If you've ever felt jealousy gripping you - I mean really gripping you - you'll know exactly what I mean. Your heart thumps against your breast, your breath seems to rasp in your throat as you gasp for air, and your emotions seem to ricochet between unbridled rage and helpless panic. Not only can jealousy suck your self-esteem right out from under your nose, it can seemingly rob you of any capacity to function normally at all. Jealousy has the capacity to break up relationships and families and destroy careers.

For many women jealousy has become a consuming emotion that afflicts them like a disease. They feel no power or control when an "attack" overwhelms them. Selfesteem4women.com have surveyed over 50,000 women and found that almost half of them acknowledge having significant feelings of jealousy. So it's a good bet that, if you’re a woman, there's a 50:50 chance that you're trying to tackle this at the moment! And, if you're not suffering yourself, I've no doubt that you know someone who is.

One of the most interesting things about jealousy is that it appears to be becoming more and more prevalent in the modern world. But, even though it can act a little like a disease, it is not one. You cannot catch it from someone else. So just why is jealousy more prevalent among us than ever before?

Women in the western world have seen their status within society change markedly over the last few decades. We now have more opportunities to flourish and prosper on our own merits than ever before in history. In short, women in general have an unprecedented degree of choice in their lives.

Even women who may be appalled by Sex and the City can recognise that they can largely choose the terms of their romantic relationships. They can choose with whom and for how long. They can choose a career, or kids, or both. They can choose to go for it all.

So why do so many women fail to celebrate this new-found freedom and hard-won equality? Why is it that instead of feeling empowered many women still feel insecure, trapped, and afraid? Because with the power to choose comes the chance to lose.

This simple truth holds a magical power to rescue you from the vicious grip of jealousy. But you must work hard to tap into this power - you will not feel it by simply reading the words.

You will also need courage. Women who believe they cannot cope with the possibility of losing tend to be the ones who get jealous. Jealousy claws at you when you feel afraid that you are about to lose something that you perceive to be precious, or something to which you believe you are entitled.

What happens when you feel jealous? How do your emotions make you behave? You become less likeable, more unreasonably demanding, less trusting, less objective - in fact you become less of everything you WANT to be, and more of the things you don't want to be. Your behaviour has the opposite effect of what you intend, and your jealousy makes you more likely to "lose" whatever it is that you're trying to protect!

On the other hand, women who can accept that there is always a possibility of losing tend to cope well by making the most of what they have. Instead of feeling afraid of losing their partner, a precious job, or maybe a close friend, they relish each moment of opportunity to be with the person (or within the job) of their choice. This attitude is what sets non-jealous women apart from jealous women. It is a very attractive attitude. Furthermore, once attracted by it, great partners and/or great jobs tend to stick by you!

next steps for jealous women…

Recognise that you're only human, and accept with good grace the fact that you cannot make the whole world behave as you would like. However:

* you do have the power to choose many things

* you can always influence the behaviour of others (but not control it)

* if you choose wisely, and use your influence positively, you will maximise the likelihood of feeling confident, secure, and highly-valued

As a woman you can cope with far more than you think. Remind yourself of this fact now and then. If you need a lot of reminding, write "I CAN cope" in lipstick on your dressing mirror!

Take full responsibility for your jealousy - nobody is causing it but you. And, if you only remember one thing from this article, remember this: if you let jealousy drive your behaviour, you will always increase the chance of losing what you are trying to keep.

There's no doubt about it - jealousy sucks!

Author's Bio: 

Alison Finch is the Founder and Creator of Selfesteem4women.com, which has become the most popular self-esteem site for women on the internet. Her unique approach to tackling jealousy and building women's self-esteem is refreshingly different, very easy to follow, and has a twelve-year proven track record of success. Unlike many in her field, Alison has collected evidence to show that doing well in life is important if women want to feel good about themselves. She’s devoted her life to helping women do just that!

If you would like to tackle your jealousy and raise your self-esteem, visit: http://www.selfesteem4women.com?ad=sgart2