We all learnt the virtues of modesty from Maria Clara, but new research shows that blowing your own trumpet can be the key to that elusive pay rise.

Nobody wants to be described as a braggart. As a Filipino, talking about your achievements is like asking for crab mentality to rear its ugly head (also known as the 'tall poppy syndrome' in Australia).

But a new study shows that modesty can get in the way of the success you deserve. The trick is to 'forget' your innate need to keep your skills on the downlow. An American pyschologist tested this theory by asking two groups of women to apply for a scholarship program. One group was artificially distracted by being told that there's a bit of noise from a generator in the next room (there was no noise at all).

The result? Those who were told about the noise promoted themselves much better in their scholarship application and asked for more funds. By contrast, those who were within their comfort zone and weren't distracted by the noise scored poorly on the bragging stakes.

The psychologist recommended that to get women to demand more or say that they are worth more, they can try artificial inducements before a big meeting or salary negotiation - like running up the stairs or driving in rush-hour traffic.

Sounds counter-intuitive to distract yourself before a big meeting but it's supposed to work. That's not to say that you don't do your preparation before it though.

For more tips, read the Five Habits of Highly Confident People on www.oprah.com. 


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