Woodbury, Long Island, New York (516) 340-0378
How to improve your child’s self-esteem

How to improve your child’s self-esteem

Life Coaching

Does your child lack self-esteem?

Your child’s biggest problem:
They defeat themselves in their own mind. That’s it.

By doing this, they are slowly over time killing their self-esteem which negatively affects their self-image which impacts EVERY aspect of their life.

When children lack self-esteem (aka self-love) they experience:

  • shyness
  • sadness
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • mood swings
  • anger outbursts
  • feelings of unworthiness
  • depression

Does this sound like your child?

All of the above IS fixable when you address the root issue: your child’s self-esteem.

Why your child lacks self-esteem?
(there can be many reasons, below is a common example with the many kids I work with)

Scenario: 1

Growing up, children are NOT taught to LOVE themselves or LOVE life. Instead at an early age, your child’s “intelligence” was measured by performance in every subject in school. Therefore, if your child did not excel academically, your child at age 6 (or whatever age) automatically was deemed “NOT smart”.

Scenario: 2

Conversely, if your child was lucky enough to excel in EVERY subject, then your child learned validation by manufactured benchmarks, such as grades. This created the pressure to perform in order to continue their validation of worthiness, all of which is exhausting, stressful and causes that dreadful “perfectionism” bug.

So regardless of whether your child fell into either scenario 1 or 2, that experience has shaped their self-image.

Now, should it have? No, of course not. Instead, we must teach our children that their worthiness comes from the inside and has NOTHING to do with outside accolades or other’s opinions of them. And that includes grades and everything else.

But unfortunately, the current reality lends to create a platform for your child at an early age to become very self-critical.

For example, self-critical thoughts based on the above scenarios include:

(Scenario 1) Does not excel academically:

  • I am not good enough.
  • I am not smart enough.
  • What’s wrong with me.
  • I have to study more.
  • I don’t study enough.
  • I am stupid.
  • I don’t fit in.
  • My parents are disappointed in me.
  • My grades aren’t good, so I am not a good student or person.
  • My teachers don’t like me.
  • My parents will take away my phone or privileges.
  • I’ll never get into college.
  • I’ll never amount to anything.
  • My friends are better than me because they are smarter.

Scenario 2: Does excel academically:

  • In order to be good, I MUST do well.
  • If I am smart and get a bad grade, maybe I am not smart.
  • If get a bad grade, I am disappointed in myself.
  • I must study, study, study in order to do well.
  • I must be the best to prove my worthiness.
  • I must be the best in order for my parents to be happy.
  • I receive positive attention from my parents only when I do well, so in order to feel loved, I must continue to do well.
  • I’m only as good as my last grade, which stresses me out about my next test.
  • What happens next year, if the work is harder and I’m not the best.
  • I MUST take A/P classes even though they stress me out.
  • If I fail at anything, I’m a failure.
  • I MUST do well in order to get into an IVY league school, so my parents are proud.

And the list goes on…

And I know, because I’ve worked with them. They put undue pressure on themselves to perform, fit in AND make you, the parent, happy. Let’s face it.  There is no wonder why kids’ anxiety and depression are at an all-time high. And just remember, the above scenario is pertaining to schoolwork and grades! There’s also the social aspect with making friends, succeeding in sports, the pressures of social media…and much more!

So, what’s the solution?

It’s simple. Kids must learn how to love themselves AND how to start loving life. Regardless of EVERYTHING ELSE. They must know that the only opinion of them that matters, is their own. And when they improve their opinion of themselves (their self-image), by focusing on their positive, unique qualities, they WILL feel better.

And WHEN they feel better, they will:

  • Stop equating their worthiness to their grades
  • Be nicer to themselves in their own mind (Stop focusing on the negatives and start focusing on the positives)
  • Be proud of their successes AND their failures (knowing that their success is in the ability to try new things)
  • Embrace their brilliance (not by grades, but by how they feel)
  • Love themselves so much (that they no longer compare themselves to others OR care what other people think of them)
  • Be more comfortable being around others (as they are more comfortable being themselves!)
  • Believe in themselves (no longer needing validation from anybody)

Because when your child starts loving life, life will love them back….

 Imagine that?


Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who has a private coaching practice located in Woodbury, NY where she teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve their self-esteem in as little as 30 days utilizing her signature Start Loving Life® “positive psychology” coaching system. For more information on how your child can start loving life® call today at (516) 340-0378.

How to improve your child's self-esteem
How to be happy
Life Coach for teens

Positive Thinking for Seniors: Why you’re only as old, as you “think”

Positive Thinking for Seniors: Why you’re only as old, as you “think”

Life Coaching

Getting older is not about decline. In fact, it is quite the opposite. So many things in our world improve with age!  But you must see it that way. So often, when people mention getting older, they line-list all the medications they’re on, complain about their body-aches and proudly display their new readers.

