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If You Have These 6 Struggles, You’re Highly Intelligent

If You Have These 6 Struggles, You’re Highly Intelligent

Most people regard highly intelligent people as super humans who have it all figured out simply because their brains can help them in any life situation and they don’t have to struggle with the problems of the ordinary people. Yet, the reality is quite different, as no matter how intelligent someone may be, they are, at the end of the day, just human.

They struggle with issues somewhat different than those of the rest of the world, but still challenging and difficult. If you are a highly intelligent person, these struggles and the lack of understanding from peers can leave you feeling lonely. Maybe your friends and family don’t seem to be mindful of your feelings. In order to help you feel acknowledged and understood, here are some of your most common struggles.

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1. Small talk exhausts you

It can be quite a challenge for you to be involved in small talk about ordinary things. This is because your brain is overwhelmed with great ideas. Topics that interest you likely include science, art, philosophy, and those are rarely found in small talk. This makes you feel like you are wasting your time trapped in a suffocating, never-ending list of socially acceptable set phrases. All you really want is a like-minded individual to bounce ideas around with about the important stuff.

2. You think more than you speak

As your brain is wired to look for all possible solutions and answers to a problem, it may take you more time than a person of average intelligence to give your opinion or draw a conclusion. Moreover, if you are not completely sure you’ve got the right answer or a brilliant idea, you won’t speak at all. Your struggle lies in the fact that most people around you are not familiar with the way your thought process works, and they get confused or regard you as weird, introverted, or uninterested.

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3. Your job can easily bore you

The need for your brain to be constantly challenged with new, greater ideas and projects can turn your once exciting job into ordinary and boring as you exhaust all ways to be creative with it. This can turn into a day-to-day struggle to finish your tasks. Additionally, in most cases, your boss isn’t so sympathetic to your longings and just wants the job done.

4. You sometimes have action paralysis

It is hard to be a thinker in a world full of go-getters that appreciate action more than great ideas. As you are too consumed with different ideas, you may at times be missing the action impulse. Unfortunately, people tend to mistake this trait as laziness which leaves you feeling underappreciated.

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5. You are considered socially awkward

As if those aren’t enough, your next struggle comes as a result of all the previous ones. If you are feeling uncomfortable during small talk, refrain from speaking if not sure, don’t get inspired by old and exhausted ideas, or if you feel more comfortable with ideas than execution, people tend to characterize you as socially awkward. Little do they know, this only puts more pressure on you making you feel more self-conscious about your social conduct.

6. It is hard for you to fall in love

Finally, your quest for love is slightly more demanding than that of average people. Since you are much more cautious, analytical and independent than the rest, you tend to get mistaken for cold and high maintenance. Additionally, you can lack spontaneity at times, which makes your love interest, lose interest.

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However difficult your daily struggles may seem, you don’t need to let them immobilize you from growing. You can work on expressing yourself more to others so that they can get a better understanding of your needs. You will find some common ground.

    photo credit: Asier_Relampagoestudio / Freepik (has been modified)

    Featured photo credit: Unplash via unsplash.com

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    Ana Erkic

    Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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    Published on July 29, 2020

    How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

    How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

    Have you been thinking of how you can be a more strategic leader during these uncertain times? Has the pandemic thrown a wrench at all your carefully laid out plans and initiatives?

    You’re not alone. The truth is, we all want some stability in our careers and teams during this disruptive pandemic.

    However, this now requires a bit more effort than before and making the leap from merely surviving to thriving means buckling down to some serious strategic thinking and maintaining a determined mindset.

    Is There a Way to Thrive Despite These Disruptions?

    Essentially – yes, although you need to be willing to put in the work. Every leader wants to develop strategic thinking skills so that they can enhance overall team performance and boost their company’s success, but what exactly does it mean to be strategic in the context of the times we live in?

    If you happen to be in a leadership position in your organization right now, you are most probably navigating precarious waters given the disruptions caused by the pandemic. There’s a lot more pressure than before because your actions and decisions will have a much greater impact these days not just on you, but also to the people who are part of your team.

    Companies often bring me in to coach executives on strategic thinking and planning. And while pre-pandemic I would usually start by highlighting the advantages of strategic thinking, nowadays, I always begin these Zoom coaching sessions by driving home the point that this pandemic has now made strategic thinking not just an option but an absolute must.

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    Assessing and making plans through the lens of a good strategy might require significant work at first. Nevertheless, you can take comfort in the fact that the rewards will far outweigh the effort, as you’ll soon see after following the 8 strategic steps I have outlined below.

