look to one's laurels

look to (one's) laurels

To actively maintain one's favorable position when faced with competition. ("Laurels" are achievements or honors.) If John wants to maintain his lead in the triathlon, he's going to have to look to his laurels. Sure, the recruiter likes you, but there are many good candidates for this job, so you better look to your laurels.
See also: laurel, look

look to one's laurels

Protect one's preeminent reputation or position, especially against a threat of being surpassed. For example, Your opponent's done very well in the practice, so you'd better look to your laurels in the actual game . This idiom alludes to laurels as the traditional material for making a victor's crown. [Late 1800s]
See also: laurel, look