my academic credentials would say i'm intelligent (tested really high iq as a child, near-straight A high school student, near-perfect math scores on sat I/II/GRE, finishing up a ph.d), but in the company of my peers throughout all of my academic life, I've always had the constant nagging feeling of self doubt... that I was a dumbass since I never felt i understood anything. It was much easier regurgitating information so that you could feign intelligence.
has academic achievement translated to success in life? nope. I was just good at taking tests. As I got older, I realized I just rested on my laurels and skated by without ever learning any practical knowledge... which I equate with being a dumbass.