LIVE as if you already HAVE IT…

After a late night of creativity and being the Social Media addict that I am, I took my Samsung Note 4 on that April 18th night to catch up with the latest local and international news and updates from friends and family on Facebook. In between all of the sponsored posts appearing in my news feed there was 1 that caught my attention. The one with 4 letters, spelled YLAI, that would change my life forever.

The subject of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) ad was so interesting I immediately opened the article and started reading. The more I read, the more excited I got as the content seemed specifically designed for my needs and wishes. I’ve already decided! As soon as I wake up the following morning I would apply! After a short but good night sleep I woke up the next day with #YLAI on my mind. I was still super excited about it and decided to put all clients’ tasks on hold and apply right away. It wasn’t your typical 5 minute application. It took me 4 hours to fill out EVERYTHING about my company, Crab Social, from long term to short term goals, from mission to vision and a whole lot more.

My daily visual affirmation on my desk

Filling out the application felt extremely right from the get go. From that moment on I felt it! The feeling that I was going to get selected as a #YLAIFellow and get to participate in #YLAI2017. The feeling was so strong that I turned it into a daily visual affirmation. It’s the first time in my 34 years of life that I totally felt what was meant by the following words: “Live as if you already have it”.

Living as if I already have it got me getting goosebumps and feeling this positive energy through my whole body, each time I told my inner circle about my application and each time I would think about the program. I started telling my business partners that I wouldn’t be in Curaçao in October, so we couldn’t plan any events in that period. I scheduled the 5 weeks of the program in my Google agenda with the description: “@ylai”. I started preparing my team for my absence, by delegating tasks to them so I’d have plenty of time to teach and coach them to perfection before I leave in October.

Coaching part of my team on the job

After I initially applied for YLAI on April 19th, 2017, I subscribed to YLAI’s newsletter in order to be even more informed of every update. I knew that the finalists would be announced in August yet each time I’d receive an email from them, my heart would skip a beat. On June 1st my heart skipped 2 beats! I got an email congratulating me on being selected as a semi-finalist. Boy was I excited!

As I’m writing this article I can feel that same positive energy all over again.

I was one step closer to becoming a fellow! I was so determined and focused yet totally myself, that during my semi-finalist recorded interview for YLAI on June 9th, 2017, I even mentioned the fact that I was living as if I’ve already been selected, as an answer to one of the questions about time management during the program.

Filling out the semi finalist questionnaire to schedule my semi finalist interview

Sure I hoped afterwards that I didn’t sound too cocky during the recorded interview. During the wait, doubt tries to kick in. “What if I don’t get selected”? “At least I tried”, I told myself each time, while reassuring myself that I couldn’t have done anything different or better as every answer I gave was true, from the heart and me being myself, Fearlessly Authentic.

Official email announcement from YLAI on my selection

On July 21st the wait was unexpectedly over! YLAI surprised us with the selection before the planned August announcement. I kept reading the email over and over again to reassure myself that this is it, I had really been selected as a YLAI 2017 Fellow. I was one of the 250 entrepreneurs that got selected out of the 3000+ applicants from 36 countries. Words are not enough to describe the happiness, gratefulness, beyond excitement, thankful, blessed and all of the other good stuff I felt at that moment! Living as if I already have it has paid off!

“An amazing testimony to tell on so other’s know as well that everything your mind conceives, it can truly achieve!”

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) 2017 Professional Fellows Program (The YLAI Team) here I come, Flavina Wanga, from a tiny yet lovely and talented island in the Caribbean called Curaçao! ❤️

July 29th, 2017 — Offcially a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative 2017 Fellow