Selena Gomez Talks Giving In to Pressure: ‘I Lost Sight of Who I Was’

Selena Gomez

Steve Jennings/Getty

updated 03/28/2014 AT 8:00 AM ET

originally published 03/27/2014 AT 7:00 PM ET

After a rough start to 2014 that included a trip to rehab, Selena Gomez is opening up about issues she’s been struggling with – some which may have led to her choice to seek treatment in January.

Taking the stage at a We Day conference in Oakland, Calif., the singer-actress – who stunned in a red pantsuit and remained poised throughout her speech – told a screaming crowd of fans that she had “given into pressure.”

“I’m surrounded by people who are supposed to guide me, and some of them have and others haven’t,” Gomez, 21, told the audience. “They pressure me you gotta be sexy, you gotta be cute, you gotta be nice. You gotta be all these things.”

And though she’s grown up a bit differently from her fans – with the eyes of the world on her every move “including – the star stressed she can relate to what they go through every day.

“You all have pressure that you have to deal with every day I’m sure with school, with work, with friends, with parents, with family. They tell me what to wear, how to look, what I should say, how I should be,” she continued, getting emotional.

“Until recently, I had given into that pressure. I lost sight of who I was. I listened to opinions of people and I tried to change who I am because I thought that others would accept me for it.”

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