I get it. Living bodies age and change. But why on earth would you use those physical changes as a measure of how your life is going?  Your mind is much more powerful than your body.  Use that ever-growing, insatiable, vibrant, strong, mature bodily organ to gauge your health, regardless of the limitations of your physical body!

There are so many amazing things to enjoy and appreciate as we progress, evolve and grow. Why not focus on the opportunities that lie ahead, knowing what we’ve learned and using that knowledge as the catalyst to make the rest of our lives EVEN BETTER.

It’s strange to me how often that doesn’t happen and how people are actually using their age as an excuse or a way to hold themselves back from a continued lifetime of happiness.

It may not be easy in a world of negative stuff, but it really is worth the effort.  You should never be a slave to your age.  In fact, I dare you to use your age as a solid, powerful motivator to create the very BEST rest of your life.  And guess what?  YOU DESERVE IT!

Here are a few tips to follow right away:

Steer clear of your age. I’m not saying to be ashamed of your age. But don’t let it define you.  And don’t let other people define you by it.  Age shouldn’t be a benchmark for anything.  Plenty of people in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s 90’s and beyond are thriving, happy and healthy. Everyone is unique, taking their own path and defining what aging looks like. Be intentional and make your journey the very best.

Stop worrying. You’ve come this far. Don’t sweat the little things going wrong; instead focus on the little things going right. Appreciate the sunlight, the air you breathe and the very precious gifts we are given every morning we wake up. Life is what we make it and the more we appreciate our surroundings the better we feel.

Stop being hard on yourself. So often, we carry guilt from things we’ve done or screwed up. Who cares? Don’t ever let past stuff hold you back. Appreciate yourself for who you are: ALL OF IT. You did the best you could with what you had, and that is enough. Remember always, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Loveeeeee yourself. That’s right. Perhaps you have a loving family, which is always nice, but perhaps you don’t. Newsflash: You don’t need anyone to be happy! You only need yourself. Stop letting other people’s decisions or behaviors (including family members) influence your happiness. In the end, life is not about controlling others but only ourselves. Happiness does not come from others; it comes from within. Love yourself. All of you. When you do, it inspires you and everyone around you. Loving yourself is the best thing you can do, for you and for them.

And most of all, be proud of yourself. Life is not always easy and we’ve all had our fair share of struggles. Do your best not to focus on the negative; focus on the positives.  You’ve earned it. And YES, YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Long Island’s Life Coach, Connie Henriquez teaches people of all ages how to overcome stress and anxiety utilizing her Start Loving Life® “positive psychology” coaching system. For more information check out startlovinglife.com or call (516) 340-0378.

Get Rid of Your Child’s Shyness Once and for All

Get Rid of Your Child’s Shyness Once and for All


Why Your Child is Shy

I recently worked with a young girl “Sally” (age 14) who was shy. Her mother was concerned about her lack of social life. When I first met with Sally, she was reluctant. Sally’s prior counselor had given her homework she was not able to complete.

Her assignment:

  1. “At school, go up to someone you don’t know and start a conversation.”  
  2. “Midweek, make plans with one of your friends for the weekend.” 

Sally wasn’t able to do either. And not only did she feel bad about it, she felt worse than she did before.  Sally already felt bad for being shy, but now she felt the added emotion of failure as she was not able to fulfill her counselor’s recommended homework, even though the tasks seemed simple.

The result?

Sally became more self-critical of her “shyness” and more self-critical of her ability to act in order to fix it.

You see, what most don’t realize is that children “know” what they need to do to socialize. They see many kids doing it in school. That’s not the issue.  The issue is that Sally really isn’t shy.  She simply does not feel comfortable with herself, so she doesn’t feel comfortable socializing.

So, asking a child who feels insecure within herself to start a conversation or make plans with a friend is IMPOSSIBLE for the child.

The reason she isn’t able to fulfill this seemingly simple task is because the root issue is not being addressed: her lack of self-esteem. 

Sally is not socializing because she feels unsure of who she is, compares herself to others and tends to be self-critical of herself in her own mind.  So, it’s ineffective to encourage action on her part which, at this stage, is too advanced and will only set her up for feeling like she failed again.

Therefore, if you have a child similar to Sally, who is shy or maybe lacks friends, then do the only thing you can do: improve your child’s self-esteem.  Because children who have an improved self-image discover how to love life and most of all, love themselves.  And when that happens, their social life improves.

When you teach children to love themselves, they feel better, perform better and are more comfortable being themselves around other people.  If your child isn’t shy at home, innately your child isn’t shy. It’s as simple as that.  You must teach children how to feel comfortable with themselves first, and then and only then will they feel comfortable around others. Imagine that?

