What Is Holding You Back From Your Machine Learning Goals?

Last Updated on

Identify and Tackle Your Self-Limiting Beliefs and
Finally Make Progress

I get a lot of email from developers and students looking to get started in machine learning.

The first question I ask them is what is stopping them from getting started?

I try to get to the heart of what they are struggling with, and almost always it is a self-limiting belief that has halted their progress.

In this post, I want to touch on some self-limiting beliefs I see crop up in my email exchanges and discussions with coaching students.

Maybe you will see yourself in one or more of these beliefs. If so, I urge you to challenge your assumptions.

Don't give up

Don’t Give Up
Photo by brendan-c, some rights reserved

Self-Limiting Belief

A self-limiting belief is something that you assume to be true that is limiting your progress. You presuppose something about yourself or about the thing you want to achieve. The problem is you hold that belief to be true and you don’t question it.

Steve Pavlina lists 3 types of self-limiting beliefs in is post: Dissolving Limiting Beliefs:

  • If-then Beliefs: e.g. If I get started in machine learning, I will fail because I am not good enough.
  • Universal Beliefs: e.g. All Data Scientists have a Ph.D. and are mathematics rock gods.
  • Personal and Self-Esteem Beliefs: e.g. I’m not good enough to be a machine learner.

You’re probably a logical and rational thinker. Apply those skills to your own beliefs about your goals and aspirations in machine learning and challenge them.

Waiting To Get Started

I think the biggest class of limiting belief I see is the belief that you cannot get started until you have some specific prior knowledge. The problem is that the prior knowledge you think you need is either not required or is so vast in scope that even experts in that subject don’t know it all.

For example: “I need to KNOW statistics“. See how ambiguous that belief is. How much statistics, what areas of statistics and why do you need to know them before you can start your investigation into machine learning?

Below are some of the more common self-limiting beliefs of skills or prior knowledge that must be obtained before you can get started in machine learning.

I can’t get into machine learning until…

  • …I get a degree or higher degree
  • …I complete a course
  • …I am good at linear algebra
  • …I know statistics and probability theory
  • …I have mastered the R programming language

You can get started in machine learning today, right now. Run your first classifier in 5 minutes. You’re in. Now, start blocking out what it is from machine learning that you really want?

I have written about some of these before, for example:

Awaiting Perfect Conditions

Another class of self-limiting belief is where you are waiting for the perfect environment or conditions before taking the leap. Things will never be perfect, leap and make a mess, then leap again.

I can’t get started in machine learning because…

  • …I don’t have the time right now
  • …I don’t have a fast CPU, GPU or a bazillion MB of RAM
  • …I am just a student right now
  • …I am not a good programmer at the moment
  • …I am very busy at work right now

It does take a lot of time and effort to get good at machine learning, but not all at once and not all at the beginning.

You can make good progress with a few hours a week, or tens of minutes per day. There are plenty of small snack-sized tasks you could take on to get started in machine learning. You can get started, it is just going to take some sacrifice, like all good things in life.

Struggling or Tried and Failed

The third class of limiting belief is that where you have made a small start but you are struggling or have failed to achieve your goal.

This is a tough one. Machine learning is hard but no harder than other technical skills like programming. It takes persistence and dedication. It’s applied and empirical and demands trial and error.

I can’t get into machine learning because…

  • …I feel overwhelmed
  • …I don’t understand x
  • …I will never be as good as y
  • …I don’t know what to do next
  • …I can’t get my program to work

My advice is to cut scope or change direction. I advocate small projects as often as I can because the methodology has been so successful for me.

What is your self-limiting belief?

Do you have a self-limiting belief? Think about it. What are your goals and why do you think you are not there yet?

Do you have a goal to get into machine learning, to become a data scientist or a machine learning engineer but have not taken the first step?

  • Are you waiting to acquire some perfect set of skills before getting started?
  • Are you waiting for the perfect conditions before getting started?
  • Have you taken a first step and abandoned the trail?

Where do you want to be and what are you struggling with?

214 Responses to What Is Holding You Back From Your Machine Learning Goals?

  1. Aman Tandon November 12, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    Exactly, we should go beyond our limits and we should think there is nothing which we can’t do. I have weak aptitude but have very good ideas to implement various things using machine learning.

    And I really appreciate your work. Thank you Jason

  2. Roberto May 18, 2016 at 8:31 am #

    This page is pure awesomeness

    • Jason Brownlee May 18, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      Thanks Roberto.

    • Harpreet Mehra July 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm #

      Very well written. I have been contemplating to get into data science since a long time. I just stand at the edge of thos vast ocean of info about machine learning waiting to jump into it. Your article is just bang on what stops one from taking the plunge and why it is not necessary to procrastinate foe so long.

  3. Rex May 31, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    Love what you wrote.
    I just forwarded this article to my friend who has been coming up with all sorts of excuses to delay his learning of Python.
    I hope this could slap him so hard in the face, that he won’t be able to look at himself in the mirror for the rest of his life before he starts moving again.

