Imposter Syndrome: Feeling like you belong

by Louise Le

A reflective log and a message to current and future Data Schoolers…


Have you ever doubted your abilities?

Have you felt like you’re not as smart as people think you are?

Have you thought your accomplishments are due to luck?

Have you been afraid of being found out as a fraud?

Have you felt like you don’t fit?


This is Imposter Syndrome.


It’s something many people feel when starting a new job or after accomplishing something. The Data School is no exception. The Data School is full of insanely clever and creative people doing amazing things and it’s easy to feel like perhaps you don’t belong or you’re not up to the same standard as others. For many DSers, it’s a regular feeling.

For me, I felt like a mistake was made when I got the phone call from Andy Kriebel saying I’ve gotten in.


Since starting the Data School, these thoughts continue and I have new ones too.



Some thoughts from other DSers:


Your feelings are normal!


How do you get over it?

Disclaimer: Imposter Syndrome is something that may never go away and that’s okay. But you can take steps to reduce your feelings of it.


One experience from a DSer:

‘I felt Imposter Syndrome at first but now I’ve accepted that I probably won’t become the best at Tableau or Alteryx. But I am still useful. I can play a part in the company and I can help. I still feel Imposter Syndrome at times, for example, when I know I should know how to do something. But I know that I can still be important’ 


As a Data Schooler, it is almost inevitable to feel some element of Imposter Syndrome but you shouldn’t allow those feelings swallow you up and limit your progress throughout the Data School. Remember that everyone feels the same as you, even if they don’t look like it. You definitely deserve to be here. You passed the interviews based on the talent you demonstrated through your viz, presentations, etc… which means you’re amazing and you have the potential to be an incredible analyst.

For me, I still have feelings of inadequacy but the thoughts come less often as I become more comfortable and as I learn more. I try not to dwell on my negative thoughts and focus on doing the best I can. I imagine I’ll always feel like an imposter occasionally but that’s okay, I’ll still push forward.

Keep going and keep asking questions in class when you don’t understand. Try not to compare yourself to members of your cohort, as you all come from different backgrounds and have different strengths but you still have a lot to give. Also, by the end of your 4 months, you’ll all be trained in the same stuff. Don’t compare yourself to those who have been using Tableau/Alteryx longer than you but do aspire to reach their level. Use it as your inspiration.


And don’t worry, you belong here!



Check me out my blog feedmedata and follow me on @FeedMeData_


4 mins read

Thu 31 Jan 2019