The end result: after completing my program, Sally found the confidence within herself. She stopped feeling bad about herself; stopped feeling as if something was wrong with her.  Nothing was wrong with her, aside from her not knowing her true worthiness. And instead of begging mom to change schools to find new friends, she formed new friends and even became more involved in school activities, all because she understood that the only thing necessary was loving herself first.

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who works with kids & teens who suffer from anxiety and common childhood insecurities. Her specialty includes teaching them how to be confident, happy, make better decisions and LOVE their LIFE in as little as 30 days (regardless of what they have experienced in their past). For more information check out Connie’s “30 Days to Happy” program here or call (516) 340-0378.

Top Success Principles for Lawyers Mental Health

Top Success Principles for Lawyers Mental Health


New York Law Journal: Too many lawyers mask for their struggles…

I was deeply touched by the recent Letter to the Editor by Joanna Litt who connects her husband’s significant mental health battles with the ever-mounting pressures and stresses of practicing law (NLYJ 11/16/18).  Joanna’s tragic story is one that has become all too common.  Her bravery to share her story is what compelled me to write this letter.  Unfortunately, her husband’s struggles were very common, very real and extremely pervasive within the legal industry.

Some attorneys have the courage to openly share their battles with stress, anxiety and depression.  However, too many others mask and hide their struggles for fear of being frowned upon, never seeking the help they need.  I applaud the 24 firms who have signed on to the American Bar Association’s Pledge to introduce mental health initiatives into the workplace and I encourage all to do the same. We must support our attorneys the same way attorneys utilize the legal system to protect us.  We owe it to them and we owe it to their families.

My work with many different professionals, including attorneys, has revealed certain “key principles” for living a happier, more fulfilled life. Once understood and implemented, these concepts can truly improve one’s mental health and overall well-being.   

The long-term solution lies in creating preventivemeasures to support and empower our attorneys to avoid the escalation of stress, anxiety and depression.

Here are the “key principles”:

  1. This is the most important step and the one most people find the hardest: the awareness that life can change. Many people become complacent and numb to the idea that life can be better. There is no reason for you to live a life less than what you deserve. This “key” is understanding that you too can have happiness and success. You have the power to have both and it starts from within. It’s understanding that anything you really want out of life stems from one motivating factor: your desire to be happy with yourself.


  1. Every person has the capability to be happy. But if you are defining your happiness based on your wins and losses, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Too often, attorneys feel they are only as good as their last success. This creates a bumpy emotional roller-coaster life of ups and downs and is the main culprit for stress, anxiety and depression.  You cannot define yourself by your work.  You must define yourself by you; whatever that means for you.


  1. Clarity of self. You must become clear about who you are.  You are not just an attorney.  You were someone before; that is who you really Your job is just an extension of who you became.  What characteristics made you, you?  What qualities did you have growing up that perhaps you suppress because it doesn’t fit your “lawyer” persona?  I’ve worked with so many people who were creative, fun and funny, but once they became attorneys, they hid their real selves and became too serious and conservative.  There seems to be this expectation that in order to thrive in the legal industry, you must think and act “like a lawyer.”  But when you embrace your true self, you will flourish as an attorney and more importantly, as a person.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Figure out who you are.  Once you do, you will develop your own style specific to you; you will feel empowered being who you are, not who others think you should be.  This will motivate you in a new way.  Being comfortable with yourself and gaining clarity on what makes you unique is a key to happiness.  Know who you want to be rather than some imagined expectation of who you should be.


  1. Be the best you. Stop defeating yourself in your own mind.  Attorneys are self-critical by nature.  Self-criticism holds you back.  Perfectionism should not be a goal, but a trait that must be recognized.  You cannot be perfect; nor should you strive to be.  You will win, you will lose, and you may even mess up royally.  It’s called life, and you will learn from each.  But take the lesson and move on.  Don’t get hung up on wanting to be the best.  Get hung up on wanting to be the best you.  And when you do, you will start to look at all your results differently.  You will no longer validate or define yourself by your successes or losses.  Instead you will define yourself by how you feel.  Only then can you attract the success you really want.


  1. Know what type of life you want. You cannot and will not be good at everything. So, what are you good at?  What do you love to do?  And don’t think about what your parents or your boss or the judge think you should do, think what do youwant to do?  Answer those questions and pursue those goals.  I’ve worked with trial attorneys who hated trying cases and the stress associated with being in court.  After some soul searching, they realized they were genius marketers.  What did they do?  They created a new business model based on advertising and marketing and referred their cases out to top trial lawyers.  That was a win for everyone!  Not everyone wants to be a partner in a firm and not everyone wants to run a business.  Choose what’s right for you.  Different positions require different mindsets.  Decide what’s right for you and move forward in that direction. Often the experience you find in one role will benefit you later.  I have seen many attorneys begin on the defense side of an industry, only to switch to the plaintiff’s side.  But the defense work clarified their next ideal job.  Every work environment opens our eyes to qualities we like, dislike and love.  Instead of complaining about hating your job, spin it as a positive – you now know what you don’t want!


