take small steps toward this lightbulb moment.  At times it feels like we’re wading through mud making no progress.  Every so often it feels like we’re gliding through.  But there is always hope and there is always something to take away as we move forwards.

And that excites me when it comes to mentoring and coaching!  There’s always hope!  The hope is just emphasised when there are those lightbulb moments but it’s always there.  It’s great to see the hope coming to light in those who I meet with.

Josh Hardingham is a counsellor and psychotherapist working in Ireland.  He was trained in theology and worked a youth pastor in England for several years before moving across the Irish Sea with his wife where they are involved in many aspects of local church.  He has a passion for youth and young adults in helping them see the potential that they carry and how that can be brought to fruition through coaching, mentoring, and counselling.  For more information about him visit

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