Self-consciousness is a huge problem for us when we lack confidence, because it broadcasts neediness and insecurity to other people. It also makes other people feel ill at ease around us, especially women. Our social interactions suffer, and our self-confidence becomes even more undermined as a result. It's a viscous cycle. So overcoming self-consciousness is an essential step in becoming a confident man.
This is one of the biggest issues I've struggled with in my life, arising as a chronic fear of what other people thought. As a result, in the past I always dressed conservatively and had a conservative hairstyle. This was dreadful as far as attracting and relating to women went.
A big breakthrough for me came a couple of years ago when a stage production I was in gave me an excuse to dye my hair blonde. Getting over the fear of what other people would think and say when I showed up with blonde hair was a big step for me at the time. And the more I've gone down the path of overcoming self-consciousness, the more I've found women both comfortable around me, and attracted to me.
Last month I decided to quit shaving and grow a beard. Never done that before. Hey, why not? Some people like it, some people don't like it. One girl friend said it made me look more manly because I have a boyish face. Another didn't want to kiss me and said I should get rid of it.
It turns out that whatever you do, some people will approve and some will not. Freedom comes when we get over needing the approval of the nay-sayers and just do what comes naturally. The way to get over this is to try something new as an experiment, and then find we can deal with the people who tell us they don't like it. Something like going blonde, growing a beard, or shaving your head is the easiest way I know to make a sudden shift in our perspective, without going through hours of therapy, meditation or reading heaps of self-help books; good though all that stuff is.
The Leukaemia Foundation have a fundraising event called The World's Greatest Shave which is the perfect excuse for shaving your head for the first time. Women are always saying that they like a guy with "confidence", but often we struggle to work out how to get it. This is the easiest confidence-booster I know, and I've tried a lot of things! It's fun, and you're bound to have a breakthrough or two when you do something you wouldn't normally, and the women of the world start seeing you in a new light.