Normani Says Being in Fifth Harmony 'Took a Toll' on Her Confidence: 'I Didn't Believe in Myself'

Normani is feeling like a "BO$$."

The "Motivation" singer, 24, opened up in the latest cover story for Women's Health about her life in lockdown and how she keeps her high self-esteem after being in Fifth Harmony. (And PEOPLE has a first look at the cover!)

“[It] alters the perception you have of yourself," she said of being overlooked in the group originally comprised of her, Ally Brooke, Camila Cabello, Dinah Jane and Lauren Jauregui. "Having certain things happen so blatantly while also feeling like the 'other' and being so young and hearing the public compare [us] took a toll on my confidence."

"For a long time, I didn't believe in myself because I didn't feel like I was given the opportunity to," she told the outlet.

Today, she says she does daily positive affirmations to start her day to boost her self-esteem.

"I look at myself in the mirror and manifest and speak things that I want to happen as if they already did as if I'm already that version of myself," she said. According to the outlet, some of Normani's go-to statements include You are one of the greatest entertainers. You are a representation for an entire generation. You have purpose.

Another boost in her confidence has been receiving the support of one of her favorite artists: Rihanna.

"It's alarming when people you've looked up to, respect, and who kind of define who you are believe in you," Normani said. "But it definitely gives me confidence."

"I'm grateful to feel seen and heard and like I can be the voice for so many people. Being a Black woman, I feel we're so multifaceted and have so much that we're capable of," she added. "It's really important to show Black girls and Black boys they can be anything they want to be."

The singer, a self-described "overachiever," also opened up about making music and how she's held herself at a high standard.

"For a long time, I was stressed out about checking boxes like, 'Is this Black enough? Is this pop enough?' But music started feeling way better when I just went into the studio with the mentality of being Normani," she said. "People will always remember how you made them feel and what a record did for them. My lyrics have more depth, and they're more intentional and come from a more authentic place, because I now feel more connected to myself than before."

While she perfects her new music, the musician said she misses performing as she hunkers down during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm at home when I'm onstage,” Normani says. “I don’t feel misunderstood, judged, like I have to fit inside a barrier. I feel like I can be anything."

"Hopefully, in the next few years I'll have life a little bit more figured out," she later added. "But if I don't, I'm okay. I don’t think we ever have it all figured out. But anything that God has placed on my heart, I want to be fearless in."

Normani's cover story for Women's Health is out now.

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