#1
I have no problem playing lead when Im just goofing off or improvising, but I want to start taking it seriously now. Im more of a rhythm player but I want to be a guitarist that can switch between lead and rhythm guitar easily, that way I can feel like Im more well-rounded.

When I look at solos in songs I feel intimidated and I think, 'dammit, I cant do that!', even if I clearly can when Im not putting conscious effort into it. Am I just thinking too much about it and should I just jump into things with both feet?
Just a man and his strings..

Quote by sloppyjoe24
Girls like to take team dumps. Simple as that.

#2
honestly it comes down to practice, and learn songs that you like the solo in.

take your time and learn the solo. it will help you immensely.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#3
Start out with a simple melody you like and then 'improve' it if you like. I don't believe those complex solos on songs actually started out like that.
#5
Learn slow. You might have to repeat one movement for weeks before it feels comfortable. Aim for 2 things

1. comfort always
2. accuracy always

Then speed. Speed only increases discomfort. If you aren't comfortable at 40bpm, you won't be at 60 or 80 or 100 etc. The whole point is to train your nervous system to be "let go" and allow for the speed.

You see, you already have enough power to play super fast. But the nervous system won't allow it, because it's unusual and new. It's all a matter of getting your nervous system to "be cool" and give you the ok to play fast. But you gotta work your work up slowly to get it to do that.
#6
Quote by 6StringBlazer
When I look at solos in songs I feel intimidated and I think, 'dammit, I cant do that!', even if I clearly can when Im not putting conscious effort into it. Am I just thinking too much about it and should I just jump into things with both feet?

Thinking too much.... just start practicicing more. Work at it.
While your sentiment is pretty normal... your attitude is really important.
If you convinced yourself already that you cannot do that.... then you probably never will

Dont' think... KNOW that you can play anything (given enough practice) because it is true.

Also, pick any guitar player that you idolize.
Now realize that player was once at a point in life where they had never even touched a guitar yet. They were no different than you are now.
#8
you learn how to play by playing. if you wait until you know what you're doing to start, you'll never begin.