by one's bootstraps

by (one's) (own) bootstraps

By one's own efforts to improve one's life or circumstances, rather than relying on others. After I declared bankruptcy, I had to haul myself up by my bootstraps and rebuild my financial standing.
See also: bootstrap, by

by one's bootstraps

see under pull oneself up.
See also: bootstrap, by
References in periodicals archive ?
Though Hughes' father taught him that realizing the "American dream" is a matter of pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps, Hughes eventually reached the opposite conclusion.
Though Hughes's father taught him that realizing the "American dream" is a matter of pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps, Hughes eventually reached the opposite conclusion.
Republicans' greater satisfaction, relative to Democrats', with the possibility of pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps aligns with their more conservative political credo.