My thought: stop thinking of the story as a story.
Michelangelo is quoted as saying that he didn’t create his sculptures. They were already there, in the stone. He just revealed them.
The story’s already there. You need to stop “making” it, and start “revealing” it.
My experience with writing is schizophrenic. My characters know they are characters in a tale, but they interact with me like real people. Even to the point of arguing with me when I try to make them do something that isn’t them.
The story isn’t going to let you go somewhere it’s not supposed to go. So trust it. And trust yourself.