Shelvey spent three years working alongside the Reds talisman, who will captain Liverpool for the 400th time at the Liberty Stadium, and was seen as being the natural long-term successor to the 33-year-old England captain.
But Shelvey opted to leave Merseyside for Swansea in search of regular game time during the summer and has made an encouraging start to life in south Wales.
He can understand why his decision may have surprised some, including Gerrard, but he has no regrets.
"I said to him (Gerrard) that I might have to go elsewhere to get football, he told me 'stay here, you'll get your chance'," said Shelvey.
"It was great to hear that from him but I felt I needed to come away.
"You probably think I'm mad because that's turning him down to stay there but I felt I had to come away to play, I'm lucky that I've found my feet at a club like Swansea."
But Shelvey admits Gerrard has always been an influence on his career.
He said: "I've always tried to emulate him as a player. He has always been my favourite player but I suppose there comes a time in your life when you can't copy him. You have got to be your own player.
"I'm not going out there every game and saying 'I've got be like Steven Gerrard'.