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Jennifer Lopez is loved by fans around the world. Although she appears confident, she admits she went through a time when she worried about what others thought of her. J.Lo says she’s now at a point in her life where she doesn’t concern herself with outside opinions.

Jennifer Lopez learned to follow her instincts

Jennifer Lopez wears a leather top and flowing skirt as she goes up to accept an MTV award.
Jennifer Lopez | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Lopez tells Billboard she learned to trust her instincts. For example, she says there was a time when she was told not to do American Idol. However, she felt like it was a good choice for her, so she decided to become a judge on the popular show. This turned out to be a great choice for her.

“I got offered American Idol. “Everyone said, ‘Don’t do it.’ But I followed my own instinct, and it turned out to be right.”

Although Lopez felt joining American Idol was a good move, she noticed her movie career had slowed down. She decided to take matters into her own hands and created her own movie projects.

“Once I did the reality TV route, even though I was making good money and had reintroduced myself to the public, my movie career was nowhere,” she tells the publication.

Lopez says Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, her Nuyorican Productions partner, encouraged her to create movie projects for herself. “And right now, my movie career has never been better,” adds Lopez.

Jennifer Lopez doesn’t worry about what others think  

Lopez tells Billboard she used to be concerned about what other people thought of her, but later in life she realized it didn’t really matter. “It really came to fruition for me when I got snubbed for an Oscar,” says Lopez. “Because it did hurt. But I realized I don’t need to prove anything to anyone.”

Instead of working hard to impress people, Lopez says her focus is now on surpassing her last accomplishment. “Look at my life right now,” says Lopez. “All I do is try to do something more exciting, more creative and more impactful than I did last time.”

It wasn’t always easy for Lopez to have confidence in herself. She says she used to struggle with self-esteem because of her critics. When she first started her music career, some people put her down because they didn’t think she had what it took to be a singer.

“I don’t let the opinions of others really influence how I think about myself,” says Lopez during a panel discussion with Thrive Global. “And that took a long time,” she continues. “In the early part of my career, I did. And it made me feel really bad about myself.”

Jennifer Lopez on being an icon

Lopez says constantly changing the game is what makes a star an icon. Although she received resistance, she went ahead and pursued careers as a singer, actor, dancer, and producer. Lopez was told it’s best to stick to just one area, but she chose to follow her heart. She realized that at the end of the day she needed to have peace about her decisions.

“Icons wind up changing the zeitgeist a little bit,” Lopez tells Billboard. “They do something different than how anybody has ever done it. From the minute I started in this business, I wasn’t going to be put in a box.”

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