"Two steps forward, one step back" ... is still one step forward!
Unfortunately, the driver of negative connotation here is the mind's association of the work "back" with backwards direction, regression or reversal. What's often lost in the phrase is the logical notion that you have still achieved more than what you started with.
How do we change the impression in our minds from negative to positive?
|Big Daddy, Sossusvlei, Namibia, circa 2017