The 'No One' hitmaker was stuck trying to chase after this "image of perfection" but she now realises it was actually a really "oppressive".
She said: "I was building my life around this image of perfection, and it was really oppressive. I was clearly a woman who wanted to talk about truth and empowerment and strength, but when I really looked at myself, I realised that my whole life I've kind of been putting on a mask."
The 39-year-old singer admits her father's absence in her childhood really affected her.
She added: "For me, a seed of worthlessness was planted in childhood. As well-intentioned as Craig was, and as much as he was dealing with in his own life, his absence impacted me in ways I'm still uncovering. It left a hole in me."
And whilst Alicia felt she was trying to "live up to all these fake ideals" as young star, she feels more of an "open book" now.
She told People magazine:: "I wasn't fake, but I was trying to live up to all these fake ideals. It was like a habit. I had to start to break it ... I feel more like an open book. That's a beautiful thing."
Meanwhile, Alicia - who has sons Egypt, nine, and Genesis, five, with husband Swizz Beatz - previously revealed motherhood changed her way of thinking about a woman's place in the world.
She said: "You literally have a tiny being who could not even survive without you and something about that ... I remember waking up to habits that I had. I tied a lot of my value to the amount of things I could get done in a day. I think that's a very womanly thing to do, this idea of 'how many people can I make happy?'"