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Accept your Challenges inside BRAVE Challenge with Regi Davis

ferly prado

Written by Ferly Prado

November 23, 2021

Regi Davis is our final guest speaker on the BRAVE CHALLENGE – our challenge to ignite your fire and commit to your skill. Regi Davis was born as Reginald Benjamin Davis. Regi is an actor and director, known for Mindhunter, Grey’s Anatomy, Arrested Development and Game ShakersHe serves and loves on people with all he has and is an example of a courageous heart and a brave spirit. He is my mentor, and it’s always a blessing for me to share him with this community. I am always in awe of his wisdom!

Regi Dais in a grey's anatomy episode

Regi Dais in Grey’s anatomy.

ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGES: The Myths and The Truths

Stick to what you know.

Before I even introduced him, I asked Regi if there’s someone listening to our talk who is struggling badly… who needs bravery and courage in their life because they feel they are being swallowed by their challenges, what would he want to tell them?

He starts with “The first thing I would say is that you have to dispel the myths about challenges. Because there are some myths that are dangerous if you believe in them.

Let me stop here and add that every word that Regi says matters. He is not someone who talks for the sake of talking. I can speak from experience and say that in any talk I have had with him, I ask him to repeat what he says so I can write it down, when I come back to it I realize how each word he said to me was incredibly intentional.

"God will not give me more than I can handle."

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"This happened to me because..."

Stick to what you know. Separate facts from conjecture.

"This isn't going away."

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“You have to be able to live in a place where you know that you are beyond the limits of your own strength and ability. Because once you understand you are beyond the limits, then you realize part of what it means to be human. Part of what it means to be human is to be stretched so thin that part of you just wants to give up. And when you reach that point,

A- you have a lot more empathy for those who are struggling.

B- it teaches you how to climb out of that struggle. 

Because you can’t learn something you haven’t lived.”


This one I had to stop him and ask him to repeat himself because I did not want to miss this, and I didn’t want you to miss on it either,

“This is only happening to me. It’s my fault. It’s never gonna change. If you allow that mindset to solidify, metastasize in your system, you are ill equipped to deal with your challenges.”

He emcompasses all in my eyes…

In this BRAVE Challenge we covered 7 topics, and to me, Regi Davis checks all the boxes:

  • he practices Vulnerability
  • he Demonstrates Courage
  • he Knows Failure but Presses Forward
  • he Knows how to Cope with risk and uncertainty
  • he Continues to Learn
  • he Admits and Faces his fears
  • and he’s someone who undoubtedly accepts his challenges

He is someone who does not waste one day.

,Regi has been a professional actor for 33 years. He says he loves what he does, even if the probable outcome is failure. He mentions one of his favorite quotes by Elon Musk which he gave in an interview. He was asked about Tesla and Elon mentioned that he thought Tesla would fail. He was asked why invest the money on it then? “If something is important enough, you should try — even if the probable outcome is failure,” Musk said. “There’s a part of your brain that wants to keep you out of danger. That part of your brain is a good friend to you. It’s telling you ‘this can go really really wrong'”, Regi adds. He says you should acknowledge it. You can have a conversation with your brain “hey keep telling me I might be in danger, but we are going anyway.”


Failure is quitting.

About a quarter of the way into our conversation Regi talks about failure. He said to his ex-wife “You can walk away from me, but I will not let you run away from me without a conversation.” to me running is failure. I would rather go in, make a complete fool of myself, and have them kick me out. Because at least I know I tried it and I answered the question…”

He talks about his humble and rough beginning as an actor.

“I can’t handle the what if, the not trying, the running away from it, it would’ve eaten my soul.

Deciding to stop is not quitting.

Quitting is the avoidance of pain.

Stopping is the decision to do something else.”

Leaving ’cause it hurts, that’s quitting. I’m deciding to go somewhere else because my gifts are suited for that better.”

What do you feel when you hear ‘Challenge’?

regi davis in a NCIS: Los Angeles episode

Regi Davis in NCIS: Los Angeles

He talks about hiking Fryman canyon, and how there are two ways to hike it: on a gentle slope through a nice neighborhood, or the other way is a really steep hill. “There are two ways to look at that steep hill:

Oh man that’s hard.  Oh that’s gonna hurt. Ive never been up that hill. Ive never made all the way up.


If I walk this hill I’m gonna have better cardio, my muscles will be stronger, who knows, I might make it!

A challenge for me is something that is going to make me stronger, better, more grateful.”

I asked him what would he say to someone who says that’s cliché. He brilliantly answered, “Bigger muscles are not cliché. Better cardio is not cliché.” He then shares the story about the worst audition of his life in NYC. “It was terrible. It was terrible. And I went outside and sat on the curb, in New York, in the gutter, and cried. In the middle of Manhattan, just cried. Terrible audition. Now, what happened after that audition? I got better at auditioning. I got better at preparing. It made me better. It was a challenge.

