Ellie Goulding opens up about imposter syndrome: “I didn’t think I deserved any success”

Ellie Goulding said she suffered with imposter syndrome when she was entering the music business, especially when she was told her voice was too unusual to be a lead singer.

Speaking with Bustle, Ellie, who celebrates her third wedding anniversary today, opened up about an interaction she had at the start of her career that rocked her confidence.

“I’ve always remembered this guy telling me I should stick to playing guitar because I’m really good at guitar, that my voice was really quite unusual and not to everyone’s taste,” she recalled. “It made me really, really insecure.”

Ellie added she wasn’t very sure of herself back then and didn’t have it in her to tell the guy off, admitting, “I was really affected by what other people thought of me.” She added, “I had impostor syndrome; I didn’t think I deserved any success… I was so apologetic.”  

Thankfully, she came into her own and has this advice to those who grapple with the same insecurities: “When you begin to shave off other people’s opinion of you rather than your opinion of yourself, your life becomes a lot clearer.”

And, if presented with the opportunity to speak to her younger, more insecure self, Ellie would tell her, “Please just believe in what you’re doing. Keep moving forward and stop waiting for other people’s validation in what you do and who you are as an artist and performer.”

Ellie knows it’s unlikely she will ever time travel, so she focuses now on improving her confidence and embracing who she is.  

What’s helping her out is a resurgence of her 2010 hit “Lights,” which has blown up on TikTok. Ellie says she’s “thrilled” more people are discovering her music. 

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