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English definition of “pull/haul yourself up by the/your (own) bootstraps”

pull/haul yourself up by the/your (own) bootstraps

to improve your situation without any help from other people: He left school at 15 and pulled himself up by his bootstraps to ultimately earn a degree in politics.
(Definition of pull/haul yourself up by the/your (own) bootstraps from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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