  4. Kleyn Guerreiro June 7, 2016 at 5:01 am #

    Beeing a data journalist would be my preferred approach to encourage people to start with ML and this is what I couch people who watch my speeches…After a few projects learning how to find data, build visualizations e tell stories, then algoritms and ML would be the next step…

    • Jason Brownlee June 14, 2016 at 8:23 am #

      Great suggestion Kleyn, although it does presuppose skills in writing.

  5. Bilal Malik June 20, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

    I knew nothing about Machine Learning till 2010 till I donwloaded PLS toobox and boom got the results for my data using SVM.(At this stage I didn’t know much about SVM and may not much about linear regression itself. But I manged to use SVM for determination of glucose concentration and was able to publish few papers in journals on chemometrics.

    But till date I have not been able to build on my learning i.e. do something about ML and get published in this area.
    I always think it may be my math skills. although I tried to learn linear algebra from Andrew Nag’s Course but …………… and did a statistics course from Coursera and yes started working using Matlab ….
    But I feel I am not able to go much beyond this.

  6. Maanav July 1, 2016 at 12:37 am #

    I am a 9th grade student from India, am deeply interested in machine learning. I have mastered the fields of linear algebra, probability and statistics, but I wanted to inquire whether it is the right age for me to pursue ML. Should I wait a few more years? Or can I begin right now?

    • Jason Brownlee July 1, 2016 at 5:41 am #

      If the field interests you then why not get started.

    • S Kotrappa February 26, 2017 at 1:41 am #

      Congratulations !! Maanav Go ahead there is no age for learning skills & you can become master and expert by the time you come to UG , all the best!!

  7. Jessica September 4, 2016 at 7:27 am #

    Thank you for sharing! I am a graduate student majoring Information Systems. Most of time I have to use machine learning techniques to solve business problem. Since I focus on academic and research area, more advanced and novel methods should be created by myself. And I feel that is very difficult for me. For now, I am researching on Bayesian Network and calculate parameters by using EM algorithm to predict the label. Sadly, the results are not quite good compared with HMM model. Still struggling on my work. But your website really helps me a lot. Hope you could publish some more interesting machine learning techniques and articles especially on how to improve the original algorithm! Thank you very much!

    • Jason Brownlee September 4, 2016 at 8:06 am #

      I’m glad you’re finding it useful Jessica, thanks.

  8. Baouche rafik September 28, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

    Machine Learning in geophysical is a chalenge for predictions of Parameters which approach the model in earth sciences. Using the well log data and process the rules, the prediction of reserves evaluation in oil field can be possible.

  9. Amrit October 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

    This is really helpful to start for a beginner .
    Encouraging and well defined.
    Thank you.

    • Jason Brownlee October 3, 2016 at 5:18 am #

      I’m glad to hear that you found it useful Amrit.

  10. Sagar October 6, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

    This is a helpful post and motivational. I am going for PG in Data Analytics and this post motivated me to overcome many self beliefs and doubts. I was in double minds on whether to go for PG or not considering lack of practice in Maths/Stats and new concepts of ML (R and Python).
    But agree to your writing that we can overcome these fears and start learning.
    Thanks for this post 🙂

  11. Saad Yaseen October 9, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    I am not so good with Mathematics. I’ve always scored C grades in most university math courses. However, I am quite excited about ML, I am adept at Java programming. Do I have to have better grades in Mathematics in order to learn ML?

  12. Mark Kaghazgarian November 17, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    This article made my day and gave me enough motivation to keep going ahead in learning machine learning since I was overwhelmed by many resources out there which usually asked for prior knowledge in Mathematics and statistics

  13. Diego November 30, 2016 at 5:00 am #

    Thanks for inspiring me. Greetings from Ecuador

  14. Krishna November 30, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    Great post !! its always interesting to understand our own mind play and overcome the limits with the same will power 🙂 And this applies to anything new to start with.

  15. Yashraj November 30, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

    Though this article is written by keeping machine learning in mind, this article can be co-related any new thing to learn which we think is gigantic effort and out of reach for us.
    Thanks Jason for such inspiring thoughts

    • Jason Brownlee December 1, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      Thanks Yashraj, I’m gald you found it useful.

      I think it is such an import area that few are talking about.

      It all comes down to mindset, the tools are already there and ready to use.

  16. Taye December 2, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    Thank you Jason for such a wonderful inspiring thoughts. I hope any one can even use these principles in his every day life other than Machine Learning.

  17. Arnold January 5, 2017 at 1:54 am #

    thanx Jason, am one of them i tryed a small project with no success……ended up giving up but will give it a try again

  18. Imane January 14, 2017 at 4:18 am #

    Thanks for advices, I’m now ready to get start my first leap

  19. Murali February 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Till now i was very confusion and i had the notion that machine learning is not for me because i don’t know math stuff with me. This post inspired me so much, made me to come out of my inner fear. Thank you very much Jason.

  20. S Kotrappa February 26, 2017 at 1:46 am #

    Wonderful Jason for your service and resources , motivation you provide us in Machine Learning, thanks

  21. Abhishek sharma March 3, 2017 at 6:20 am #

    Thanks for making me fearless about machine learning through this amazing inspirational content and you are providing such a phenomenal resources on machine learning for a beginner as well as for expert.
    Thank You So much, Mr Jason Brownlee

    • Jason Brownlee March 3, 2017 at 7:46 am #

      You’re welcome Abhishek.

