10 signs you’re actually a genius (even if you don’t think so)

What if I told you that you are a genius?

You’d probably tell me I’m crazy.

But there actually some little-known signs that could mark you as a genius, or at least part of the way there.

Let’s take a look.

10 signs you’re actually a genius

1) You don’t fit in a box

Of all the signs you’re actually a genius (even if you don’t think so), this ranks number one.

You don’t fit in a box.

You think uniquely and approach problems and solutions in ways that surprise and sometimes even confuse those around you.

You think differently, and you come at your life from a place that’s uniquely all your own.

According to American developmental psychologist Howard Gardener there are nine ways of being intelligent:

  • Being smart about nature and our ecological world;
  • Being smart about music and melody;
  • Being smart about mathematics, logic and numbers
  • Being smart about philosophy and pondering existence;
  • Being smart about communication and social bridge building;
  • Being smart about how to optimize and improve your body;
  • Being smart with words and having high verbal intelligence;
  • Being smart with images and understanding of spatial distance and relation;
  • And being smart about your own self-nature and self-development.

If you are highly intelligent in one of these ways, you could be a genius.

Not every genius is Albert Einstein. Some invent new ways to grow food and exist in nature, while others philosophize to find out the core of how existence really works.

2) You have endless curiosity

Another of the very strong signs you’re actually a genius (even if you don’t think so) is that you have endless curiosity.

If you run a bakery, you’re not just into bread: you’re into a hundred other things as well.

You may be a renowned painter, but when you come across a documentary about the ancient Mayans and astronomy you sit spellbound for hours.

Your curiosity simply doesn’t have a limit.

It’s not only that you love learning new things, either.

It’s that you remember what you learn and enrich the lives of others with what you know.

That’s genius-caliber stuff.

3) You’re on the shy side

Another one of the little-known signs of genius is being shy.

Now I’m not claiming that any shy person is a genius.


But most geniuses are shy people who verge toward being fairly timid.

They often have so much shyness that it even gets diagnosed as social anxiety.

As Josie Griffiths explains:

“Some 60 percent of clever kids are introverted, according to The Gifted Development Center.  And more than 75 percent of people with an IQ of 160 or above are also shy.”

4) You know your own power

The thing about all those shy geniuses is this:

There are some very intelligent people out there who will never be geniuses or be able to share their knowledge and insights.

The sad truth is that even many brilliant minds are crippled by self-doubt.

They have so much to share and so much room to grow, but they’re pursued by a feeling of inadequacy and scared of being judged by others.

5) You can’t stand mediocrity and complacency

Another mark of genius is the inability to put up with mediocrity and apathy.

Geniuses in every field are curious, dedicated and innovative.

When they come across people who just don’t care they are shocked and dismayed.

Because they do care and they do want to change things.

In fact, geniuses often tend to be perfectionists and strive to constantly improve their area of expertise.

Think of Elon Musk:

He didn’t just start up Tesla and then sit back with popcorn and his remote control. He works every day to innovate in space, AI and various other technologies.

As Robert Cornish writes:

“Geniuses cannot tolerate mediocrity, particularly in themselves. Never be easily satisfied with yourself. Always strive to do better.”

6) You’re highly flexible and adaptable

Geniuses adapt, the average and less savvy crack and break.

One of the key characteristics of true genius is somebody who can adapt to the changing dynamics of life without breaking.

This applies in the personal and professional realm.

The mind and responses of the genius shift and flex as necessary. He or she has strong core values and key interests, but never lets these tie things down and limit exploration.

Discoveries, work and connections continue to be made even when surprises come out of left field.

Failures and disappointments are just weight training for the mind and a chance to beta test new approaches to old problems.

7) You take spiritual gurus with a grain of salt

Another one of the key signs you’re actually a genius (even if you don’t think so) is that you don’t fall easily for emotionally manipulative people.

You are not very gullible.

Even though you may have deeply-held religious or spiritual beliefs, you don’t let others build your ideological framework for you.

8) Your inner monolog is intense

Geniuses come in all types, as Gardener’s categories outline.

Artistic, mathematical, musical, verbal, visual and much more.

But one common factor that geniuses have is that they tend to have intense inner monologs.

These can range from quite dark and volatile voices such as those that plagued Vincent van Gogh, up to the more inspiring and euphoric voices that informed geniuses such as Johann Goethe.

The truth is that geniuses are not so much “smarter” than other people as they are an intensified form of human being.

They are operating at another level, and it’s not always pleasant.

But it’s always intense.

9) You tend to overanalyse

Geniuses don’t just think a lot. They tend to verge on overanalysis.

If you have certain thoughts or questions that go through your head and you just can’t let go of until you’ve satisfied your curiosity then you might be a type of genius.

An example would be the most basic philosophical question of all:

Why are we here?

Another example could be one that crosses the boundary between philosophy, physics, natural environment, the physical and the spiritual:

What is time?

For some people these may be funny questions to think about when they’re a bit buzzed or just watched a cool documentary.

For the genius they are lifelong questions that never end.

10) You admit when you’re clueless

Socrates famously said the only thing he truly knew was that he knew nothing.

Geniuses are like this.

It’s not that they’re always humble or self-deprecating, it’s that they tend to be extremely self-aware.

As a result of that, geniuses are intensely aware of the limits of intellectual knowledge.

They recognize that they can’t be an expert on everything as well, and fess up when they just don’t know the answer to something.

“They find it more productive to admit to the fact that they don’t know something when they don’t,” writes Regi George Jenarius.

“They realize that not knowing in itself presents an opportunity for them to learn about it.”

18 no bullsh*t ways to win at life and get ahead

23 no bullsh*t ways to fix your life (complete guide)