Rosario Dawson thinks she's wasted years of her life being unnecessarily negative.

The 39-year-old actress is determined to adopt a more positive approach to the rest of her life, admitting she's ''spent a lot of the time over the years being way too critical or harsh''.

Rosario - who has an adopted teenage daughter called Lola - explained: ''We have so much negativity and ugliness out there and we get so critical and so angry, depressed, and when you're in that space, you build from that space.

''I just want to build from the love that I have. I'm in an amazing place with my daughter, and with my friends and my family. It's rough out there. I just want to enjoy myself as much as I can along the way.''

Rosario said that as she approaches her landmark 40th birthday, she's been reflecting on some of her past mistakes.

And in retrospect, the 'Luke Cage' star wishes she'd previously been more positive and forgiving of herself and other people in her life.

She told 'Entertainment Tonight': ''I definitely spent a lot of the time over the years being way too critical or harsh. I'm going to be 40 this year.

''When you look back, you're like, 'Wow, that was a long time [of me being hard on myself].' Maybe it wasn't all in one long run, but when you add it all together that's crazy. That's a significant chunk of my life. Ultimately things could be better, but they could definitely be worse.''

Rosario is also determined that her daughter will learn from her mistakes.

She said: ''Who knows how much time we have on this planet, and trying to avoid discomfort doesn't work. You have to sometimes just rip the Band-Aid off and say, 'Hey, that bothered me,' or, 'Hey, can we talk about this?' and just keep it moving...

''If I can pass this idea to my kid, of not being perfect, working through whatever flaws, mistakes and problems, and being stronger and more knowledgeable [that's great].''