      Thank you in return for your support! Without readers like you I’d be out here talking to myself.

  22. Gautham March 4, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

    This is the best getting started page I’ve ever seen, In all my self learning journey.

  23. Jijo March 11, 2017 at 4:05 am #

    I not a programmer,but i want to learn Machine Learning.Should i first master Python or other languages to start ML

  24. Uche April 3, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    How do I get started.

  25. Uche April 3, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    I want to start with R. How do I get started

  26. Abhishek Kumar April 8, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    Can you be my mentor please? I can do anything to learn from you. I know this website helps a lot in machine learning already, but I would like to go beyond this and to achieve extreme level in my life. Please mentor me even though it takes anything.

    • Jason Brownlee April 9, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

      You can learn from my tutorials, blog posts and books. It is a way I can help many students at once.

  27. T.D.Nuwan Chathuranga April 21, 2017 at 4:22 am #

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you for your good thoughts and influence for a become a good ML Engineer,

    Learning ML in good = 1/Self Limiting Belief

    Thank you again

  28. Sathish Kumar C May 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your motivational thoughts,

    To become a datascientist, I feel like need to be technically(I am little strong) and analytically (I am not week, need to explore more analytical equations) strong.

    Learning ML is good and very intersting..

  29. Bharat Poptwani July 26, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi Jason,

    You have put me in a dilemma haha. I am a software developer at India’s Biggest ticketing platform, BookMyShow. I have good enough challenges on my plate in both client-side (We are moving our Native apps to React Native) as well as server-side. But I had this sudden desire for uninterrupted learning, I do keep learning new developments in web development world, but the thing is I am restricted to the time that I find after working hours and on weekends. So I was thinking of doing MS in US specifically in Machine Learning.

    Even though I will take a huge educational loan, my reasons for doing MS in US were:
    1. First and foremost I will be learning uninterrupted for 2 whole years.
    2. Highly qualified faculties.
    3. Access to the best resources available (The myth that you busted, internet is the best resource available, thanks for reaffirming that. Even I believe so because I am a self-taught programmer myself)
    4. Spending time with other similarly interested and enthusiastic individuals.

    Now, I would like your opinion on if I should make that trip and live two tough years to devote myself to machine learning? I see points 1,2 and 4 as solid reasons, what do you think?

    • Jason Brownlee July 27, 2017 at 8:03 am #

      This is your choice and you must use your freedom to make it.

      I wish you the best of luck and would love to hear what you decide.

  30. Satya Prakash Sharma July 30, 2017 at 12:46 am #

    I have a Burning Desire to learn a machine Learning , Already
    I am Good in Android Developing , Already I developed an Android App , that is “SafeWallet One 4 All Password Manage”.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onefourall_wallet

    Jason I like your blog , really this is helpful. can you guide me .

  31. FIKIR August 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    hello im masters sudent I took ML course but still im confused how build the model how selct algorithims how apply …soon Till now i was very confusion i have low confidence low low self-esteem and most of the time i feel I don’t have the time right now because im student.now i want do my research around ML im interesting when im searching different sites i get ur site im so excited i hope this post inspired me so much,highl improve my confidence not only by ML by all thing and gave me enough motivation. Thank you very much Jason!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Renato Caetano September 22, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

    You help me a lot… Thank you Jason Brownlee!

  33. Aadrsh September 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

    That’s so motivative.
    Thank you, Sir.

  34. Aniket October 1, 2017 at 3:25 am #

    Hi Jason,

    I have a question about how to get started in machine learning. The thing ehich frustrates me and even hoding me back till today is that there are thousands of courses out there online having different contents(topics) to go through and I don’t understand totally which course I should go through to understand the nuts and bolts of machine learning. Even quora answers about “how to get started” don’t help me to take a good course.
    I have also taken up machine learning couse on coursera by Andrew Ng but it covered some aspects of machine learning.
    So, please help me to guide a good course in machine learning.

    • Jason Brownlee October 1, 2017 at 9:08 am #

      Great question.

      There are many ways to get started, you need to find the one way that works best for your preferred learning style.

      I teach a top-down and results-first approach to machine learning.

      My best advice is broken down into a 5-step process, summarized here:
      http://machinelearningmastery.com/start-here/#getstarted

      I hope this helps as a start.
      I’m here to help as you have more questions.

  35. Shunmugapriya October 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    This page is wonderful giving hope for beginners and failures. I belong to the self-limiting belief: Struggling or tried and failed.

    your words here motivate me to continue doing.

    Thanks a lot Prof.

  36. Shridhar October 31, 2017 at 12:48 am #

    This is inspirational. Thank you.

