I think the only thing that helps is: Try to breathe!! Why is it I can temper chocolate blindfolded, bang out the perfect puff pastry, pipe picture-perfect stringwork, but my nervous energy goes into overdrive every time I make macarons?
I think its because 20% of the time they don't turn out as I'd like, and of the batches I do like I end up throwing out 10% of the finished product. I'm aware of my working conditions and try to control the climate in the bakery when I'm working on this amazing treat, but sometimes I just don't know why I fail. This is one I almost don't want to try to figure out and this post won't give any answers! I feel like I've studied almost every article out there on macarons and tried every method (I will say I have the best success with the Italian method). During pastry school I studied for 3 months under the some of the best pastry chefs in the world (Le Bernadin) where we made macarons for the petit fours trays, they had a higher success rate than I have but when I see experts struggling I don't feel quite as bad!
Most of the macarons in the photo above turned out quite well, but there are several I'd have to eat instead of selling to customers (check out the tan one of the left side with an extended top and the pink one above it with uneven ganache filling). Some may say this is being too much of a perfectionist, but I don't believe with macarons we should strive for anything less than perfection.