  1. Get personal with your work life. Your work life and your personal life go hand in hand.  Pay attention to the positive qualities in your relationships, at home and in the workplace.  Give yourself credit for what you have and have accomplished and will accomplish.  But you must take care of your own well-being first.  Your partner or family want a happy you.  If you aren’t taking caring of you first, you have nothing to give anyone else.  Not in the way you want to, anyway.  You deserve a happy life and that certainly starts at home.  Appreciate what you have or be open to ways to change it or make it better.


  1. Set the tone each day. Every morning starts a new day.  You have the power to start the day any way you choose.  If you start your day rushed and disorganized, the rest of your day follows that mindset.  Start each morning by writing 10 qualities you like or appreciate about yourself.  Why?  Because starting your day feeling great about you, recognizing all the amazing qualities about yourself, allows you to show up to world differently.  You make better decisions.  You attract opportunities and experiences based on a mindset of owning your worth.  You evaluate yourself NOT on prior wins or losses but based on you.  Imagine that?  Liking yourself and feeling good about yourself just because?  It’s possible.  And when you practice feeling good about yourself, and appreciating yourself, you experience freedom.  This freedom creates the foundation for a happy life.  It all begins in your mind and how you view you.  Once you truly believe in yourself, you will experience less stress and anxiety.  You’ll have the power to create the life you want versus reacting to the life you have created by default or by some imagined expectation.


  1. Be open. Once you start appreciating yourself and stop defining yourself by your past you will allow your new bright future to unfold before you.  Life can and will be so much better once you understand the power you hold in your mind.  And when you develop a clear, more positive mindset early on, that serves as the long-term prevention we seek.  Only you know what’s best for you. And you deserve to be happy!


Be proud of yourself for reading this!  And remember that knowledge is power; knowledge about how to live your life to the fullest is freedom.  Investing in oneself is the only investment that guarantees a return.  Now aren’t you worth investing in?


Connie Henriquez, founder of Start Loving Life® is a professional development consultant who teaches attorneys how to overcome stress and anxiety in as little as 90 days utilizing her signature “positive psychology” coaching system. Connie works with mid-size to large firms on personal development and mental health initiatives including private counseling sessions, group programs and workplace seminars. For more information, visit: startlovinglifeforlawyers.com




What’s the secret to being happy every day?

What’s the secret to being happy every day?


There is only one thing to rely on for happiness in your life: The power of your mind.

Many people tend to complain and choose to focus on their problems, never realizing that the reasons for their complaints and problems stem from their own mind and their thoughts.

That is why negative people usually have the worst luck, nothing ever goes right for them and/or they are always sick or suffering from some physical ailment (neck ache, back ache, etc.)

It is also why happy, positive people tend to have good luck, things tend to work out for them and they typically have good health.

It is not a coincidence, people!

Consider the people you know.  Are they super happy, positive and loving life?  Or are they cranky-pants, stressed and just getting by?

Newsflash: Your world reflects back to you, how you think and feel.  Good or bad

So knowing this information, why do so many people continue to complain and focus on all the negativity around them?  Do they not believe they have the power to improve their life one thought at a time?

The great news is: YOU have that power!  And it’s easier than you think.

The first step is becoming more aware of what you think and speak about.

For example: When you wake up, you can be excited about the day anticipating a great day ahead.  Or you can dread getting out of bed and focus on all the reasons you don’t want to go to work.

Which will result in you having a great day?

And when you get to work, you can greet your co-workers in a happy mood, spreading the sunshine.  Or you can show up recapping how you couldn’t sleep and questioning whether it’s 5pm yet?

Which will result in you having a great day?

Then on your way home from work, you can recap all the amazing things from your day, such as:  so happy I got to work on time; Sally and I had a great laugh about that work project; lunch was extra good today.  Or you can focus on what went wrong that day, such as:  this was the longest day ever; Sally is so annoying; my boss has no clue; and I can’t stand this job.

Which will result in you having a great evening?

You guessed it! The person who deliberately looks for the good in everything finds happiness.  Now, will there always be stuff you don’t love? Of course. That’s called life.  But, you dohave a choice on what you give your attention to and what you choose to speak about.

So now that you know how your thoughts are responsible for how your life plays out, each and every day, how can YOU start thinking differently today?

Speak of your life as you want it be, as opposed to how it’s been.  Imagine your life how you want it to be versus how it’s been.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Just give it a try! XOXO!