  37. Laeeq Khan November 9, 2017 at 12:35 am #

    This page make me the perfect person for machine learning. Thanks Thanks Thanks a lot Dr.Jason Brownlee you did very great effort for all people who are confuse to get start in machine learning

  38. Luu Hai November 26, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    thank you!

  39. Clare November 30, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks Jason – I’m just starting to get into this, so new that I only started just now 🙂 I went to a talk last night by John Bates who was involved with designing a lot of the early AI based algorithmic trading solutions, and this has really got me fired up. I’m love the positivity and practicality of your messages there. Itts great to be encouraging people to take real steps to investigate AI and machine learning.

  40. Rahul December 7, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi Jason, I am a Java JEE 10+ yrs experience guy who wants to work on Machine Learning in near future as a professional. I am learning Python for the same. However the dilemma is that I would need to study and build ML Repertoire as personal capacity as there is no (or very less projects) with work using ML as focus (in my curent company). Do you have any suggestions for any decent Machine Learning “PATH” (read course with source codes and challenging exercises)(to become a ML Developer with Python with a self studied ML Projects Repertoire) which you may think needs to be followed by experienced industry professionals like us (apart from your 2 ML books on Python) ? Kindly advise !!!

  41. Felix December 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi Jason, thanks for the great article. But what about the belief “I cannot get a job in data science because I don’t have enough experience (in this field) and I’m too old for starting a new tech career”? On a rational level, I know that this belief must be wrong and sounds harmful … however, it has been learned through “reinforcement learning”, i.e., is substantiated through experience.

    Although I can bring (some) math skills and a PhD in CS (just not in machine learning) combined with 8 years in SW dev to the table, people just don’t see me as potential machine learning engineer / data scientist. Online course specializations so far don’t help either and getting real projects in ML seems extremely hard (even harder than applying ML itself). So this poses a classical bootstrap problem. Any advice?

    Ah, before I forget: Happy holidays 🙂

  42. Rohit Kumar December 29, 2017 at 1:04 am #

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you for your great work.

    for me, you are like “Parth in MahaBharat”.

    Please share some articles for Basic ML & Python.

  43. Emmanuel Gunti January 21, 2018 at 7:15 am #

    Excellent Jason, I m inspired & i am going to start and follow the steps you have mentioned, i m from Aviation field & eager to learn ML and make my career.

    Thanks a lot.

  44. Michael Blackwell January 24, 2018 at 4:20 pm #

    I’m an older guy (47 yrs) living up near Silicon Valley, actually Stockton, Ca. I’ve been wanting to get into the tech sector for years but I had a lot of the excuses that stopped me cold. I was an Intelligence Specialist in the Navy(USS JFK CV-67) back in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I tried getting into digital effects but it was so mathematics heavy that I got discouraged and opted for a career in truck driving until I could figure out what I really wanted to do. Fast forward 26 years later and was looking through engineer professions and up comes Machine Learning and a light went off. I decided this is what I want to do and my old research skills kicked in and I found your information that matched what I was looking for PERFECTLY!

    THANK YOU

  45. M.Ravi Prakash February 24, 2018 at 5:34 am #

    Hi Jason,
    Beautiful article and wonderful Blog.it’s amazing to see you handle all aspects of programming not just the code but the psychological aspect. Every step is meticulously chiseled. I have these mental blocks and I have been looking for a way to get over it. Have even been forraying into Data Science and Machine Learning for past two years but little success and I would keep giving myself reasons either it would be the work I do in the office or something else. But lately, i have been reading your articles and finding my loopholes trying to plug them.
    Thanks for showing the lighting up the path in every aspect. Appreciate your guidance and the time that you have put into creating the blog and showing us the way

    • Jason Brownlee February 24, 2018 at 9:26 am #

      Thanks, I’m glad the posts help.

      Hang in there! It’s worth it. There is nothing more fun than learning solutions to complex problems rather than coding them.

      ML is not magic and data scientists are not elite priests. It’s work, just like everything else.

  46. Mittal Patel February 28, 2018 at 4:10 am #

    This is such a great boost up for newbies of ML field.

    ML can get really intimidating and most of the folks leave it pretty soon without making good progress due to wrong start. Going by your motivating blogs could be highly encouraging for beginners without losing hope even if they face some difficulties.

    For doubters, I would suggest to also go through below posts which are linked from the blog:
    Programmers can get into machine learning
    What if I’m not good at mathematics
    What if I don’t have a degree
    What if I’m not a good programmer

    Great resource for ML you have built Jason. I will recommend to all the students who are getting started on ML learning.

  47. Kamran Khan March 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

    Thanks a lot for sharing this Jason. My self-limiting belief is not just one but two

    – I’m 38 year old hence not as young as many other students
    – I don’t have a Computer Sciences background although I got two degrees in Aeronautics Engg and Telecommunications Engineering but that was a long time ago

    My experience is in the commercial side of things focusing more on how businesses can benefit from machine learning and what are the real time applications that fall under the domain of ML and AI

    However I’ll now start using content until I get my confidence that I can do it and be on the path of learning ML and AI

    Thanks again

    • Jason Brownlee March 6, 2018 at 6:09 am #

      Hang in there! It is a large industry in need of people that understand how these tools work.

  48. Marie @ Girl Knows Tech March 17, 2018 at 3:14 pm #

    THANK YOU! Needed to read this as I’m considering doing a master in ML and felt like shit.

