not able to see the forest for the trees

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not able to see the forest for the trees

Unable or unwilling to see, understand, or focus on a situation in its entirety due to being preoccupied with minor details. I just feel like he hasn't been able to see the forest for the trees on this project, getting hung up on the most mundane details at the expense of our overall productivity. If you really can't tell that the president's actions are all working toward the greater good of the country, then you're just not able to see the forest for the trees.
See also: able, forest, not, see, tree

not able to see the forest for the trees

Cliché allowing many details of a situation to obscure the situation as a whole. (Not able to is often expressed as can't.) The solution is obvious. You missed it because you can't see the forest for the trees. She suddenly realized that she hadn't been able to see the forest for the trees.
See also: able, forest, not, see, tree
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