I started a role at a new company about a year ago but due to various factors I don't think I've been able to get "up to speed" as much as they perhaps expected (it was a new role to the company, so there wasn't anyone in the role before to compare to). Primarily because the boss is over-committed and hasn't been able to give the time to handing over information (although the role was created because the boss was over-committed I think - it is a "splitting out" of some tasks from the boss's job).
I have been working on projects, but feel like I'm under-performing.
People ask me things, that should be within 'my' area of expertise, but I don't know the answers because within the company I haven't reached that point of understanding of why things are the way they are, why or why not can we change things in XYZ way, etc.
I have a 2-weekly (and it was weekly in the past, initiated by me) catch-up / one-to-one in which I talk about ongoing projects etc.
I've prompted my boss numerous times with things like "is there anything you want me to do differently" "is there anything you're concerned about with how much I'm getting through" and I even explicitly said "I feel like I'm not achieving as much as I ought to be" etc which got the response of (something like) "oh you are, I know its difficult, everything is very open-ended here, what's the status of the XYZ project.. yeah I can see why you're having trouble with that".
I feel like I'm waiting for the "Other shoe to drop" to be called up into a meeting to be written up / put on a PIP (Performance improvement plan) / etc.
I hate uncertainty and not knowing what's going to happen etc (mostly due to previous past experiences in jobs -- e.g. coming back from a long-planned vacation to a disciplinary meeting which went on my record).
My question: if I think I'm underperforming in my role but I've addressed it as directly as I can with my boss who says they are happy with what I'm doing -- what could or should I do differently, or how can I get to the root of what my boss really feels about it?
Edited to add: I'm not new to the workforce or fresh out of university. I'm in my late 30s with almost 20 years of experience at numerous companies, mostly as a highly rated performer! But this is the first time I've encountered something like this. In the past there have been a few occasions where bosses didn't like what I was doing but they brought it up -- either directly, or in a sort of "people have been saying that they were concerned about so-and-so" kind of way.
I do have a bit of "what am I going to be surprised with next?!" baggage from previous jobs - at different companies.