drag (oneself) up by (one's) (own) bootstraps

(redirected from drag yourself up by your bootstraps)

drag (oneself) up by (one's) (own) bootstraps

To improve one's life or circumstances through one's own efforts, rather than relying on others. After I declared bankruptcy, I had to drag myself up by my bootstraps and rebuild my financial standing. Whenever I hear someone say that poor people just need to drag themselves up by their own bootstraps, I remind them that a lot of people don't have boots.
See also: bootstrap, by, drag, up

drag/pull yourself up by your (own) ˈbootstraps

(informal) improve your situation yourself, without help from other people: Nobody helped her get where she is today — she pulled herself up by her own bootstraps.
See also: bootstrap, by, drag, pull, up