Self esteem reflects how people value or regard themselves. It is their opinion about themselves in various aspects, say, whether they consider themselves good at a particular job, their beliefs for example: "I am confident", "I am the worst at cooking", "I look great", "I can never handle this situation "and so forth. self esteem contributions significantly to the overall development and it boosts a person's confidence.
Low self esteem can lead to dissatisfaction and unhappiness in life. For instance if a child works hard for an exam and he or she scores well enough, sometimes average, but the child is not happy because he or she has aimed for an above average score. This can make him or her feel inferior and incompetent. This feeling also can be blown out of proportion when teachers, parents or other important people in the child's life get angry, upset or annoyed by the child's so called "poor" performance. These external effects do not help and really can put a child down.
There are several ways to improve self esteem. First you need to think positively; never consider yourself inferior to anyone. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, so if you do not perform well at a job, never compare it with others who do very well but work harder and do not lose hope. This may just not be your forte, there may be something which you do brilliantly, look out for them.
Next you will want to try doing new and different things in your life and discover your strengths and weaknesses and accept weaknesses with as much pride as you identify your strong points. Nobody is perfect.
Finally, always be proud of yourself, value your qualities which may be small but very unique. Say, you pray before you eat, you whole heartedly congratulate when someone else does well in life, and you help friends in times they are in need. Do not undervalue such minute but priceless things in life. View "making mistakes" as another opportunity to learn. Do not set unreasonable targets; accomplish your goals in installments. Do smaller things more effectively rather than taking up a huge responsibility.