I get this question from guys all the time. I can't just be myself because I am not worthy of anybody's love or attention. Being yourself really only "works" on women if you are actually confident in your personality. This is critical to dating and finding a relationship, but more importantly, it's critical to your happiness in general. If you are not confident in the value of your own personality, you have a larger problem than being nervous around women. So, let's go ahead and address that right now.
The truth is, you really have a lot of choices when you decide which attributes you have that define who you are. You really do get to choose. If you decide that there are certain things about yourself that you like and decide to make that a defining characteristic of "who you are", then that attribute is much more deeply rooted than your other, peripheral attributes. The same goes for those attributes that you don't like or think are negative.
Think about it this way... have you noticed that it's a lot harder for someone to get out of a depressed period in his life if he feels like depression defines who he is? It makes sense that this would be the case, since the belief that you can't change prevents you from ever even making a solid effort.
The same goes for confidence, skills with women, happiness, or whatever other aspect of your personality that you have. If you believe that not having confidence is part of who you are, you are doomed from the beginning.
When I mention things to my clients like "just be yourself", I'm talking specifically about the positive attributes that you see in yourself that you feel identify you as an individual. That could be anything from your humor to your "laid back happy" attitude, your intelligence, your persistence, your thoughtfulness and the list goes on.
I am specifically NOT TALKING about the things that you don't like about yourself or some made up theory of who you actually are in that cranium of yours.
Why is that? Because it's not useful to define yourself by behaviors you have that you feel are negative. If you want to be confident in who you are and who you want to be, you need to actually think of your personality as something worth having.
This does NOT mean that you can't or shouldn't change those behaviors that you feel negatively impact your life. You absolutely should!
Try this exercise.... make a list of all of the things you like about your personality. Don't think about why you like those things, just write them down. Decide today that those are going to be the qualities that define you as an individual. Not depression, or loneliness, or being bad with women, or getting nervous, or any other BS crap that you want to change. Just forget about all that for now it's not important.
Now it's up to you to nurture and expand those qualities of your personality that you like. If you feel like you are a funny guy, then be involved in humor. Read funny books, watch funny movies, listen to funny comedians, take a stand up comedy class, whatever, just make it part of your daily activities and routine. If you feel like you are intelligent, then do some crosswords... be well read, and exercise your mind. I read two books a week through MentorBox.
It doesn't matter what personality trait you would like to have in your personality arsenal....what's important is that you find a way to intentionally incorporate it into your daily life with some sort of activity. And really get passionate about it! For most people change is just too difficult...but the hope of change is always an easier pill to swallow. Take action on yourself. Only you can improve YOU!
Coach T Anthony