I've tried the following, including combination's of these:
Another hint: The label is some other component's content.
Yet another hint: The way the components are laid out in a container, is defined by the container's layout.
I've added a JTextField to the center pane. Above that I added a JLabel to identify it obviously, but it's on the far left side.
To me this indicates you are using a BorderLayout. If so, then the following should work:
However, since you say it doesn't work, then you can't be using a BorderLayout. This means we don't have enough information to solve the problem. As Maneesh has pointed out position can be controlled by the layout managers and by the painting of the component itself.
Post your SSCCE to demonstrate the problem so we don't have to guess what you are really doing.
BoxLayout attempts to arrange components at their preferred widths (for horizontal layout) or heights (for vertical layout). For a horizontal layout, if not all the components are the same height, BoxLayout attempts to make all the components as high as the highest component. If that's not possible for a particular component, then BoxLayout aligns that component vertically, according to the component's Y alignment. By default, a component has a Y alignment of 0.5, which means that the vertical center of the component should have the same Y coordinate as the vertical centers of other components with 0.5 Y alignment.
Similarly, for a vertical layout, BoxLayout attempts to make all components in the column as wide as the widest component. If that fails, it aligns them horizontally according to their X alignments. For PAGE_AXIS layout, horizontal alignment is done based on the leading edge of the component. In other words, an X alignment value of 0.0 means the left edge of a component if the container's ComponentOrientation is left to right and it means the right edge of the component otherwise.