- Is there a name for the phenomena of not putting effort into study because of fear of failure which in turn results in actual failure?
Yes, this is called self-handicapping.
Self-handicapping is the process by which people avoid effort in the hopes of keeping potential failure from hurting self-esteem.
The main and most relevant reason here is the preservation of your own self-image and/or managing your public image. If you were to try your very best and still fail, then the only causal attribution would have been dispositional, that is, the only way to explain it to yourself would have been that, you are just not good enough.
However, when you place impediments in your path and essentially prevent yourself from performing to your fullest, you are creating scapegoats for your failures. This will allow you to attribute the failure to situational factors and not dispositional ones, allowing you to maintain your image of self-competence and/or self-efficacy.
- Are there any strategies for overcoming this cycle?
Self-handicapping occurs in many different fashions but most of them tend to be variations of procrastination and lack of effort/practise. So, by tackling either of these, you will be able to reduce the chances of handicapping yourself.
Other than that, research has shown that by focussing on long-term mastery in a field that you like, self-handicapping behavior can be reduced.
In three studies with German high-school and college students, we found empirical evidence for the assumed moderator effect of mastery goals. In studies 1 and 3, performance-avoidance goals were remarkably lower associated with self-handicapping in the group of students highly endorsing mastery goals compared to students who proved to be less mastery oriented. In studies 2 and 3, moreover, individuals' self-esteem was less related to self-handicapping when students strongly emphasized mastery goals.