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This article was originally published on Sept. 27, 2018.

“I’ve always been a go-getter,” actress Nina Dobrev says. “I like to be lazy and I like to take time for myself, [but] that’s usually at the end of a long day because I’ve kicked ass.” The 29-year-old actress, best known for her roles on Degrassi: The Next Generation and The Vampire Diaries, took a leap of faith when she jumped into the industry and moved to Los Angeles (later Georgia) for her roles.

Dobrev credits her support system when discussing her success, saying that family, friends, and Dobrev’s latest addition to her inner circle (pup Maverick) are a top priority.

But fame hasn’t always been easy. The actress says she went through periods in her early 20s of striving for perfection. Once she let go of that pressure, she began to thrive.

Learn more about Dobrev’s journey through fame, as well as her kickass favorite workout, in the video above and in the excerpts detailed below.

Nina Dobrev
Credit: Meredith Video Studio

Boxing babes: “Boxing just makes me feel like a badass,” Dobrev says. “I’m strong. I’m confident. I can defend myself.” But working up a sweat on her own isn’t quite as fun as doing it with a friend. “Sweating alone sucks. When you sweat together, it feels better,” she says.

Career changes: From filming Degrassi in LA to living in Georgia for about six years for The Vampire Diaries, Dobrev says she learned to let her career take her where she needed to go. “I didn’t really know what was going to happen when I moved to LA years ago,” the actress admits. Over the years, she’s learned to ride the wave. “I feel like the more you plan things, the more the universe will push against you.”

Perfectly imperfect: Dobrev knows that her fans look to her social media accounts to get a real sense of her personality. But she acknowledges that platforms like Instagram usually only show a highlight-reel version of her life. “In my early 20s …  I did truly strive to be perfect in every single way. And as I got older I realized that that’s not realistic and people are flawed. I’m flawed,” she says. “I try to live an authentic life to the best of my ability. I definitely have bad days too and that’s what people need to remember. I try to remind myself not to be obsessed with perfection.”