Change is hard.
It takes time.
It takes letting go of old beliefs, old behaviors, old reflexes.
It can feel raw. Like shedding a skin.
A story is a journey of change. Is it any wonder that we writers have to put our heroes through the wringer?
All through the second act, our hero must face test after test after test.
Second acts are the long middles of any story (half the length, or more, of the entire tale). Second acts are the dangerous, obstacle-laden expanse your hero must cross, like the proverbial chicken, to get to the other side.
And every step of that long, treacherous way, the hero learns. Grows. Fails and regroups. Gets braver, bolder. Faces fears, confronts hard truths, and finds herself doing things she might never have dreamed she was capable of.
The middle is long because change is hard. It takes time. It goes step by step.
Let the journey begin!
TIP: Think of the second act as a series of tests that allow your hero to level up, step by step.