View story as an emotional mirror.
Are your characters you? In some ways they must be. After all, they spring from your mind and imagination. They are products of your makeup, experience, wants, fears, and beliefs. The conflicts in which you place them must, by definition, be conflicts that are of concern to you. Their relationships must be ones that feel significant to you. Their emotions are ones you’ve felt. Their values must be rooted in yours. Their changes must be ones you deem important to go through, as well. Of course they are. Why else would you write about them? Write about what you know, the old saying goes, and whom do you know better than yourself? Real characters take root when you get real with yourself. Be honest and empower yourself, and you will be able to release all the authenticity and power inherent in your fictional people.