There are times you should go “all out” and there are times you should really hold back.
Overall, the middle is where you want to be. The middle of most things is where the results are, where the answers are.
That said, one thing you can do is increase your max, which will raise what your middle is. This will get your more results across the board while not venturing into either end of the spectrum.
This concept applies to weightlifting, conditioning, fear, skill, everything.
To increase your ceiling, you must regularly push yourself to your upper limits. To venture into your upper limits is to increase those limits. And while we all get this as it pertains to fitness (e.g., you train to your “max” or “failure” and you get stronger because of it), we may not realize how important this concept is in other parts of our lives.
Navy seals become the most courageous men on earth because of their training. The power of seal training lies in the concept that psychologists call “habituation.” Habituation is the repeated exposure to something as a means to reduce fear. The more you are exposed to something you fear, the less you fear it, until eventually, you don’t fear it at all.
This concept has played itself out your entire life and you probably haven’t thought much about it. You are the person you are today because you have exposed yourself to uncomfortable, even fearful situations, for years. Each step of the way, you became more confident and experienced, which has paved the way for you to take on more challenging tasks—like driving, talking to the opposite sex (among other things), going to college, starting your career, creating art, etc.
What I suggest is you actively find ways to habituate yourself to things you fear or are uncomfortable with. The more you do, the more you’ll grow. It’s really as simple as that, but no less hard.
Each day, find a way to do something outside your comfort zone. This can be as simple as talking to someone in the elevator at you building, or asking the barista a few questions about their life and striking up conversation. The more you do these small acts, the more natural they’ll become. This will not only make you more comfortable with said situations, but it’ll also make you a more confident human being and the effect will translate to other aspects of your life.
Take mini-risks on a daily basis and watch yourself grow.