I was trying to figure out a blog post when I saw notes from an earlier post where I offered advice (free advice at that) to young (beta) men. Discovering such notes offered an easy way out of actually writing something from new, so here it is.
[I was probably going to write on the Occupy Wall Street protests, so it is not as if you were going to get anything very original or incisive.]
They say “clothes make the man” or perhaps it is “the man makes the clothes” Either could be correct: good dress sense makes a great difference how others see you, but a confident man can make many styles (including very casual) look good.
Even in this age of corporate casual, a man should own, and be comfortable wearing a suit. Fit and materials are far more important than high style or designer names.
The fit and materials admonition counts for more than just suits. A no-brand tee shirt and jeans that fit well will be more flattering than designer brands that do not. Many of the gurus will tell you how observant women are regarding clothes and brands. This may be true, but I would guess that they notice more how they look on you (fit, color, style) than the designer name. So ignore trying to figure out what is in, instead make sure your clothes flatter you. This not about becoming a foppish clotheshorse (unless that is truly part of your style) but taking just a little care in your attire (sneakers and baggy tee shirts may not always be the best thing).
However, do not expect your clothes to carry you. Never rely on your clothing alone to project confidence, authority, or your personality. Indeed a good exercise is to see if you can project status while not dressed well (e.g., get good service in a restaurant while wearing baggy tee shirt and jeans, gaining some interest from a woman while dressed in a tracksuit, etc.).
If you really do have a style your own, and are comfortable wearing it (last is most important) then by all means peacock away, otherwise do not worry too much.
Just say yes to drugs – maybe
Anxiety can be a game killer. It can set up self-reinforcing loops: anxiety leads to poor performance, leads to anxiety. A beta blocker (how very apt) called Propranolol has been used by performers to calm stage fright, and sportsmen to stop hand tremors. Its primary use is to control blood pressure. Its mode of action is block certain stress hormones (adrenaline, etc.) A side effect of this is to calm the fight or flight response. By calming the fight or flight response it also calms feelings of stage fright (which are basically the same thing). Beta blockers may actual generate a reverse tolerance, you may find your need for them drops because you have broken the anxiety loop. As with any drug or supplement the rule is start low and go slow. Try a low dose first (perhaps one half, or even, one quarter of a tablet), and slowly increase the dose if required.