In case you're wondering, this is what failed empanada dough looks like.
Our failures define us as much as, if not more than, our successes. I will never forget my first major failure as a professional chef, a special tested at 4:15pm on Friday night when they started selling at 4pm. A pasta alla foriana that I intended to be an ala minute version of pesto with herbs and nuts. It was something that I had never tried before, and it didn't come together at all. We all took a bite of the tester and the energy in the room was awkwardly electric. All I could say was, "It's okay you guys, it isn't very good."
I learned two things that night: always taste everything, and don't serve (or eat) food that isn't good.
So when your dough doesn't come together, try to fix it but if you can't: don't worry. Rotate the dish, use the resources you have available, and change it up. Tonight's chile-spiced chicken and potato empanadas became Mexi-style wontons with avocado dipping sauce. No one will remember the dish I tried to make; they will only remember the dish I put on the table.
Instead of berating ourselves, we should learn from our failures and utilize those moments as learning opportunities. This is part of our quest and drive for continuous improvement. Because if perfection were easily obtainable, why should we strive so hard to find it?