Despite having proven himself musically with his stellar solo debut Mind of Mine, former One Direction member Zayn Malik admits he often feels insecure, and it can sometimes impact the public's perception of him.

“My entire life has changed in the last year,” he said, in an interview with Elle UK. "I'm still taking it all in. I've found so much out about myself. Mostly how in love with music I still was. The album is a build up of six years and never being able to express what I wanted to say. I had something to get off my chest.”

Zayn continued, saying his decision to quit the group came once he realized he’d reached a roadblock in his career, and that his desire to start anew stemmed from his own self-doubt.

"At that time in my life I felt I had done everything I could do there and I just needed to change it up. It didn't feel brave," he admitted. "I just don't have it in me to feel fully secure in anything I do. I always strive towards something better. It's why I think sometimes I come across the wrong way, a bit distant. I'm just stressed out trying to control how I'm perceived. I think about things a lot."

Since parting ways with One Direction, Zayn's taken a more candid approach with the press than the group's handlers allowed in the past. He recently admitted to struggling with anxiety, which caused him to cancel his appearance at the CapitalFM Summertime Ball back in June.

He explained via Instagram: “My anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me…with the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career.”

Zayn’s girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, offered him public support at the time via Twitter. When asked about why their relationship has lasted, Zayn said, "She's super intelligent, I think that's why it works so well. And we do the same type of job so we get that with each other."

Check out more quotes from Zayn's interview with Elle UK over at their official site.

Zayn Malik's Style Evolution