Unable to have GCP read variables from Terraform Cloud

I’ve been trying to connect GCP with Terraform Cloud’s variables, but it hasn’t worked so far and I receive error messages saying that the variable I am referencing is not in the root.

So I’ve moved the variable outside of the Provider to try to declare it but it doesn’t take either.

I’ve re-created the variable set in Terraform cloud about three times now and I still receive the error message so I’m unsure as to how I can reference variables in Terraform cloud with my main.tf file.

The code I have written is:

variable "TF_VAR_gcp_credentials" {

provider "google" {
  project = "terraform-cloud-gcp-demo"
  credentials = files(var.TF_VAR_gcp_credentials)
  region      = "us-central1"
  zone        = "us-central1-c"

resource "google_compute_instance" "vm_instance"  {
  name         = "terraform-instance"
  machine_type = "f1-micro"

    boot_disk {
    initialize_params {
      image = "debian-cloud/debian-9"

  network_interface {
    network = "default"
    access_config {

Additionally, the variable set has the json file within it so I’m unsure if this might be causing the issue and if so, then how can I use a service account within Terrafrom Cloud without exposing the service account credentials?