In a past webinar I attended, hosted by Animation Mentor and featuring the wise Eric Goldberg, he had this advice to give:
"Believe your characters exists. Because, if you don't, nobody else will."
YES! Yes...and yes. The effect of these few words on my state of mind while animating is profound. How difficult it is to animate without really knowing your character. It makes so much sense to let that CHARACTER guide you, rather than YOU just moving the character about.
Anyways, wanted to share that bit of wisdom! In addition here is a great excerpt from Comic-Con 2009: