Until this summer, I've never experienced disappointing results in a mathematics course. I've had poor performance on a couple tests here and there, but I've always been able to recover and eventually earn an A for the semester. But I'm afraid my streak is about to end. This summer session I enrolled in Advanced Calculus/Intro Real Analysis. This is the first time in my life where unlimited studying does not guarantee myself an A. I go into an exam my usual confident self, only to return home discouraged and depressed. I know this is not healthy, but I've never had to deal with the fact that I'm actually not as smart as I think I am. All I can think about is how badly a B in real analysis will affect my chances of admission to a decent graduate program, regardless of whether the course was taken in the summer, when the course is much harder since time is short. I know these thoughts are irrational, I'll have plenty of chances to redeem myself in higher-level courses, but still, the feeling is compulsive. I can't shake it. Has anyone else had to deal with similar experiences? How do I find motivation again when my single best motivator (success) appears so elusive? While I enjoy math more than anything else, I can't honestly say that I study hard because I like it. No, I study hard because I like getting A's. And now, studying hard guarantees nothing. So I've been trying to tell myself that it's time to study simply because you enjoy the material and want to understand it. This makes me feel better for a little while. The rational side of my brain calms down and tells me I'll be fine, that I'll still be able to achieve all my math dreams as long as I just keep working hard....then that idea fades and I'm just depressed/discouraged again. I know a lot of people might read this and say, "haha get over yourself, welcome to the club". I understand my thoughts are irrational, but the FEELING is compulsive. So other than the obvious answer (humble yourself and continue working hard), how do you overcome discouragement in mathematics?