one step forward and two steps back

one step forward and two steps back

With or marked by a small amount progress that is then eradicated by a larger amount of setbacks, problems, or difficulties. So many administrative hurdles have been thrown up along the way that this whole project has been one step forward and two steps back ever since we began!
See also: and, back, forward, one, step, two
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Angola is not the only African nation to take one step forward and two steps back. In Congo, citizens cheered in the streets when rebel leader Laurent Kabila overthrew a 32-year-old dictatorship in May 1997.