For the most part, fear can be supplanted by respect for the mountain, by intuitive insight, by wisdom (the anticipation of consequences), by careful preparation, and by discipline. Risk will never be zero, but it can be reduced to an entirely tolerable level by the aforementioned attributes.
I have done forty-seven 14er ascents in Colorado without a turn-back, so far, but I am always willing to let the next one be the first. I could travel lighter, but I always plan for contingencies. I could climb at a higher skill level, but I generally choose not to when climbing alone. I could prepare less diligently--even as a flatlander coming from out-of-state/out-of-country, but it is always a "pay me now or pay me later" proposition. I could be more laissez-faire about route finding, but the penalty for being wrong can be severe.
So what I fear most is not a mountain, but myself, in how I prepare for each ascent. And because I never let that background fear be totally subordinated the exhilaration of climbing, the risks I take are quite reasonable--even when I have to remind myself in key moments, "This is a no screw around move here." Good technique, and you go home with host of fond memories. Bad technique and/or bad judgment, and you may go home in a bag.
Finally, I set reasonable, intermediate goals--rather than setting goals that put me on the edge of do-able or done. Ambition can take us to some fine achievements. But if not carefully managed, it can also take us down some dangerous paths.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed