15 Signs You’re Smarter Than You Think You Are

Most people grow up being trained to learn, and grow with time. Any good school should instill a love of learning in a child, and should help them develop tools to continue their learning long after they leave formal education.

However, many kids grow up not believing they’re truly intelligent, and some of these troubled kids grow into adults with ‘impostor syndrome’. That is, intelligent adults who believe that whatever they accomplish is never enough, and who live in fear of being exposed as a fraud.

Next time you’re feeling hard on yourself, take a look at this list, and check out some of the signs that prove you’re actually smarter than you think you are:

You doubt your own intelligence

The key part of struggling with impostor syndrome is that you doubt your own intelligence. You don’t trust your own intelligence, so you downplay your smarts in situations where you’re around other people that you fear are more intelligent than you.

Research has shown that women and minorities suffer from impostor syndrome much more than white men — probably a by-product of centuries of being considered second-class citizens.

CHAjAMP / Shutterstock.com
CHAjAMP / Shutterstock.com

You’re unable to internalize your accomplishments

Another hallmark of someone suffering from impostor syndrome is the inability to internalize your own accomplishments, or give yourself credit for your hard work. This is visibly manifest in people who are proud of others for accomplishing a goal, but are unable to stop and congratulate themselves for the same milestone. This can lead to burnout, sleep deprivation, and overwork.

The next time you accomplish a goal but are unable to see anything but what still has to be accomplished, stop for a moment and try your best to savor your accomplishment.

Stokkete / Shutterstock.com
Stokkete / Shutterstock.com

You have anxiety

All this overwork from impostor syndrome can lead to some pretty serious anxiety. If you haven’t felt it before, it can start with a fluttering stomach and elevated heart rate, and can lead to a total collapse if you don’t get it under control in time.

People who are intelligent suffer from generalized anxiety at a much higher rate than people with a lower IQ. A study at an Ontario university recently found that students who checked the boxes saying that they were worried or anxious about something were often the ones who scored highest on verbal intelligence tests.

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
1 of 5