(one) can't look beyond the tip of (one's) nose

(one) can't look beyond the tip of (one's) nose

1. One lacks the ability to foresee problems, issues, or obligations beyond the present or immediate future. Our boss is ambitious, but she can't look beyond the tip of her nose when it comes to scheduling projects with realistic deadlines. Planning for the future just doesn't interest Howard—that guy can't look beyond the tip of his nose. Lisa can't look beyond the tip of her nose, so I doubt that she knows where this project will be in six months.
2. One is preoccupied with oneself and unable to notice or focus on anything else. Of course she's oblivious to the growing homeless population in our city—she can't look beyond the tip of her own nose. Jim is so concerned about getting ahead in business that he can't look beyond the tip of his nose anymore. Elizabeth is so worried about how this situation will affect her that she can't look beyond the tip of her nose anymore.
See also: beyond, look, nose, of, tip
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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