  49. Mark H March 22, 2018 at 5:45 am #

    I am a DBA and trying to help broaden my skill set and be able to get an idea of the information that we have in our databases. And see if there are new ways we can make use of the data we have. I work crazy hours and I am having trouble making this important info for me to make it happen, I did the crash course and I just picked up, the introduction to Machine learning With Python from the library and hope to be able to channel some of the cash from my next pay day to get your book. The tutorial really gave me a huge step forward and helped kick up my confidence level. Its been awhile since I have got my degree and I am hungry to learn more and apply it to some of our companies data and see where it might lead us. Thank you very much for sharing what you have learned in a way to help this old dog learn some new tricks.

    • Jason Brownlee March 22, 2018 at 6:27 am #

      Hang in there Mark.

      Focus on solving problems and getting results. ML is just a set of tools towards this end.

  50. Jesús Martínez April 11, 2018 at 11:55 pm #

    Most of the time we won’t achieve skills because we have so ingrained in our brain that we are not capable of doing so. Another common mistake is that we are always preparing, always learning, always consuming but seldom (or ever) producing. I’d dare to say this is the root of most of our problems… Also, we are so afraid of failing and sucking at new things, when, in reality, there’s no way around it! It’s a process and any and every time we try new things, we’ll suck at it. I think is key to embrace this fact and TRUST THE PROCESS, not focus on RESULTS, given that the latter is an unavoidable consequence of the former if given sufficient effort and time.

  51. Shravan April 17, 2018 at 2:50 am #

    Really motivating article and I think this has enough self-limiting beliefs, probably, evolved through machine learning 😊

  52. Govinda April 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm #

    Thank you so much. This article is very helpful… 😀

  53. Ved May 5, 2018 at 12:50 am #

    I can’t believe this feels like it was written for me. And yet, this is exactly what so many other people think. I guess you can’t be unique even in your failures 😉

    Jokes aside, being a machine learning focused site, I am glad and appreciative of the fact that you took the time to actually write this page, that you even thought of it. Thank you so very much and please accept my gratitude and best wishes.

    You have a subscriber.

  54. Andy McDonald May 11, 2018 at 12:41 am #

    I have only just found your site Jason and like what I see so far.

    I have been trying to learn about machine learning and data science for a possible career change, but often when looking at adverts they state you need to know Python/R, have a degree in maths/computing etc….. So it has kind of pushed me back a little and made me think that I need to do a massive amount of learning before even considering machine learning and data science.

    But reading this post has motivated me a bit more and made me realise I should just keep going with what I am doing and continue to learn the skills bit by bit.

    I will go and continue to read your other articles just now. 🙂

  55. Leo May 13, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Hey Jason,

    Very insightful and thoughtful article.

    Knowing how to code to be able to learn machine learning is a pre-requisite or a self limiting belief?

  56. Opeyemi May 27, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    Well this is good. I’m interested in ML and I’m just starting to read algebra, stats, probability etc. Been postponing for months. How do I get started without being overwhelmed?

  57. Yogesh Suryawanshi May 29, 2018 at 9:42 pm #

    Thanks a lot for sharing this Jason. My self-limiting belief is not just one but two

    – I’m 38 year old hence not as young as many other students
    – I am 14 yrs in to IT industry – Network engineering and project management is my background. lack of programming skills is something which holds me back
    – I am weak in maths too

    From your article what i think is first , i need to train my brain to get ready it learn ML and i may need to take baby steps and i am confident with my professional background and experience certainly i can in to that… appreciate if you can suggest me those baby steps.

    • Jason Brownlee May 30, 2018 at 6:43 am #

      You can do it, and provide a ton of value to business!

      Hang in there.

  58. Madhubala Jayakumaran June 17, 2018 at 8:31 pm #

    OMG!! You are responding to everyone.. Man .. you are awesome.. And it’s a great article…

  59. Aynaz Biniyaz June 28, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    you are awesome ..you gave me a big motivation to learn machine learning!
    thank you!
    stay awesome.

  60. Rushikesh July 6, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    Got all prejudices about machine learning cleansed after reading this article! Thanks a ton:-)

  61. Ramanathan Vijayan July 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi Jason,

    Your words are really motivating every one..i have started my journey towards to the machine learning .

    Thanks 🙂

  62. Naveed July 18, 2018 at 1:06 pm #

    Hi Jason,
    I have a mixture of all four categories of self-limiting belief. I am always waiting for a good time to get into ML. Discipline is definitely what I struggle with the most though. I have audited the introduction to ML course by Andrew NG. However, I never finished going through all of the materials especially when he got into deep learning and my lack of linear algebra and mat lab skills caught up to me. Now I am not sure whether I should just try the course again or learn how to use scikit-learn and explore kaggle projects. I almost started studying for GRE so I can go to grad school after getting frustrated repeatedly until I have found your blog.

    • Jason Brownlee July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

      Lectures are boring.

      Focus on solving problems and learning enough to help you solve problems better.

      Get good by practicing on standard datasets and build up a portfolio.

