Would this sentence be correct?
Being scared is the first step to becoming free.
The more I look at it, the less clear it becomes.
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You’re looking at two words that aren’t a unit. “To becoming” is not a constituent by itself. Becoming free is a gerund clause that functions as the object of the preposition to.
What makes it look odd is that to is also used as a marker for an infinitive clause, and becoming isn’t an infinitive. But to doesn’t mark the verb here — it’s not an infinitive complementizer; it’s just a preposition and its object is becoming free.
Moral: look for constituents, not for strings of words. Strings are mostly accidental.
I’ve marked this posting Community Wiki because it is John’s answer not my own, and so I deserve no reputation from it.
1. With paragraph breaks inserted for ease of reading where I thought they would most naturally fall. ―tchrist