Misconceptions and intelligence go hand in hand. Most people think that you must be less intelligent if you are not good at certain things or if you do not have a high IQ.
But this is not the case.
Intelligence is not one-dimensional. It is a multifaceted coin.
It doesn’t just mean being good at math or being able to read quickly. Some people are street smart while others are book smart. And then there are those that are a bit of both.
So how can you tell if you’re smart?
No, a high score on IQ tests is not the most realistic measure.
The reason you might want to know about these signs is that 70% of us have impostor syndrome. It means that we don’t think we are good enough/smart enough/intelligent enough. It will also make you aware of your strengths to play in relationships, business, and everyday life commitments.
So, without further ado, I’m sharing five signs that you’re very smart, even if you don’t know or believe it.
1. You demonstrate “first level intelligence”
I recently read a book called “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.
It’s a fascinating look at how our brain works. And one of the things he talks about is “confirmation bias.”
Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information that confirms our existing beliefs and ignore information that contradicts them.
For example, if you believe that global warming is a hoax, you will probably ONLY read articles that confirm your beliefs.
This confirmation bias is important because it allows you to make quick decisions. If you had to weigh all the evidence every time you made a decision, you would never do anything.
But the ability to see both sides of an issue, even if you have a strong opinion, is a sign of intelligence. Scientists call this first-tier intelligence: the ability to hold opposing concepts and still function.
2. You have the ability to see the forest and the trees.
Salespeople are usually very smart.
They have to be.
But some are labeled “soft talkers” and not really bright.
However, they are often both. The difference lies in your ability to see the big picture and the details simultaneously.
The ability to see connections between things is a sign of intelligence. I learned this through my psychologist friend at McGill University.
This type of intelligence is seeing how two subjects are related, how different events fit together and recognizing patterns.
For example, a history student who can see how the events of the French Revolution led to the rise of Napoleon is demonstrating an ability to see connections.
If you can put the puzzle pieces together to see how they fit together, that’s a good indication that you have what it takes.
3. You’re a Contrarian
Most people want to fit in and conform to social norms.
But smart people are often contrarian thinkers. They are the ones who challenge the status quo and think outside the box.
They are not afraid to go against the grain, even if it means they will be laughed at.
In fact, they really do. That’s because they know that true innovation often comes from being different.
Contrarians also tend to be independent thinkers. They are not easily influenced by others and are not afraid to speak their minds.
It takes a certain level of trust to go against the grain. And smart people realize this because they believe in themselves.
For example, Steve Jobs graduated with a GPA of 2.65. Beethoven couldn’t multiply. Picasso would not do well in “You’re Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” as he failed fourth-grade arithmetic. Einstein grew up illiterate.
Today, they are seen as pioneers. They are industry titans and innovators who have changed the world.
So genius is not what you do; is what you believe.
4. You Straight Away Jump To Solutions
In today’s competitive world, it’s easy to get caught up in the need to be the best.
However, true intelligence is not beating others, but working towards better solutions.
This reminds me of my recent phone call with Jane (a former colleague) whose assistant consistently missed deadlines.
Instead of repeating the problem or passing judgment on her assistant, Jane focused on a solution.
When Jane politely asked her assistant about it, she said she was divorced and mentally traumatized. Jane immediately asked her to take a few days off and come back when he felt better.
Once again, this shows intellectual humility: focus on results instead of ego.
Those who focus on results rather than the ego can see the big picture and work toward goals that benefit everyone. They are also able to accept criticism without becoming defensive because they know that the only thing that matters is the result.
As a result, they are often more successful in the long run.
5. The curiosity of a child
In 1993, Carol Dweck published an article called “The Study of Goals.”
He found that the most successful people are not happy with their knowledge; they want to learn more. They are called “lifelong learners”.
Having a child’s curiosity is a sign of intelligence. Demonstrates cognitive abilities.
After all, children are constantly asking questions and exploring their surroundings. This curiosity helps them learn about the world around them and develop new skills.
Curious adults are always asking questions and looking for new information. They are never content to take things at face value.
Instead, they want to understand why things are the way they are. This curiosity allows them to learn more and expand their horizons.
If you like to learn new things, it is a good sign that you are very intelligent. Smart people are naturally curious. They want to know how everything works and are always asking questions.
The best way to become a lifelong learner is to find an exciting topic and never stop learning more about it.