  63. Ankur August 10, 2018 at 1:54 am #

    Thanks Jason… u have pinpointed the primary problem and make me realize the truth… thanku so much… this post is savior and I can start machine learning right away..thanks man

  64. Sri Jags September 26, 2018 at 8:51 pm #

    Thanks Jason. It covered all the myths and cleared fears and prerequisites. Want to start my machine learning course after couple of months once I become good in Python , Math and Stat. After seeing this blog I started now and today itself and continue at least few hours for week even though I am packed with my regular work.

    Once again thanks for wonderful post.

    • Jason Brownlee September 27, 2018 at 5:59 am #

      I’m happy it helped.

      Stop getting ready to get started and dive in!

  65. Karthik October 19, 2018 at 4:37 am #

    Hi Jason, can you suggest any freeware that can help me load stuff into my windows machine and get started in running the easiest ML problems?
    Is there a work book or something that has worked out example (sample code) that help me understand and appreciate ML better?-And thank you for the igniting many minds

  66. Pratyush October 24, 2018 at 1:12 am #

    hey Jason, I have learned different techniques and machine learning algorithms from various websites. But it took so much time that I didn’t had the time to apply all that into any real-world project and now I didn’t even have a single project that I can show in my resume. I want to build up my portfolio do you have any suggestions for me I’ll be grateful.

  67. sammer October 25, 2018 at 1:01 am #

    What a nice article! I feel I want to read it again and again
    Excellent work, Jason

  68. Winnie October 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

    Just what i needed to hear.I’m not holding back from now!

  69. H.ELk October 29, 2018 at 10:52 am #

    by browsing the web as I do daily! I find this page rich in computer related machine learning … Thank you very much I appreciate your work that can help me personally
    Dear professor
    I would be very grateful if you can help me at the level of the orientation .. I wanted to apply the machine learning for the prediction of the electronic structure of the atoms (quantum chemistry) if you can give me a guide on which I will study to do this I will be very very grateful
    thanks again

  70. May Zar Hlaing November 19, 2018 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks Jason. This article encourages me to run away from self-limiting beliefs on studying Machine Learning.

  71. khaoula Briki December 5, 2018 at 12:26 pm #

    Thank you for this page
    and This article encourages me to run away from self-limiting beliefs on studying Machine Learning

  72. jeyanthi December 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

    your are not only a good machine learning teacher but also a good motivator….thanks for your post

  73. Richard December 13, 2018 at 6:08 am #

    What about if you are 45 and older with a 20 years old computer science degree?

    • Jason Brownlee December 13, 2018 at 7:59 am #

      Perfect! Your experience will help you learn the tools and apply them more effectively than someone who has seen fewer real projects.

  74. Ihab December 18, 2018 at 12:11 am #

    Perfect! Thanks

  75. Ansh December 20, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

    Really appreciate your work

  76. Keshav December 22, 2018 at 8:28 pm #

    Really it cleared many of things in mind. Even I haven’t started the course but happy with this article.

  77. wanze December 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm #

    I am afraid of that learning machine larning maybe need so many time that I am a adult programmer not a student right now , I am afraid may there is no abundant time for this.

    • Jason Brownlee December 25, 2018 at 7:20 am #

      Do a little each day, even 20 minutes. It will compound over days and weeks.

  78. PeterNguyen January 16, 2019 at 2:20 am #

    your article saved my life, thank you so much, actually I am a beginner in this field, I am extremely overwhelmed when I started learning ML by myself, I think negative and always doubt about myself that I can’t do it. So i feel really stressed when I study because I met a lot of math concept that I don’t understand, at that time I think I can’t do it, I gave up many times. once again thank you so much Jason

  79. Arsha January 19, 2019 at 9:10 pm #

    wonderful article.

  80. Mohammed RABHI February 2, 2019 at 10:29 pm #

    Thaank you Jason, I came across your blog while thinking of going through ML for my Ms Thesis. I was hesitating at first thinking it’s hard and I don’t have enough proficiency and knowledge in the filed. But after reading this, I will chose this topic and go for it.
    it’s ” Image-based Lane Keeping Control using End-to-End Machine Learning “

  81. Mitch Edmunds February 15, 2019 at 2:22 am #

    Hi Jason, I’ve been stuck reading your blog posts all-day. Perhaps this is part of my self-limiting belief that I choose to spend all day reading about machine learning rather than doing or perhaps it is because the posts are genuinely insightful with painstakingly distilled and relevant information. I’ve been going for three months trying to learn the skills I need for data science, and have made some good progress so far with the R language in particular.
    However, the self-limiting beliefs of waiting for the perfect set of skills and waiting for the perfect conditions resonate a lot with me. I think that this is exactly the advice I need, along with your advice on small projects for me to actually progress into more of a doing phase of learning. Furthermore, the comparison of “I’ll never be as good as y” is very dangerous in all walks of life. You see it with young people on Instagram in terms of beauty, you see it with my single female friends who worry that all their friends are getting hitched and they’re not. I tell them, it’s not a race! I caught myself thinking these thoughts only today in relation to programming/ML/data science – “I’ll never be as good as y and they’ve already beaten me to the punch”. I need to tell myself it’s not a race, get my head down and start doing!
    Thanks for all these great resources.

