The more you get, the more you’ve got to lose.

I’m starting to think less really is more…

Victoria Holbrook
3 min readMay 16, 2021


Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

It has become apparent to me in the last year or so (I’ve clearly had too much time to think!) that the more I get, the more I’ve got to lose. Whether that be job success or a bigger salary or more material things, the risk of losing it all feels bigger and the burden to maintain it greater than ever.

I am starting to realise that you have to try harder to maintain the baseline, the status quo. I feel like I am constantly raising the bar by which I judge myself and expect myself to be able to jump over. No one else is making me do this. It is completely self-inflicted and self-perpetuated. It is the craziest thing when I stop to think about it. To inflict pressure and stress upon myself to attain the ‘success’ and then have to work harder to hold onto it.

I fear that a fall from this height would be longer and harder and it will only get worse if I continue along this path to obtain more and more. The idea of it all crashing down around me feels more frightening with every next step and every new achievement. I guess I think that people will judge me if I failed to maintain it and perhaps that I feel that I can’t let go because I’ve invested so much of my time, energy and resources on building my lifestyle (the ol’ sunk cost fallacy, I know!)

I guess it’s the situation of the ‘hamster on the wheel’. I think I’d be afraid to ‘get off the wheel’ for fear of not being able to get back on if I changed my mind. The idea of having to start again and build up momentum is exhausting and so the thought of letting go is terrifying. However, I imagine there comes a point when the stress of maintaining a level of performance to sustain your current lifestyle outstrips the benefits of the luxuries it affords?

I am beginning to wonder where the tipping point is? I must be able to do a cost-benefit analysis here to pinpoint the moment when the pressure of maintaining all these things will outweigh the benefit of having them all in my life.

For example, the more money I earn the more I worry about managing it properly, wondering how best to use it, to make it work for me, etc. I worked hard for it and I don’t want to mess it up now. I understand that this is very much a ‘champagne problem’ (as my sister calls it), but it is nevertheless a problem that I have created...and one that I feel I now need to worry about!

I went through a period a few years back of shedding a lot of material possessions, including getting rid of my car and downsizing to a flat from a house and I remember life feeling so much lighter and simpler as a result. However, I feel that I now need to turn inwards. A bit of a mental and emotional declutter. A sorting through of the responsibilities, commitments and obligations that I find myself having to manage…and mostly of my own making.

Maybe it is time to look at the rationale behind the constant effort to show up for all of them on a daily basis? I’m not suggesting a radical throwing out of everything that I’ve worked hard for, but a good hard look at what is really essential for my happiness and fulfilment. To lighten the load of obligations to create some space to enjoy life a little bit more. To relax and to appreciate the little things in life and to feel a little less encumbered.



Victoria Holbrook

30-something. Consultant. Coffee and cookie obsessed. In need of a creative outlet.