Unravelling and Overcoming the Feeling of Lack

By Gráinne Morrison

Sandown Business School Masters Graduate & Treble Certified Coach; Class of 2023

EIA: EMCC Senior Practitioner

Understanding and overcoming the feeling of lack can be a daunting task. This feeling- a pervasive sense of unfulfillment or inadequacy- has the potential to infiltrate every aspect of our lives. It can stem from a variety of sources, ranging from societal pressures to individual insecurities.

In today’s consumer-driven society, the feeling of lack is often tied to material possessions. We are perpetually bombarded with messages telling us we need more- more money, a larger home, a superior car. This relentless drive for acquisition can instil a sense of never being satisfied, regardless of the wealth we’ve accumulated. This is often rooted in societal messages that equate success and worth with material possessions.

Similarly, in our relationships, this feeling can manifest as a sense of missing out or believing our relationships are less fulfilling than they could be. This often comes from unrealistic expectations set by comparison with others’ relationships, particularly those portrayed in media or on social media platforms.

Personal accomplishments are not spared from this feeling either. Despite our achievements, we may nurse a persistent sense of inadequacy or a belief that we’re not as successful as we should be. This typically originates from self-imposed pressure or societal norms that demand constant achievement.

In our careers, the feeling of lack can surface as dissatisfaction with our current job or position. We might feel we’re not progressing quickly enough or that our skills are underutilised. This often stems from comparing ourselves to others and setting unrealistic expectations for our career progression. Recognising that each person’s career journey is unique can alleviate this feeling and guide us towards a fulfilling career.

Narcissism can also contribute to a feeling of lack. Narcissists often have an inflated sense of self-importance and constant need for attention and admiration. Despite appearing confident, they may harbour deep-seated feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Their need for constant validation and approval can lead to a persistent feeling of lack.

Brands have a significant role in either exacerbating or alleviating feelings of lack. By promoting messages of contentment, self-sufficiency, and individual worth, brands can help lessen feelings of deficiency. They can emphasise the value of experiences over possessions and the importance of personal growth.

Even wealthy individuals are not immune to the feeling of lack. Despite their material wealth, they may still experience a sense of dissatisfaction and a need for more. This can stem from the pressure to maintain their wealth, fear of losing it, or the desire for greater recognition. Recognising these feelings and seeking fulfilment in aspects of life beyond material wealth can help mitigate the feeling of lack.

At its core, the feeling of lack is just that- a feeling. It does not necessarily reflect reality. It often arises from unrealistic expectations, comparison with others, and a failure to recognise and value what we already have. This feeling of lack, is not about what we don’t have, but about how we perceive what we do have.

Overcoming this feeling requires a shift in focus from what we lack to what we have. Practising gratitude and appreciating our current circumstances can effectively combat the feeling of lack. This shift in focus can help us realise that we have everything we need to be content and fulfilled.

In conclusion, the feeling of lack is an internal perception, often fuelled by societal pressure and personal insecurities. By shifting our focus from what we lack to what we possess and fostering appreciation for our current circumstances, we can begin to combat this pervasive feeling and foster a greater sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in our lives.

If you’d like to get in touch with Gráinne, to benefit from sharing your wisdom and experience as you navigate your journey within Sandown Business School, you can contact her at [email protected]


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