    8 Steps to Strategic Thinking

    As events unfold during these strange times, you’re bound to feel wrong-footed every now and then. Being a leader during this pandemic means preparing for more change not just for you, but for your whole team as well.

    As states and cities go through a cycle of lockdowns and reopening, employees will experience the full gamut of human emotions in dizzying speed, and you will often be called on to provide insight and stability to your team and workplace.

    Strategic thinking is all about anticipation and preparation. Rather than expending your energy merely helping your company put out fires and survive, you can put the time to better use by charting out a solid plan that can protect and help you and your company thrive.

    Take the following steps to build solid initiatives and roll out successful projects:

    Step 1: Step Back, Then Set the Scope

    One of the things that leaders get wrong during their first attempt at strategic thinking is expecting that it is just another item on a checklist. The truth is, you need to take a good, long look at the bigger picture before anything else. This means decisively prioritizing and stepping away from tasks that can be delegated to others. Free up your schedule so you can focus on this crucial task at hand.

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    Then, proceed with setting the scope and the strategic goals of the project or initiative you plan to build or execute. Ask yourself the bigger question of why you need to embark on a particular project and when would be the right time to do so.

    You need to set a timeline as well, anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. Keep in mind that your projections will deteriorate the further out you go as you make longer-term plans.

    For this reason, add extra resources, flexibility, and resilience if you have a longer timeline. You should also be making the goals less specific if you’re charting it out for the longer term.

    Step 2: Make a List of Experts

    Make and keep a list of credible people who can contribute solid insight and feedback to your initiative. This could range from key stakeholders to industry experts, mentors, and even colleagues who previously planned and rolled out similar projects.

    Reach out to the people on this list regularly while you work through the steps to bring diverse insight into your planning process. This way, you will be able to approach any problem from every angle.

    Bringing key stakeholders into this initial process will also display your willingness to listen and empathize with their issues. In return, this will build trust and potentially pave the way for smoother buy-in down the line.

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    Step 3: Anticipate the Future

    After identifying your goals and gathering feedback, it’s time to consider what the future would look like if everything goes as you intuitively anticipate. Then, lay out the kind and amount of resources (money, time, social capital) that might be needed to keep this anticipated future running.

    Step 4: Brainstorm on Potential Internal and External Problems

    Next, think of how the future would look if you encountered unexpected problems internal and external to the business activity that seriously jeopardize your expected vision of the future. Write out what kind of potential problems you might encounter, including low-probability ones.

    Assess the likelihood that you will run into each problem. To gauge, multiply the likelihood by the number of resources needed to address the problem. Try to convert the resources into money if possible so that you can have a single unit of measurement.

    Then, think of what steps you can take to address these internal and external problems before they even happen. Write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Lastly, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different possible problems and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

    Step 5: Identify Potential Opportunities, Internal and External

    Imagine how your expected plan would look if unexpected opportunities came up. Most of these will be external but consider internal ones as well. Then, gauge the likelihood of each scenario and the number of resources you would need to take advantage of each opportunity. Convert the resources into money if possible.

    Then, think of what steps you can take in advance to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Finally, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different unexpected opportunities and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

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    Step 6: Check for Cognitive Biases

    Check for potential cognitive biases that are relevant to you personally or to the organization as a whole, and adjust the resources and plans to address such errors.[1] Make sure to at least check for loss aversion, status quo bias, confirmation bias, attentional bias, overconfidence, optimism bias, pessimism bias, and halo and horns effects.

    Step 7: Account for Unknown Unknowns (Black Swans)

    To have a more effective strategy, account for black swans as well. These are unknown unknowns -unpredictable events that have potentially severe consequences.

    To account for these black swans, add 40 percent to the resources you anticipate. Also, consider ways to make your plans more flexible and secure than you intuitively feel is needed.

    Step 8: Communicate and Take the Next Steps

    Communicate the plan to your stakeholders, and give them a heads up about the additional resources needed. Then, take the next steps to address the unanticipated problems and take advantage of the opportunities you identified by improving your plans, as well as allocating and reserving resources.

    Finally, take note that there will be cases when you’ll need to go back and forth these steps to make improvements, (a fix here, an improvement there) so be comfortable with revisiting your strategy and reaching out to your list of experts.

    Conclusion

    A great way to deal with feelings of uncertainty during this pandemic is to anticipate obstacles with a good plan – and a sure road to that is practicing strategic thinking.

    In the coming months and years, you’ll need to continue navigating uncharted territory so that you can lead your team to safe waters. Regularly doing these 8 steps to strategic thinking will ensure that you can prepare for and adapt  to the coming changes with increasing clarity, perspective, and efficiency.[2]

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    Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

    Reference

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