Actress Anushka Sharma on Friday said that through most of her early years in the industry, she felt hyper-anxious because the boundaries and expectations from her were pre-decided.
Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2017 here, Anushka shared snippets from her childhood and how her values have shaped her as a person.
Talking about empowerment, she said it means "independence" to her.
"It's my ability to think, decide and take on life on my own. It also includes the ability to question and re-examine all that is supposed to be right or the established way of doing something. Most of what we do in our lives, with our lives, all that is shaped by the values we receive," she said in her speech.
"As kids, our minds are so impressionable, we soak up everything we see and hear around us, that shapes our personalities," she added.
The "NH 10" actor said her father always told her to do the right thing, however difficult it is, and that's the secret to living happily.
"Success in life is never guaranteed, leading a righteous life will at least be peaceful and you will never regret. Stand up for what's right, no matter what.
If you feel strongly from within that you're being treated unfairly, don't accept it," said Anushka.
Talking about the experience of entering Bollywood, she said: "I became increasingly aware of my gender and that the boundaries and the expectations of me were pre-decided, this didn't make any sense to me. Most of my early years in the industry, I felt hyper-anxious," she said.
She also revealed that her decision to turn producer was welcomed with shock in the industry.
"I questioned all established norms. I wanted to be a producer, which was treated with shock often. Common perception in the industry is that only those female actors become producers who are to wrap up their careers in a short while."
Anushka was briefly joined on stage by actor Suraj Sharma, who stars in her forthcoming production "Phillauri".