So many women are socialized to care ceaselessly for other people when they’re young and even take pride in their selflessness. However, while there’s nothing wrong with being caring and generous, it’s crucial not to leave yourself out of the equation, as so many women have a terrible habit of doing.

The best women know that they, too, deserve a chance to benefit from their own good will and blossom into the best, strongest possible versions of themselves. Here’s a closer look at what you can do to start, maintain, and complete your own journey toward a true independent woman who lives a comfortable and empowered sugar lifestyle.

1.      Speak up and speak out.

While it’s fine to want to be accommodating when it comes to other people, empowered sugar babies don’t go along with others just because it’s easier than advocating for what they really want. They speak up for themselves (and for others). And they speak out when they have something to say that really needs to be said.

So, get into the habit of saying something when things don’t seem right. Practice asking for what you want, whether that’s within your relationship, at work, or in your social circle. Carry yourself like you expect to get it. Empowered women don’t just sit passively by while life happens to them. They look out for themselves by letting their voices be heard.

2.      Look good just for you.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good for other people. It’s part of how we show respect for those around us, as well as demonstrate that we have respect for ourselves and care about how we take up space in the world. But your looks should also be for you, first and foremost.

Style yourself the way you like and think looks best. Dress up, do your hair, and wear makeup for any reason or no reason at all. Strong, self-assured women like a good compliment as well as the next person, but they don’t fix themselves up in the morning because they want others to admire them. They do it because they like to and because they know they’re worth it.

3.      Date sugar daddies who are worthy of you.

Not only do people tend to settle for the love they think they deserve, but the people they spend their time around do influence them, for better or worse. So how do the sugardaddies you date stack up in that regard? Are they strong, high-quality men who accurately reflect the type of person you want to be, or are they immature man-children who cause more problems than they solve?

Empowered sugar babies don’t put up with low-quality daddies who don’t bring anything to the table, let alone respect women, so stop allowing men like that to take up space in your life. Instead, date someone who can do something for you for a change. Find a sugar daddy. Spend time with someone absolutely fascinating. Go out with men who really get you excited about dating for once.

4.      Help someone out.

Taking better care of yourself and deliberately becoming a more empowered sugar baby isn’t selfish, despite what some people might try to tell you. It’s actually a necessary step in becoming better for other people, as you can’t help others until you take care of yourself first. Plus, there’s nothing more empowering than seeing what a difference even a little kindness can make.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to spread a little good will. Hold the door for someone, or take a few minutes out of your day to chat with a lonely neighbor. Make it a point to say please and thank you every single time someone does something nice for you. Not only does it make you feel great, but kindness helps empower others around you, as well.

5.      Treat yourself once in a while.

It’s officially time to banish the idea that you’re only allowed to splurge on other people. Yes, it’s important to be smart with money, save for the future, and treat money respectfully. But it’s also important to remember that money is meant to be enjoyed. And yes, it’s great to spend money on other people when you want to, but empowered women also know to treat themselves sometimes.

So, the next time you have some disposable income burning a hole in your pocket, consider making your splurge of choice a little something for yourself. Treat yourself to that designer perfume you’ve wanted forever. Take a weekend getaway or a spa weekend all by yourself. You’ve earned it, you deserve it, and it’s time to start living like you know it.

Ultimately, strength and empowerment are qualities that come more naturally with time and practice, so there’s no time like the present to get started. After all, life’s too short and precious to spend it settling for less than you really want and deserve.