    • Jason Brownlee February 15, 2019 at 8:12 am #

      Thanks. Hang in there!

      Try to write/create/add-to a project each day. Over the days, weeks and months you will look back and see that you have achieved so much!

      But you have to start.

  82. Thiago Lyra Rocha February 25, 2019 at 11:03 pm #

    This site is an aboslute Gold Mine!

  83. Reema March 20, 2019 at 2:28 am #

    I am very glad that I was able to find this post. I was struggling to start machine learning with lack of confidence and as you rightly mentioned – self limitation belief.This post has motivated me to start all over again. I keep getting stuck with coding as I am in the process of learning it and get demotivated once in a while thinking that this is something that I will never be able to do. Your blog post had helped me to think again with different perspective and I feel a lot better and confident. There couldn’t have been a better time for me to go through your posts.

    Thanks a ton for all your posts and resources!!

    • Jason Brownlee March 20, 2019 at 8:33 am #

      Thank you for sharing!

      I’m so happy that it helped.

      You are not alone, we are all here together, striving.

  84. Chris Johnson March 22, 2019 at 4:39 am #

    Thank you for this, Jason. I’d come across this article a couple weeks ago and saved it for later (typical action on my part, but I’m getting better at taking action sooner). My wife and I were just discussing limiting beliefs yesterday, and one of my big ones was “I’m too far behind.” Hidden within that belief were other beliefs such as “There’s not enough time”, “I’m not at my peak learning ability”, and “I won’t be able to handle the increased responsibility”. My wife is a life-coach-in-training, so she helped me work through a couple of those, and I am now much more confident in moving forward.

    One thing I’d add to the discussion is this: Not everyone who can do something ends up doing it. The reality of this is huge for people like me, when I was feeling like I’m too far behind to be able to catch up and make an impact. The reality is, the need is great in this field, and it will only become greater. As the need becomes greater, fewer people will be available to fill it. Even those that are able to fill it today are saying to themselves, “I need to learn X first” or “I need to become better at Y”. Whoever doesn’t limit themselves by saying those things, those people will find themselves in the field instead of the ones who limit themselves.

    I’m excited to be starting my journey today. Thank you for your encouragement and guidance!

    • Jason Brownlee March 22, 2019 at 8:39 am #

      Thanks for sharing Chris, I’m really happy to hear that you’re making progress.

      You’re spot on with your point. There is a massive need for skills in ML, and if you’re capable, it is almost important to supply those skills to businesses that need them.

  85. Gopal Bhandari April 2, 2019 at 12:00 am #

    Hi sir,

    I belongs to non-technical background student, I had done Data Science course from one of the institute and didn’t understand much so i Plan to take Udemy class, I already started class it helped me so much.

    I have some doubt i hope you will explain it. The Doubt is below–

    1. How can i know business problem, Is Regression, Classification, Segmentation etc.

    2. How to do project is there any Model Building sample for each problem.

  86. Kirti April 12, 2019 at 8:34 pm #

    I am a 12th grade student from India and I have passed my 12th grade board examination. I have heard about ML and AI. I am interested in learning these technolgies and also I tried to begin by learning Linear Algebra from MIT OCW, but I understood nothing cuz I am not good at Mathematics. Also I have no knowledge about skills and tools and other technologies related to ML and AI.
    So I just request you to kindly tell me like what should I literally start with . Like what apps or software or tools I should download on my Laptop and what should I do with them and how should I use them to get desired results and hence take a step forward in my ML journey.
    I am in need of advice from an expert like you who knows what is the reality of ML.
    I have always not wanted to go for any formal degree. All I want is precise guidance suiting my capabilities and interests.

  87. Prateek April 19, 2019 at 7:05 pm #

    Hi,

    Felt very good that I landed this page.

    Highly motivating and kind of looking deep inside anyone’s thought process who wan to learn ML but has not started yet.

    Same is the case with me.

    It has been 7 years I hove worked much in tech domain. Now, looking to get into it through ML.

    Looking to learn ML to have little fun with data and data sets and get some small part time projects to get some income.

    Also, will try to implement ML in finance and investment decisions. Dont know how it will be done, but will look it its possible.

    Looking for your kind co-operation.

    Thanks.

  88. Sukant May 1, 2019 at 3:51 pm #

    Thanks Jason,

    A wonderful post and have read this at the most appropriate time. Am a Network engineer by profession and have dealt in the network industry for over a decade. Now things are taking a huge turn in this era and every thing is getting automated. Am studying for python and network automation and programming along with New avenues in Networking but i still feel that there has to be some thing more to it. Machine Learning and Deep Learning are the subjects that i always had the inclination on and wanted to pursue. There are multiple things that has been holding me back like time, environment but i think your post has covered it all. I will need your help and guidance to move forward. I have purchased two books of Machine Learning(theoretical) by Tom Mitchell and the other ” Machine Intelligence: Demystifying Machine Learning, Neural Networks and Deep Learning” by Suresh Samudrala. Will these books be a good start.

