What is self-esteem? Self esteem is the reflection of our opinion and judgement about ourselves; it is also the importance we place on ourselves as human beings. Most of the time people with low self-esteem don't even have actual proof of their beliefs and judgments against themselves.
One of the things that gives origin to low self-esteem, is having and maintaining negatives beliefs. It is important to know that negatives beliefs and negative thinking can occur independent of the existence of negative circumstances. In general, negatives beliefs are the result of one's early experiences in life; once the person "owns" and believes those kind of beliefs , are then reinforced by biased thinking and assumptions.
Don't believe everything you think! What does this mean? That we sometimes hold ideas and misconceptions that are limiting our life experience; we don't need to believe everything we think; thousand of thoughts flow through or mind everyday, it is up to us to check and validate our thoughts. In the case related to people with low self-esteem , most of the time they need to work on their beliefs, judgments, and concepts to determine when those beliefs have been originated. Opening their eyes to a different reality will help to release those beliefs, and improve their self-esteem.
Another important thing that affects people with low self-esteem is the tendency to be very self-critical; even in some cases, the prejudice they have against themselves make them disregard their own successes.
Positive thinking helps , but it is pivotal to determine the causes that lie underneath this self-defeating behavior. It is important to find out how low self-esteem was establish and what has been done in order to maintain it. Once the causes and the reasons to hold onto these beliefs have been identified , it is really beneficial to formulate an "action plan " to change the behavior by changing the misconceptions and the negative behavior. Having inner and outer support, and using every experience as a stepping stone in one's personal growth makes a huge difference.