Breaking Free from the Comparison Trap

Simone Keelah Brathwaite
3 min readJan 25, 2024


Embracing Abundance in a World of Creative Pursuits

Photo by Christopher Windus on Unsplash

Like any spirited 4-year-old, I fell in love with the Sound of Music the moment my aunt let my sister and me stay up and watch it late one night in her Washington Heights apartment. I suppose Fraulein Maria and Captain von Trapp were among the earliest love stories I saw on the screen, forever cementing my obsession with romance and musical genres. Therefore, Maria, the Captain, and Baroness Schraeder became one of the first love triangles I took in.

What my 4-year-old self didn’t realize was that the Baroness was a baddie. You know, in a 1930s kind of way. On paper, she’s the obvious choice for the captain. But her social status, sass, and sex appeal can’t save her from feeling insecure and inferior when standing beside the free-spirited and musically gifted Maria. While my fellow SoM fans likely cringe every time they watch the baroness’s manipulative tactics play out — I think we can all relate to what she’s feeling. That is, we all understand that to be human means to experience the phenomenon of comparison.

The other day, I found myself knee-deep in a comparison sludge of my own when I came across an announcement from another creative* unveiling their new podcast, which would be exploring similar themes to what I was developing for season three of Sōl Talk. As I watched the trailer, I couldn’t shake the feeling of inadequacy. Video interviews, big names, a fancier production — quite the contrast, I thought.

If only I got mine out quicker.

If only I did a visual format.

If only I had more time, more money, less obligations…

You see where this is going.

“Comparison is the thief of joy”** is an oft-quoted sentiment about envy and jealousy. While I understand it, I also despise its simplicity; its lack of nuance. Like, no shit I would be happier if I just tended to my lot without looking with green eyes at my neighbor’s. Yet, as Baroness Schraeder reminds us, even the baddies are susceptible to this behavior. So, what do we do when comparison rears its venomous head?

I’ll tell you what I did. I cried.

However, the tears were not directly linked to a “competing” podcast. As I vented on a call with my creative coach, I recognized that what was triggering me was, well, me.

When we compare ourselves to others, we are essentially evaluating and judging ourselves. If someone can do “more” than us or create something “bigger” than we can — what does that say about the essence of our work? And on a deeper level, what does it say about our identity?

My tears revealed that, at that moment, I was not thinking very highly of myself. They also indicated that I was allowing myself to operate from a scarcity mindset.

Believing in limited opportunities — thinking there can only be so many writers, podcasts, Broadway actors, lash artists, Pilates studios, you name it — leads us to count ourselves out before we put any real effort in. These finite numbers and imaginary rules become justifications we lean on to play small. Instead, when we operate from a place of abundance, the world opens up in new and interesting ways to validate our belief in unlimited possibilities.

This is why I do the mindful work. Not because it ensures I am never triggered, but so I have the tools to respond when I am. In this instance, I sent my congratulations and love to someone who was perhaps meant to remind me that there is still room for me and what I desire to share with the world. I hope this serves as your reminder that there is room for you and yours, too.

Simone Keelah is a writer of words and lover of love. She is fiercely committed to living out all expressions of herself. Subscribe for updates here.



Simone Keelah Brathwaite

A self-proclaimed freedom chaser who writes about self-development, spirituality, relationships, & black folx thangs. Sign up for updates