Taraji P. Henson says she 'wouldn't be as successful' if she had this one bad habit

Taraji P. Henson has conquered a lot to get to where she is now.

Henson's role as Cookie Lyon on Fox's "Empire" has cemented her as a household name, but it was a long journey for the actress to get to where she is now. And, for as many fans as Henson has around the world, she has had no bigger cheerleader than the one she has in herself, which is a quality that she credits for a lot of her success.

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"I'm in an industry where all you do is compare and get compared," she told AOL Entertainment on a recent phone call. "You feel yourself being looked at in every room. I had to get that in control for myself, though, because if I let those voices run around in my head, I probably wouldn't be as successful as I am."

Of course, in 2017 when life can oftentimes seem like one all-encompassing Instagram filter, that's easier said than done. "Instagram doesn't help," Henson admitted, though she notes that there are things she makes sure that she does in her everyday life that combat that pressure to compare oneself to others.

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NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 05: Actress Taraji P. Henson attends Black Girls Rock! 2017 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on August 5, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 05: Actress Taraji P. Henson performs onstage during Black Girls Rock! 2017 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on August 5, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 05: Taraji P. Henson poses backstage at Black Girls Rock! 2017 at NJPAC on August 5, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
NEWARK, NJ - AUGUST 05: Taraji P. Henson is seen backstage during Black Girls Rock! 2017 at NJPAC on August 5, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 23: Actress Taraji P. Henson sits courtside during a BIG3 Basketball game on July 23, 2017, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson on Season Four of EMPIRE premiering Wednesday, Sept. 27 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Pictured Clockwise L-R: Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Gray, Trai Byers and Taraji P. Henson on Season Four of EMPIRE premiering Wednesday, Sept. 27 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07: Taraji P. Henson attends the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Actress Taraji P. Henson of the show 'Empire' attends the FOX Upfront on May 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0641 -- Pictured: Actress Taraji P. Henson plays the 'Drinko' sketch on March 17, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson in the 'Toil and Trouble, Part. 2' season finale episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, May 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson in the 'Toil & Trouble, Pt. 1' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, May 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Taraji P. Henson arrives at the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Taraji P. Henson attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: (L-R) Actor Janelle Monae, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and actors Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer pose backstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Taraji P. Henson attends the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 25, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: (L-R) Actors Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae attend Vanity Fair and Genesis Celebrate 'Hidden Figures' on February 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson in the 'Toil & Trouble, Pt. 1' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, May 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 13: M.A.C. Viva Glam Spokespeople (R) Taraji P. Henson & (L) Jussie Smollett meet fans at M.A.C. Michigan Avenue Store in Chicago on February 13, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for M.A.C. Cosmetics)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 12: Taraji P. Henson on the Red Carpet at THE 59TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS, broadcast live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, Feb. 12 (8:00-11:30 PM, live ET/5:00-8:30 PM, live PT; 6:00-9:30 PM, live MT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Phil McCarten/CBS via Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Actress Taraji P. Henson attends the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 11: (L-R) Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae pose in the press room at the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson in the 'Absent Child' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, May 10 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: Taraji P. Henson poses at the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29, 2017 : (L-R) Kirsten Dunst, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae, co-recipients of the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award for 'Hidden Figures', pose in the press room during the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, the United States, on Jan. 29, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhao Hanrong via Getty Images)
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"I'm a good person with a pure heart, so if I'm coming from a place like that, there is no fear," she explained. "Like Lauryn Hill said, 'How you gonna win if you ain't right within?' It's about treating others the way you'd want them to treat you. It's that simple, and that's how I live my life."

"It's very important for us to support each other," she added.

Henson is also keen on helping people make smarter choices in an effort to better themselves. After all, in the social media era where an oversaturation of options can create anxiety, panic and, ultimately, people making the wrong decisions for themselves, it's important to know what choices are out there.

"Women spend 61 minutes a day thinking about food," Henson revealed. "Why are we doing that? Why are we wasting that time?"

To lower that number and combat women's anxiety around eating, Henson partnered with Special K to raise awareness about the issue, which she insists is all about awareness.

"Once you know better, you do better," she told us. "When you don't know you have better options, you pick the wrong ones. I don't think you should walk around with guilt just because you ate. You need to eat! You literally need nourishment. But why are we feeling guilty about that?"

"I like to look good," she continued. "I don't have to, but I want to; it makes me feel more confident about myself. Instead of picking up a candy bar, I'll go to Special K protein bites. It's about not consuming empty calories and knowing what's good for you."

After all, she said, "God made me perfect, and he made you perfect, too. If the universe didn't need you, you would not be here.

Amen to that.

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