  89. jamila May 7, 2019 at 9:00 pm #

    motivational article 🙂

  90. Mannu kumar May 8, 2019 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanku jason for the article.It really helpful.

    In my most of search,I didnt find the answer from where to start the Machine Learning?

    Yesterday night,I saw same machine learning challenge code fo about 500 to 700 lines on hackerthon.
    I just got afraid of moving my step forwards.The questions arise can I so such?

    As Machine learning is so vast and i am a self learner.

    Your post just inspired me a lot.

    I find the most helpful and motivational.

  91. Arezoo Samiei June 8, 2019 at 8:44 am #

    Hi,

    Thank you for so much for your post. My self-limiting belief stands on two-fold.
    1- I am not sure if my project is the one that I can apply machine learning in it or not. If I can implement Machin learning in Autonomous Tasks allocation problems or not.
    2- I know I am not good enough in programming.

  92. Denis June 18, 2019 at 11:25 pm #

    PC games:(
    Because of them, I haven’t enough time to learning ML.

  93. Gaurav Jain June 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm #

    Thank you Jason for breaking the mental block which has been stopping me for doing this thing.

  94. Mihirvh July 14, 2019 at 1:16 am #

    Glad I came here it’s one of the best blog /website for machine learning
    Thank you Jason

  95. Norman Lopez Sobalvarro July 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm #

    Exactly what I needed to read. Thank you.

  96. Lucjan July 29, 2019 at 7:22 pm #

    Hello Jason and thanks for the post. It is quite interesting how these beliefs are shared among so many people. You’d think that all things considered I’d have the perfect conditions, yet I’d been postponing whatever attempts at transitioning from my current line of work because of the fear of failure. Even though I have a degree, am a physicist by training, so have a good basis in mathematics, and have programmed in Python before (mostly numerical methods like FDM, FEM, etc.) I still don’t think that I am ripe enough. I’ve also tried to blame it on the time, or how busy I was at work and that extra time spent on the work project would help me keep my job. There are so many insecurities that we all have – it is mind boggling! But then again your post helped me realise that I actually do not have any excuses to go on. I just need to get my act together, roll the sleeves up, and start working. I was actually hoping to pursue a PhD in ML and AI, but still haven’t figured out which facet of the subject to explore more. And to be honest, if you had any advice on that I’d be most obliged. Wishing you all the best.

  97. Ravi Ponamgi August 17, 2019 at 7:56 am #

    Jason, I’m so fortunate to have discovered these pearls of wisdom which you’ve brilliantly incorporated into this website. The self-limiting beliefs “Waiting To Get Started” and “Awaiting Perfect Conditions” seem to have blocked me from pursuing so many of my intellectual ambitions. Now it’s time to remove all such inhibiting beliefs and go learn like a machine!

    • Jason Brownlee August 18, 2019 at 6:36 am #

      I’m happy to hear that.

      It’s time to take a step forward!

  98. Keith August 27, 2019 at 6:55 pm #

    Step 1

  99. Darshan Prajapati August 27, 2019 at 9:03 pm #

    Hello, Jason

    Greeting from Darshan!

    I am a Mechanical Engineer and want to start a career in Artificial Integellance & Machine Learning Intern.

    Here, Could you guide me how can I start my career in AL/ML Engineer?

  100. Adama September 1, 2019 at 6:46 am #

    100% correct about everything. Thanks you for this article. Do you have a Discord or Slack group I can Join ?

    • Jason Brownlee September 2, 2019 at 5:23 am #

      Thanks, I’m glad it helped.

      Sorry, I don’t offer other support channels at this stage.

  101. Md Shariful Islam Sohel September 9, 2019 at 4:08 pm #

    Absolute Genius Sir! I had a belief that I need to finish statistics before I start with ML and I bought one statistics course in Udemy. I am expert in programming so I think I can start just immediately. Just do and learn model.

    Many thanks for this awesome article. Hats offf to you Sir!

  102. Bharath September 13, 2019 at 5:12 pm #

    Really motivating, to get started with Machine learning. Thanks for your support.

  103. DIVINE FRANCIS October 15, 2019 at 2:07 pm #

    Sir ,

    I am 20 years old

    I am doing by b tech in cs. I am very found of ML .Currently i”ve applied for a course in ML (coursera). I have certain doubts :

    1.which language is best for ML (python / java)

    2.In ML we are not coding rather ask the machine to learn for itself // Is it correct or not

    3.What made you an ML lover (inspiration / how do you become an expert)

    4.Do you love any other concepts other than AL / ML

    5.Before coming to ML . What is your area of research.

    You are a good man.You herby teach knowledge is to share

    With all respect , i’ve made this comment bcz your article solves most of my confusions.

    Thank You Dr.Jason Brownlee

    • Jason Brownlee October 16, 2019 at 7:56 am #

      Python.

      Correct.

      I wrote bots for games (quake) and I was hooked.

      What do you mean other concepts?

      My background is in computer science – my area research was machine learning.

  104. Musawar Ahmad October 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm #

    By reading this self reflection questions, i am surprised to see that it is really happening with most of us. Thanks for breaking he shell…

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