Jennifer Lopez's journey from from Fly Girl (on the TV show "In Living Color") and backup dancer for New Kids on the Block in the early 1990s to one of the powerful women in entertainment wasn't drama free: She says she experienced doubt and criticism along the way.
"Because I was Latin, and I was a woman, and I was Puerto Rican, and they were not giving me the same pass that they gave everybody else at certain times," Lopez told GQ Magazine.
"But honestly, I don't like to harp on the negative or feel sorry for myself."
Instead, Lopez, 50, says she would focus her energy on getting better and not let other people's doubts or actions derail her.
Her mindset was — and still is — "Just be resilient. They'll give up," she told GQ about dealing with critics.
While there were moments "where it got to me more. Where it kind of took me down for a second," Lopez says she never stayed down for long.
"The energy was always in just getting better, doing more growing, and driving myself. To be better, all the time. And creating more opportunities for myself," she said.
But Lopez says "there's a double standard," when it comes to ambition.
"I'm incredibly impatient. I want everything now. It's hard for me to tolerate a slow pace. I get annoyed with it. I don't like the word 'no.' Like really bad," she said. As a woman, that comes across as not being "nice" or "warm," she says, while people don't tend to say that about men.
But Lopez says the good news is that she found someone with a same level of ambition as her. In September, Lopez announced her engagement to former Yankees player Alex Rodriguez.
"We're really alike in our drive, in our ambition. He's an athlete. He wanted to be the best. I'm the same way. I just want to be great at what I do. We're both like that. We're both super-hard workers. We're driven by our passions. And we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other," Lopez said.
What's more, Lopez says A-Rod has also taught her a lot about business since they started dating in 2017.
"He loves business. He went to business school online and took classes, and he just had a real passion for it," she told the magazine.
Now, Lopez is doing a lot more investing and owning businesses as opposed to being in the licensing business. Forbes ranked Lopez as No. 76 in its top celebrity earners for 2019, with estimated earnings of $43 million.
Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.