“I could try harder next time.” That’s a phrase that’s only available if you held back this time.
The reality is sometimes our best doesn’t work. It’s not our effort, it’s our offering. That offering isn’t just our skills, or our knowledge. It can also be our story, our connections, where we live, etc.
Holding back doesn’t change our offering other than “I could do more if you’d like” becomes an excuse. Of course, if that’s necessary, there is already an issue.
The biggest reason to hold back is protect the ego. To cast uncertainty on our failures and whether they could have been prevented. The irony is that by holding back, more likely we’re creating the likelihood of failure, and as a result more need to protect our ego. It’s a cycle. It needs breaking.
P.S. I once heard that “the butterflies” are the moments in life we’ll remember. So, if not getting them regularly, it’s a sure sign you’re holding back.