The thing about me is that I am incredibly afraid of heights. I'm terrified of the actual height itself, I'm terrified of falling, or of seeing someone fall. So if someone were to lean over a balcony at a dress rehearsal say, I might just break down into a shaking, blubbering mess. I've always been this way. I'm not even terribly fond of the upstairs of our house, which is a shame, because our house is reverse-living, and therefore the kitchen is upstairs.
But I digress. My point is this: all protagonists have some sort of flaw which may prevent them from having reached their goal before, or may eventually aid the plot in some way. Let me give you a few examples from what I have been reading lately.
Catherine Morland reads entirely too many fantastical novels, and has an over active imagination.
Stephanie Plum eats too much junk food and does not work out enough.
Arabella Hicks has writer's block.
Georgie Jutland has insomnia.
Minor set backs. Things that a person could go through life without being bothered overmuch, unless perhaps the person were to experience something specific to the malady itself. So despite the fact that my fear of heights frequently means I encounter roadblocks on my quest for a normal life, I will persevere, because, that is what I would have my characters do, and I will not be a hypocrite. I will not be one of those writers who writes because she cannot do. Who knows? One day I may even bungee jump... but it is not likely.