Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps

Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! A true fan favorite phrase, implying I can fix my situation by the sheer force of resilience and independence. No problem can keep me down forever, so long as I resolve to pick myself up and work my butt off. I can improve my own position by the fruit of my efforts, regardless of circumstance. It’s an inspiring sentiment, but does it relate to everyone? Let’s find out.

Try to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Physically slide on your favorite pair of boots and pull yourself to your feet by pulling the straps. Not able to stand? Just try harder! Only you can control your situation, just find it with yourself!

Yeah, so it’s physically impossible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. How much stock can I really put into a mindset and motto if it’s a futile action? Maybe that is missing the point. The saying obviously implies something other than literally pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. Fun to think about though, right?

Can I really improve my position in life just by pushing onward? By pressing forward, getting back up again when I fall? It can certainly help, sure, but our American obsession with accomplishing everything by ourselves is a dangerous way to live. I can’t earn a job promotion just by trying my very hardest, it hinges on whether my superior deems a promotion is necessary. I can’t hit a home run just because I step in the batter’s box, Clayton Kershaw could be the pitcher. I can’t stop drinking just because I put the bottle down, the affliction of addiction will always be there.

It’s up to me to put in the work to better myself. However, that doesn’t always equal the desired result. But putting ourselves in the best scenario to succeed matters for something. Maybe pulling ourselves up by my bootstraps means something. But maybe it’s just as useless as the physical action is.

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