There’s sort of a fine line between being cautious and getting trampled. You do have to push back, if someone decides to lean on you and put you in a bad place. (If safe).
By push back, I don’t mean counterattack, and whang em, that’s just slow. But, if you are being manhandled, feel free to lean on their kart and get through the corner, using their grip plus yours to maintain line. (I am caged so your mileage may vary). Someone wants to push you off the apex, you don’t have to let them through. (Sometimes it makes sense to do so if it’s better for your momentum).
This is for the bang bang bang moments when 5 guys try to take the turn together.
Also, sometimes letting them go together into the grinder is productive, while you back it up a touch and try to capitalize on their inevitable contact.
I used to just kinda hang back and then catch up once the field sorted itself. Now I do not, generally.
Coincidentally it’s around 5-6 races where I started to grok the whole racing thing better and was less apprehensive and more “I got dis”. So, you should be seeing progress soon.