12 signs you’re actually more intelligent than you think you are

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Ideapod 12 signs you're actually more intelligent than you think you are

Are you tired of feeling like you’re not smart enough?

Do you constantly compare yourself to others and feel like you’re falling short?

It’s time to stop beating yourself up and start recognizing your own intelligence.

There are certain signs that indicate you have more intelligence than you give yourself credit for.

And it’s high time you start acknowledging and embracing your own brainpower. 

Here are 12 signs you’re actually smarter than you think you are. 

1. You question everything

“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute; the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” – Confucius

Sure, you might feel like you’re constantly questioning the status quo or challenging authority, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, it could be a sign of your intelligence.

Think about it: true intelligence isn’t just about being able to regurgitate facts or solve math problems.

It’s also about being curious, open-minded, and willing to consider multiple perspectives.

And that’s exactly what questioning everything does.

It shows that you’re not content with simply accepting things at face value – you want to dig deeper, explore new ideas, and think critically.

So don’t let anyone tell you that questioning everything is a sign of ignorance or lack of intelligence. It’s actually the opposite – it’s a sign of true intelligence and a curious, open mind.

2. You embrace making mistakes

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – John Powell

Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is able to learn from them. That’s where you come in.

If you’re able to take ownership of your mistakes, reflect on what went wrong, and try to do better next time, then congratulations – you’re smarter than you think you are.

See, intelligence isn’t just about getting things right all the time. It’s also about being able to adapt, learn from your errors, and grow as a person.

So don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Instead, embrace it as an opportunity to learn and improve.

That’s a surefire sign of intelligence and something that not everyone is capable of.

3. You’re interested in a variety of subjects and hobbies 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

Are you someone who is interested in a variety of subjects and hobbies, rather than just one specific area? If so, then you might be smarter than you think you are.

Intelligence isn’t just about being an expert in one field – it’s also about being curious and open to learning new things.

And that’s exactly what having a wide range of interests shows. It indicates that you’re not afraid to explore new subjects, try new things, and expand your knowledge and skills.

So don’t let anyone tell you that you need to focus on just one thing to be considered intelligent.

Embrace your diverse interests and let them fuel your curiosity and growth as a person.

4. You’re good at solving problems

“Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.” – Hugh Miller

Solving problems is really what intelligence is about, isn’t it? 

Life is full of challenges and problems that need to be solved, and if you’re someone who is good at finding solutions and coming up with creative ideas, then you’re likely smarter than you think you are.

Problem-solving is a crucial part of intelligence, and it’s something that not everyone is naturally good at.

It takes a combination of critical thinking, creativity, and resourcefulness to come up with effective solutions to problems.

So don’t underestimate your own problem-solving skills – they’re a sign of intelligence that shouldn’t be overlooked.

5. You understand yourself 

“Self-awareness allows you to make conscious choices rather than being controlled by your unconscious habits and patterns.”

Do you know yourself well? 

Do you have a clear understanding of your personality, and what you need? 

Then you likely have a high level of self-awareness, and this is a crucial part of social and emotional intelligence.  

After all:

Self-awareness is about being able to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and understand how your emotions impact your behavior.

It’s about being able to reflect on your own thoughts and actions and making conscious choices based on that understanding.

And here’s the best part: having strong self-awareness can help you achieve your goals and reach your full potential.

By being in tune with your own motivations and desires, you can better understand what actions and choices are most likely to lead to success.

And if you identify areas where you need to improve or seek help, self-awareness can help you take the steps needed to grow and develop as a person.

6. You have a growth mindset

“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” – Carol S. Dweck

Are you someone who is always looking to learn and grow, rather than staying stuck in your comfort zone?

If so, then not only do you have a growth mindset, but you might be smarter than you think you are.

Having a growth mindset – the belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and learning – is a key indicator of intelligence.

It shows that you’re not afraid to challenge yourself, try new things, and learn from your mistakes.

It also indicates that you’re open to new ideas and willing to adapt and change in order to improve.

So don’t let anyone tell you that you’re stuck with the intelligence you were born with – embrace your growth mindset and let it drive your ongoing learning and development.

7. You have empathy

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.” – Bill Bullard

Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others – is often overlooked as a sign of intelligence, but it’s actually a crucial component of emotional intelligence.

If you’re able to put yourself in other people’s shoes, understand their perspectives and emotions, and communicate in a way that is sensitive and understanding, then you’re likely smarter than you think you are.

Empathy requires insight, intuition, and the ability to read and respond to social cues – all of which are important indicators of intelligence.

If you find that people often come to you for advice, or they regularly talk about their problems with you, then you probably have strong empathy. 

So don’t let anyone tell you that empathy is a weakness – it’s actually a sign of strength and intelligence that you should be proud of.

8. You have a sense of humor

“I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.” – Frank Howard Clark

Laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that having a good sense of humor is also a sign of intelligence.

That’s right, being able to laugh at yourself, make others laugh, and see the humor in everyday situations is a clear indication of cognitive flexibility, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box.

It shows that you’re not afraid to break the rules, challenge the status quo, and find joy in the unexpected.

So if you find that you often enjoy laughing with others, and you can make others laugh, then you’ve probably got a pretty good sense of humor.

It’s actually a sign of intelligence and creativity that we should all embrace.

And the good news is that humor is something that we can all cultivate and improve upon.

So go ahead and let your funny side shine – your intelligence (and your happiness) will thank you.

9. You have a love for learning

“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” — Peter Drucker

Are you someone who is always seeking out new knowledge and experiences, rather than being content with what you already know?

If so, then you’re probably smarter than you think you are.

Having a love of learning – a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for expanding your knowledge and skills – is a key indicator of intelligence.

It shows that you’re not afraid to challenge yourself, try new things, and embrace ongoing learning and growth.

It also indicates that you’re open to new ideas and willing to adapt and change in order to improve.

Learning also keeps you’re brain active and your mind young. 

It’s something that we can all benefit from and enjoy, no matter our background or circumstances.

10. You have a curious and open-minded approach to life

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” – Isaac Asimov

Being open-mind is a key part of being intelligent. 

It shows that you’re not afraid to challenge your own assumptions, explore new ideas, and consider multiple perspectives.

It also indicates that you’re willing to learn and grow and that you’re open to new experiences and ways of thinking.

You’re not content with simply accepting things at face value. Instead, you’re motivated to learn and grow and to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world.

11. You can express your real thoughts

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

If you’re someone who can articulate your real thoughts and ideas clearly, both in writing and in conversation, then you’re not only authentic, but you can think for yourself. 

Being able to think critically about an issue and structure the information in your head to form a clear opinion is a form of intelligence not everyone is naturally good at. 

So if you can express your ideas well, either in writing or talking, then it shows you’re able to think critically, consider your audience and purpose, and express your thoughts and ideas clearly.

It also shows you understand different perspectives and communicate in a way that is respectful and effective.

All of these skills require insight, intuition, and the ability to adapt and change. In other words, they’re indicators of intelligence.

12. You have strong self-motivation

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ―Chinese Proverb

Are you someone who is able to set goals, work towards them, and stay motivated and focused, even when faced with challenges or setbacks?

If so, then you might be smarter than you think you are.

Having a strong sense of self-motivation is a key indicator of intelligence because it requires the ability to think critically, plan ahead, and persist in the face of obstacles.

It also involves the ability to set and work towards your own goals, rather than simply following the expectations or goals of others.

So don’t let anyone tell you that self-motivation is a quality that only certain people possess.

It’s actually something that we can all cultivate and develop, and it’s a crucial component of success and fulfillment.

 

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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