hey guys i got a question for everyone and id like some serious discussion. laugh at me if you will but i am very very scared to sing in front of people let alone an audience. i love singing almost just as much as i love playing guitar though. i recently recorded myself singing and i cant stand the way my voice sounds. how did you singers out there feel the first time you heard yourself? and how can i grow some balls and get out there and not be afraid to just yell like i enjoy so much?
i've got the same problem. I hate my voice, but the few people I've sang in front of say im pretty good. I sang in the choir when I was little, and that helped me a little bit. I guess the best way to get over it is to just get out there. Now only if I could take my own advice...
I've been working on my singing for three years now and I'm only recently starting to feel comfortable with my voice.

That said, you gotta just stick your neck out there. Try just joking around a bit. Like if you're with your friends just start to sing a song that pops into your head. Don't worry about it sounding good, just sing and have fun. You may not think it, but doing this helps your ability to sing (seriously) in front of people.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
You'll always hate the sound of your voice when you first hear it. That's the way of the world.

The idea behind singing lessons then is to train your voice to get the sound you want.

In terms of being scared, that's completely understandable. Your voice is the most personal instrument you can get - it IS you. So criticism on your voice can be taken pretty badly in some cases, Slash tried to sing at first and someone told him he was crap, so didn't sing much after, for the rest of his life.

But all you can do is keep on trying until you sound better. Daily practice, lessons etc. Keep recording yourself and try out different things.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
You can't let you be the judge of you. You're not good enough to be yet. If other people say that your voice is good. Let yourself believe that. If you think you suck, it only takes one mistake for your mind to "prove" that you aren't.

If you still just have trouble breaking out of your shell, join choir. If you sound bad, the other people will make it sound better. If no one sounds good, you won't stick out. Also singing with music is another good way to feel better.

Now what to do if people say you are bad. Believe them. Get better. Show that bastard that you're awesome. Now you're good.
This is as much a personality thing as it is a technique thing. One sort of helps the other. If you're not afraid to sing, you'll probably sing well. Just have fun, that's the biggest thing. On the other side of the coin, as you get better, you'll have less a problem singing in front of people. You just gotta do it and let people laugh at you when you suck. I think the only time people will be malicious toward you and make you feel embarrassed and shitty is if you suck and take yourself seriously. That's a recipe for disaster.