Often we assume that a genius trait is something we inherit and only given to a special few who become Nobel Prize winners, inventors, billionaire philanthropists or Einsteins. Moreover, we overlook many of our innate talents and strengths. Moments when we magically solve a problem or creatively discover a new way of doing things. Furthermore, when we assume we do not have any inner genius traits, we forget an important key. We can develop our inner genius, as we all have our own unique talents and genius skills inside. Here are six science backed ways to help you tap into and discover your inner genius.
“Until one acknowledges the genius within oneself, one will have great difficulty recognising it in others.” David Hawkins
1.Check out your optimism levels
Embrace an optimism bias. The optimism bias, with extensive research by Tali Sharot, is the tendency that most healthy individuals display to presume that bad things won’t happen to them and good things will. Optimism makes you try harder. Furthermore, determination is essential to pursue your inner genius. Optimists enjoy lower stress levels, and stress is a key stopper for inner genius. Moreover, optimists catch fewer infections and have stronger immune systems. Acknowledging your small wins helps increase your optimistic outlook levels of motivation.
Embracing a positive outlook promotes healthier behaviours. Furthermore, in the professional world, optimists come out on top as having higher pay rates than non optimistic people. Suzanne Segerstrom (2007) did a particular experiment looking at the behaviour of optimistic people and how it differs from pessimists. The group was divided into optimists and pessimists. Each group was given a variety of different anagrams, including an impossible one. The findings show that the optimists spent more time trying to solve it. They showed more persistence and determination.
“This trait of persistence stands the optimist in good stead for life, enabling them to achieve more simply through being committed to doing more.” Amy Brann
2. Ask yourself better questions to develop your inner genius
Adopt an attitude of curiosity and question your beliefs and assumptions. When faced with a problem where you might once say, ‘This is too hard,’ or, ‘I can’t find the answer to this right now,’ assume something different. Ask yourself questions that lead your mind towards new possibilities. For example, ’What if I could find the answer with ease?’ ‘If there was an answer out there that I couldn’t see yet, what would it be?’
The art of curiosity helps builds our skill of divergent thinking. Moreover, divergent thinking helps us get out of our biases. This is important as research identifies at least 150 inherent biases within humans. Many biases cause us to make general assumptions that close our mind to alternatives and block different perspectives. Therefore, it is important to identify and recognise them.
The term divergent thinking was coined by J.P. Guildford in the 1950s. It is defined as “Cognition that leads in various directions.” Historically it is used in creative solving problem. One way to tap into this skill is through journaling and simply free flowing your words onto paper. Write about the problem or situation and allow yourself to express ideas and solutions. Don’t worry about whether you think they are helpful or not. Ultimately, you are looking for multiple solutions to a problem. Being open and curious are essential keys to activating your inner genius.
“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” Eugene Ionesco
3.Shake up your routines and habits
We are creatures of habit who are hard-wired to take short-cuts, reserve energy and persevere the status quo. Doing the same thing day in day out means we operate in habit mode. When in auto-pilot we stop using our brains to consciously be aware and present. This blocks new options and choices.
Habits are run in our subconscious mind, out of our conscious awareness. Herein lies the problem. We rely on our usual ways of thinking and operating. These keep us stuck, and block the path to new opportunities and experiences.
4. Drawing upside down is a sure way to discover your inner genius.
Years ago, as kid I enjoyed drawing. However, while I was quite good at copying pictures I was not so good at creating something from a blank canvas. Through this I decided, assumed, I was not creative and had no inner genius for art. However, as an adult, I picked up the book, ‘The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,’ by Betty Edwards.
In one sitting I replicated, what I thought was quite a good picture of a knight on a horse. As per instructions, I drew it upside down! When looking at a picture the right way up, our brain recognises familiar things. It categorises and matches them with our stored memories and concepts. Drawing upside alleviates this. Familiar things don’t look the same upside down. As our brain gets confused it literally gives up. We start to see shapes, areas of light and shadows, and as we get out of our logical heads we see things differently. See my picture below on the left.
5. Program yourself for the success you desire.
Two fabulous ways to build your belief and set intentions around your genius are mental rehearsal and programming your subconscious mind at night before you sleep. I have written extensively about mental rehearsal and use it with my clients. I often share the story of Michael Phelps and how mental rehearsal was key in his sporting success.
The lesser known secret is to program yourself at night. Simply select the outcome you want to achieve and say it in three different ways. This helps instruct your subconscious mind and ignite your inner genius. Of course, please remember to be consistent to create and establish new neural pathways. This uses the magical powers of your brain’s neuroplasticity.
6. Play and have more fun!
When we were kids we placed a high value on playing with our friends, living in the land of make believe and imagination. I recall turning a stable door into a horse. Creating a bridle, saddle and stirrups I spent hours riding my pretend horse! However, as we grow up and responsibilities increase, we tend to forget to have fun and take time to enjoy the simple things in life. Moreover, we often put our needs last.
Adopting a mindset of fun means we are less prone to judge ourselves, and we feel better as having fun creates endorphins. A great way to get into flow and activate our inner genius. If it works for Einstein, a true genius, I reckon we should embrace it too, don’t you?
In conclusion, all the above secrets will help you ignite your inner genius. However, perhaps the short cut to all of this is to have more fun, be weird, and laugh more. Embrace your own uniqueness and leverage off it. Who knows what inner genius skills you can activate and where this may take you?
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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