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Jan 5, 2024

When you ask yourself the question, “Who am I?”, several different responses may come to mind related to your professional roles, personal traits, and relationships—for instance, you might answer, “I am an entrepreneur,” “I’m a perfectionist,” or “I am a parent.” However, our identities tend to shift over time, which can lead to feelings of discomfort, but can also present exciting new opportunities. 

As the Associate Director at the Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard Business School, Dr. Alexandra Sedlovskaya focuses her research on a variety of areas, including management, education, and pedagogies that support participant-centered learning. She obtained her PhD in Psychology from Yale University, and extended her research training as a postdoctoral associate at the Yale School of Management. Dr. Sedlovskaya also consults faculty at Harvard Business School and leads workshops at academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad, including a course called “Self and Identity” at the Harvard Extension School. In Episode 174 of The MINDSet Game® podcast, Dr. Sedlovskaya starts with an exercise designed to help you gain clarity on the many different identities you may ascribe to yourself, and then discusses the following:

  • The different types of identities that exist within all of us—personal, social, and role identities—and the importance of having multiple meaningful identities
  • The power of reframing identity crises as identity explorations, which may include a cycle of continually shifting from “identity achieved” to uncertainty and discovery, and back again
  • Tips for navigating shifts in your identity, particularly when those shifts may implicate social stigmas and deviations from what you think is expected of you
  • How leaders can create a culture and environment where people can feel safe to be themselves without having to mask different aspects of their identities 

To get in touch with Dr. Alexandra Sedlovskaya, she invites listeners to email her at To enroll in her “Self and Identity” course, which can be taken either in person or online, search for it in the course catalog at

To subscribe to The MINDset Game, visit