Selena Bares Her Soul (And Tears) to Fans

Selena Gomez is an inspiration to many for many reasons. She chose to take control and commit herself to rehab for emotional issues. She won a Young Humanitarian Award for her work as a UNICEF ambassador. She wrote the catchiest power ballad for believing in yourself that has ever been played to death on the radio in the last five years. And Thursday afternoon, Gomez was one of the many celebrities who participated in the We Day California conference, where she confessed to finding a lot of people an inspiration in return — specifically all of the fans who supported her through her lowest points.

"It does more than knock the wind out of you, it crushes you, when people try to tell you that you're not good enough," Gomez said to the cheering audience at the conference, which is held to empower young people to take action and be the change they want to see in the world. There were tears in her eyes as she opened up about her past during her eight-minute speech, and her voice began to crack when she reflected over losing herself in the pressure of other people's expectations.

Until recently, I had given in to 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. And I realized I don't know how to be anything but myself.

Gomez managed to pull herself together in the end and was all smiles in the group photo she posted on Instagram after the conference with the caption "#Weday -unbelievable time. So inspired and hopefully encouraged many!!" Watch the whole speech below.