"When you dream BIG and work hard!!! #GodIs" the actress posted in a vulnerable and honest Instagram post
Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Before Taraji P. Henson was the leading lady of Fox’s Empire, she was a little girl with a big dream to be on the TV screen.

The actress, who has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and won the Golden Globe for her leading actress performance on the music drama series, grew up in “the hood” and turned to television as her “escape” and “safe haven.”

“As a little girl growing up in the hood I watched A LOT of TV to escape. Variety comedy style shows were always my safe haven!!!” Henson, 46, penned in a vulnerable and honest Instagram post Thursday.

“I always dreamed of being on the Carol Burnette Show or a show like that. Never was cast on one SO I CREATED MY OWN!!!When you dream BIG and work hard!!! #GodIs Thank you @foxtv for believing in my vision. This is year two of my special so don’t miss it December 8 ONLY ON @foxtv be there or be a Bah Hum Bug,” the post continued, which accompanied a photo of her upcoming, second annual music and variety special, Taraji’s White Hot Holidays.

In October, the mother of one opened up to PEOPLE about how she escaped abuse to find stardom as a single mother. Shortly after she decided to leave her abusive ex and raise her son Marcell on her own, Henson moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career with just her infant son by her side.

“I know I’m not the only one, but people marvel about the fact that I am a single mother and I did make it,” she told PEOPLE.

The Around the Way Girl author added, “God put me through these trials and tribulations and put me center stage for a reason. We can all identify with each other’s struggles. Those emotional scars are what make you who you are.”

Taraji’s White Hot Holidays will air Thursday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.