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What is Fluttershy’s fear?

Fluttershy is one of the main characters in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She is known for being very shy, gentle, and kind. However, Fluttershy has one major fear that really holds her back – a fear of failure. Throughout the show, Fluttershy struggles with believing in herself and overcoming challenges due to her extreme fear of not being able to succeed. Understanding the origins of Fluttershy’s fear of failure and how it impacts her is key to appreciating her character growth in My Little Pony.

What is Fluttershy Afraid Of?

Fluttershy is afraid of failing at tasks and letting others down. Some key things she fears failing at include:

  • Flying and cloud manipulation
  • Public speaking and performance
  • Standing up for herself
  • Trying new things outside her comfort zone

Fluttershy often holds herself back because she is scared of not being able to succeed at certain tasks. She lacks confidence in her abilities and is very self-doubting. This causes Fluttershy to avoid anything she is not comfortable with already, limiting her experiences and growth.

Origins of Fluttershy’s Fear

Fluttershy’s fear of failure likely stems from her childhood experiences. As a young filly at summer flight camp, Fluttershy had trouble keeping up with the rigorous flying drills and was bullied by the other campers for being a poor flyer. This led to her becoming too afraid to fly and dropping out of flight school. Fluttershy allowed her fears to prevent her from pursuing her talent and shared passion of animal caregiving. This early failure made her afraid to try new things moving forward.

How Her Fear Impacts Her

Throughout My Little Pony, Fluttershy’s fear of failure severely holds her back in life. Here are some examples of how it impacts her:

Poor Self-Esteem

Fluttershy often puts herself down and lacks confidence in her abilities. She calls herself a “fraidy pony” and frequently says she can’t do things.

Avoids New Experiences

Fluttershy shies away from anything new or uncertain, like traveling to distant lands or taking on leadership roles, for fear of failing.

Stage Fright

Performing in plays, fashion shows, or competitions terrifies Fluttershy, causing her to freeze up or run away due to stage fright.

Interpersonal Struggles

Fluttershy has trouble standing up for herself or expressing her needs. She is too scared to fail at confronting others.

Low Motivation

Fluttershy feels unmotivated to push past her comfort zone, believing she will just fail anyway at anything difficult.

Key Examples of Her Fear

Here are some notable examples from the show of Fluttershy giving into her fear:

Avoiding Flight School

In a flashback, a young Fluttershy is so terrified of failing again at flight camp she refuses to return to Cloudsdale flight school.

Not Speaking Up to Friends

Fluttershy often won’t tell her friends when they upset her or she needs help, afraid to fail at standing up for herself.

Sabotaging Performance

During a play, Fluttershy sabotages the stage effects so she can avoid performing a solo song out of stage fright.

Not Participating in Competitions

Fluttershy opts out of athletic competitions, fashion shows, and talent showcases too afraid of failing publicly.

Resisting Leadership

Fluttershy never volunteers for leadership roles like running for Mare Do Well, scared she will fail in a position of responsibility.

Attempts at Overcoming Her Fear

While Fluttershy’s fear of failure is powerful, she does make some strides in overcoming it throughout the series:

Conquering Flight School

With Rainbow Dash’s encouragement, Fluttershy finally stands up to her fears and completes flight camp.

Performing at Showcases

Fluttershy sings and performs with her friends at events like Cloudsdale’s Best Fliers Competition.

Taking on Leadership Roles

Fluttershy steps up to positions like leading Ponyville’s animal rescue team.

Standing Up for Herself

Fluttershy learns to stand up to bullies like Gilda and ex-friends like Rainbow Dash when needed.

Trying New Things

From traveling far from home to modeling at fashion week, Fluttershy slowly pushes past her comfort zone.

How Friends Help Fluttershy Overcome Fear

Fluttershy makes progress overcoming her fears with the help of supportive friends. Here’s how her friends assist her:

Friend How They Help Fluttershy
Twilight Sparkle Uses magic to boost Fluttershy’s confidence
Rainbow Dash Gives Fluttershy assertiveness training
Rarity Encourages Fluttershy gently to face small fears
Pinkie Pie Makes Fluttershy laugh and eases anxiety
Applejack Reassures Fluttershy and is always patient

Fluttershy’s Character Development

Throughout My Little Pony, Fluttershy slowly develops as a character by overcoming her deeply ingrained fear of failure. Key milestones include:

Gaining Confidence

Fluttershy becomes slightly more self-assured in her abilities over time.

Overcoming Paralyzing Anxiety

Fluttershy learns to manage anxiety better when faced with new or challenging situations.

Standing Up for Herself

Fluttershy discovers her voice and stands up to those that upset her.

Taking More Risks

Fluttershy starts cautiously testing her limits and trying things outside her comfort zone.

Seeing Setbacks as Learning Experiences

Fluttershy tries to see failures not as the end, but as opportunities to grow.


In summary, Fluttershy is held back by a powerful fear of failure stemming from childhood bullying. This makes her avoid anything she isn’t already comfortable with and prevents her from reaching her full potential. However, through the love and support of her closest friends, Fluttershy slowly gains confidence and begins overcoming smaller fears. She starts to believe in herself more, speak up, take more risks, and see failures as chances to improve. Fluttershy’s journey to move past her fears is an inspirational story of the power of friendship and self-growth.