[Warning: Spoilers abound for the Disney movie “Encanto.”]
If you have a pulse on the popular culture, you know that Disney released its newest animated hit, “Encanto,” over the holidays. The movie currently has songs on the Billboard 100. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is playing everywhere, or maybe just in my house!
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s latest hit is about a multigenerational family in Colombia with magical gifts to help their community and family. Take Luisa, the middle child of three sisters. Throughout the movie, she is depicted as a tough, buff, and strong do-gooder around town. You always see Luisa working in the background. She’s the character carrying six escaped donkeys (at a time) back to a farmer. She’s moving barrels of drinks, carrying heavy bricks, putting a large stone bridge over the river, being asked to reroute said river, and other tasks that require feats of superhuman strength. It is exhausting to watch.
Family and community members constantly request Luisa’s services, and she appears up to the task and completely capable of handling it all. But, in true Disney-style — in the song ‘“Surface Pressure” — she describes the pressure that she is constantly under:
Pressure like a grip, grip, grip, and it won’t let go, whoa
Pressure like a tick, tick, tick ’til it’s ready to blow, whoa
Give it to your sister; your sister’s stronger
See if she can hang on a little longer
Who am I if I can’t carry it all?
If I falter
Under the surface
I hide my nerves, and it worsens, I worry something is gonna hurt us
Under the surface
The ship doesn’t swerve as it heard how big the iceberg is
Under the surface
I think about my purpose, can I somehow preserve this?
I can’t help but compare Luisa’s challenges with doing it all to the stress and pressure of owning a law firm. Entrepreneurship brings unique obstacles, and even when things seem to be going well on the surface, it is a different story underneath it all. These challenges can manifest in inadequate staffing, financial struggles, too few or too many clients, and business instability.
None of us are exempt. At some point, the act of doing it all will catch up to us and show cracks. Today is as good of a day as any to develop ways to deal with what we currently have on our plate. For some people, that may start with the boundary of saying no. For others, it may mean raising prices and getting fewer, better clients. And still, for others, it may include firing or finally hiring that staff person. You know what you need to do. You decide whether you will follow through and do it.
If you are already on the brink of breaking, please seek the help of a licensed professional to help you. There is no shame in finding the right coach, counselor, doctor, or therapist to address your unique needs.
(When I started writing this column, I never knew I would find a way to infuse a reference, much less dedicate an entire topic to Disney. I am a kid of the ’80s who was raised watching “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Lion King,” so it wasn’t a stretch!)
Take care. Life is increasingly trying, and it is impossible to do it all by yourself.
Iffy Ibekwe is the principal attorney of Ibekwe Law, PLLC. She believes that women deserve to make decisions that affect them with wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents. Activating women is Iffy’s calling, and she also loves speaking internationally about entrepreneurship, estate planning, motherhood, and supporting other women lawyers. Currently, Iffy is writing her first book on culturally competent estate planning, available in 2023 (prayers up!). A double-Longhorn, Iffy graduated from The University of Texas (undergrad and law) and has practiced law for over 15 years. Iffy can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, her website, LinkedIn, and Instagram @iffyibekweesq.