Outbound links don’t penalize the SEO, you should see a link as a popularity driver.
We can say that a link has an ‘input’ and an ‘output’. The input corresponds to the source page making the link and the output to the destination page, the one receiving the popularity transmitted.
In that respect, a hard link will particularly favour the destination page and transmit to it a little of the popularity of the original page.
There is no need to worry about making internal links, the link is the very basis of the web and Google teams wanted to reassure webmasters about the need to make them.