I got enough feedback when I was young that I was unusually smart that I did eventually accept it in a provisional way as part of the social reality. (As in, it was a pretty consistent part of how people responded to me.) I also got a lot of very mixed feedback about it - from my standpoint, I did well in academics mostly because I enjoyed the topics. (All of them. Which mostly left me with the sense that I wasn't particularly good at anything.) But it took me quite a while to find a social group,* I was alternately told what a freak I was and then expected to perform on cue, and then there was my mother's complaints about how I failed her by not being the normal popular daughter she wanted. (My mother was also pretty epic when it came to incomprehensible judgements. I think my favorite, in retrospect, is how she told my I was a lazy procrastinator who would never manage to complete anything or amount to anything - just like Leonardo da Vinci. Wat?!) In school I had a few really great teachers - like the one who finally more or less forced my mother to put me into the gifted program - but even in the gifted program the material was often not challenging,** and I was stuck between being pretty bored and being able to skate by, and having total shit study skills. And then I was put into college when I was thirteen, and started off with twenty credit hours.
Being encouraged to work hard, and encouraged to try things that risk failure would have been really, really good for me. (Not that I didn't try things that risked failure - see again obnoxious kid - but it would have been useful to have a framework to see that as not being totally stupid.) I ended up being so weirded out by the whole "child prodigy" bullshit that after a somewhat wild ride (mostly for reasons not academically relevant) I ended up getting my undergrad degree in Chinese Language and Literature. And I think a lot of that was that it was the first subject I'd found where I could absolutely work my ass off... and get a 3.6. So I suppose I did eventually get to that focused hard work point, but some guidance and mentorship along the way might have been nice. (And some mentorship about what to do about things like math, where I was strongly self taught but had no idea what to do in a college setting would have been stellar.)
* Well, a "peer group", anyway. Say, not my dad's grad students.
** Okay, to be fair, most of it was okay, except I maxed out the math they offerred in the first year - my dad had been buying me college text books since I'd was fairly young - and math was a required subject, so I kept on having to take classes I'd already tested out of. And I was an obnoxious kid.