Jennifer Lopez oozes confidence.
Whether the 44-year-old is stepping out on the red carpet in a revealing dress, performing provocatively at one of her concerts, or sitting behind the judges' table on "American Idol" — which Fox has confirmed that she'll do again in the upcoming season — it's tough to believe that Lopez is the slightest bit insecure about anything.
But in the new issue of Cosmopolitan, the woman of many talents says that it's only recently that she's learned to be comfortable with herself, citing the birth of her twins Max and Emme, 5, as the time when she finally began to feel as confident as the image she was projecting.
"The biggest insecurity I had was my singing," she admits. "Even though I had sold 70 million records, there was this feeling like, I'm not good at this. And while I was married to Marc [Anthony], he helped me get over it. He kept telling me, 'You're the only one holding yourself back from reaching your full potential as a singer. You have to let go' … I was always so insecure and just kind of going along. Then I grew, little by little, and realized, wait a minute, this is not a fluke. I'm not a mistake — I work my ass off. And I know what I'm doing."
J.Lo is obviously doing something right. Forbes estimated that the former Mrs. Marc Anthony earned $45 million between June 2012 and June 2013, and that number could go up next year, thanks to her return to reality TV and other ventures, including a clothing and home line for Kohl's.
While it would be easy to let her team deal with those projects, the star prides herself on what she brings to business meetings.
"Everybody in there might be more business-minded, but for me, if I'm talking about marketing or promotion or why a piece of clothing is made, it all comes from an emotion," she notes. "I'm more of an artist, so when I'm able to use that muscle, I feel like I'm in my element."
Still, Lopez recognizes when she's taken a misstep. She immediately apologized for serenading the repressive, dictatorial president of Turkmenistan at a concert in that country in June. A rep claimed that the concert was to entertain some executives working there, and that a last-minute request was made for her to send a birthday wish. Lopez, the rep said, would not have performed if she'd know about any human rights issues.
"I know that being seen as a role model means taking responsibility for all my actions," she notes. "I am human, and of course, sometimes I make mistakes. But I promise that when I fall, I get back up. When I am wrong, I will learn the lesson and move on to face other challenges. For me, that's what creating your own life is. Doing your best work while being your best self."
Right now, a big part of Lopez's honest life is her relationship of nearly three years with her 18-years-younger choreographer boyfriend Casper Smart, whose actual name, appropriately enough, is Beau.
"For me, it's about having a great partner to walk this life with," she explains. "I have my own high standards for what I want in a partner and how I want to be treated. I bring a lot to the table. I'm not talking about material things but what I have to offer as a person — love and loyalty and all the things that make a good relationship."
Read Lopez's full interview in Cosmo's October issue, on newsstands September 10.
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