Fear Of Failure: A Literary Analysis

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George Burns once said "I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate." (George Burns) Most people are afraid of failing at being successful in life because they believe success will make them happy however it is better to follow your passion and do the things you love to become happy regardless of how good you are at it. Atychiphobia, the fear of failure, is the motivator behind our actions as shown in “The Step Not Taken”, “A Nonsmoker with a Smoker” and Bowling for Columbine and consequently we live our lives chasing after unnecessary goals in an attempt to attain happiness.
In “The Step Not Taken” the protagonist had gotten into an elevator with another man, then the man had started crying then the protagonist did not do anything and simply walked out of the elevator. He was then wondering whether he should have tried to help the man or not. The protagonist said “‘Would he have physically attacked me? Or would he have gone with me for that cup of coffee?’”(D’Angelo 2). This shows that the protagonist had a fear of failing to talk with the man in the elevator because he was afraid of getting rejected by the man. The protagonist regretted this decision afterwards because he realized that if he was in that same situation he would have wanted someone to help him. The fear of failure held him back from helping the man in the elevator and as a result he was not happy with himself. He deeply regretted his decision to leave the man in the elevator alone. The protagonist said “I hope that somehow he gets to read these words, because I want him to know that I’m pulling for him... That I was wrong, dreadfully wrong, not to step forward in his time of need.”(D’Angelo 2). This
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It explored the theme of fear in America. Michael Moore

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