Everything's been coming up Beyonce lately—there have been pretty awesome surfboard new albums, rapturous concerts, addictive music videos, adorable imitators, and even celebratory trips to Dave & Buster's. It feels like Beyonce has figured out how to nail it (it being everything)—but as she explained to the crowd at the School of Visual Arts yesterday, putting this album together was a real challenge: "I was terrified. I was so scared. I already envisioned like the worst things that could happen," Beyonce said. "I was really nervous because this was a huge risk."

As you can see in the video above, Beyonce spoke during a screening for her (17) new music videos. Considering the fact that the self-titled album has sold more than a million copies worldwide in the last week—and most of them from digital sales—she perhaps didn't need to be so worried.

"I took all of my insecurities, all of my doubts, all of my fears and everything I've learned over the 17 years and I applied it into this project," she said. "But more than the music — I'm proud of myself as a woman ... the biggest message is owning your imperfections and all the things that make you interesting, because I refuse to allow someone to put me in anyone's box."

Among other things, she said she wanted to emulate Madonna being "a powerhouse and [having] my own empire," and to show women they don't have to compromise or rely on others in their careers. She also spoke about how becoming a mother has inspired her: "I'm very private and I'm very respectful, and I think it just took me no longer being someone's child — once I became a mother, I felt like I could tear those fourth walls and I just felt like it was time," she said. "I completely feel liberated."