He talked about trying stand up comedy and bombing, and got boo’ed off stage. They still paid him, he was alive, nothing broken, he wasn’t in jail.

“Bombing freed me, because I was not afraid of bombing. This is the thing that happens to so many people. They live their lives anticipating the failure.”


Success is never safe.

He used those words after I shared how I am personally going through one of the biggest challenges of my life and I realize how my brain makes it worse as it tries to bridge the gap between what I know and what is happening. As I’m writing this blog, I am still letting those words settle in.

In my industry you hear way too many “no, thanks for coming.” Rejection comes with the package, and there’s no way to understand it unless you live it. Regi taught a workshop to the 3XT dance company where he started the workshop by showing his acting reel, which is incredibly impressive. Your first thought is this guy is so successful. After the reel was over “98%” came on the screen and he said “That’s how many times I get rejected at an audition.

Regi Davis in Mindhunter

Regi Davis in Mindhunter

He added in this live chat,

“I hear NO a lot more often than I hear YES.”

 I asked him how has bravery and courage served him in his personal and professional career.

“My mother grew up during Jim Crow. My mother was brilliant, she was a brilliant woman. A trained chef, who was able to work in the industry but not nearly as much as she could have or should have. The challenges that were in front of my mom,” and he goes on to share how his mom’s grandma hated black people. His mom used to come to her grandma’s hotel restaurant every summer to help out in the kitchen, yet was not allowed to walk through the front door of her own grandma’s restaurant. “My mother pushed her way through all of that to become the private chef for Mr. Black of Black and Decker, to work at Pillsburry as a baker, and then to have a long career in food service for the Baltimore city of public schools. So when I look at her life and the hurdles she had to climb, the hurdles in my life seem a lot smaller. A lot smaller. It would feel an insult to her to not look at my life as a tremendous basket of advantages and blessings. Cause thats what my life is: it is a set of advantages and blessings, a set of open doors. It just depends which door I want to walk through. Yes, some doors are locked, some doors are merely closed, some doors actually have been drawn on the dry wall and just haven’t been built yet. It’s okay. It’s okay. I have it in me to build a door and walk through it. I have it in me to do that because the person who gave me my DNA did that under much harsher circumstances. And so in a way her difficult life has been one of the best teachers in my life.” 

“Sometimes we lose perspective on what we have and we are so focused on what we don’t have or what we did’t get or what person doesn’t like us. We lose perspective on who’s for us, who loves us, who’s rooting for us, who’s willing to give us an opportunity, who’s working behind the scenes to make sure that we succeed.

So many of us have “yes man’s” around us as friends. They have good intentions but often guide us with their words of encouragement in the opposite direction of who we are trying to become as humans. 

The friend will criticizes you in private to your face and praises you behind your back. An acquaintance will praise you to your face in private and criticize you behind your back.

Iron sharpens iron.  That hill may look like a mountain because you might be looking it from the floor smashed on your face. Everything looks big from the floor’s perspective. You need that friend who will pick you up, dust you off, remind you of who you are and where you are going, and go with you. 

It seems like Gratitude and Hope drive Regi’s boat. He shares his gratitude jar, gifted to him by a friend. It’s a big jar with paper and a pen, and “when something good happens, when I’m pleased in any way, I write it down. And when I’m feeling down and overwhelmed I pull a note from the jar and I immediately transport to a time where I felt good, when I had a moment of serenity.” He does not do it for manifestation purposes as he does not believe in that. “My creator, the God that I worship, is so much smarter and so much more creative than I will ever be. So if I’m asking for a hamburger I will often get a steak. The things that I would ask for are often so tiny and meager compared to the things I have received. So I just stopped doing it because obviously I am not good at it.

Comparison can be the enemy of your joy for sure. But when you compare you situation to someone else’s who, in your eyes have it worse then you, it can quickly shift that low perspective into a higher one, and gratitude for what yo do have may creep in and hope may follow.

Regi auditioned for Mindhunter in August and did not get it. He eventually got hired for the role he auditioned for months later in the last week of shooting. He was the replacement for the guy who booked the role. “We had to reshoot 5 different scenes and had 2 days to shoot and I had to learn the physical choreography of the person who had done the role before me- where his thumbs were, where his head was, where his eyes were looking. That meant I got to spend 4 days with David Fincher.” He shared how David would keep mentioning “It’s a lot of lines.” “You sure you got this?” “Want to rehearse your lines?”, but Regi was so confident in his preparation he would calmly reassure David, “Nah, let’s just shoot it.”

 “Thank God for that Manhattan gutter”, I said. 

 Regi responded, “Im saying! That Manhattan gutter got me on the set of Mindhunter. You’re absolutely correct. We shot, he walked over, and he hugged me. His assistant said, ‘I’ve been with David for 25 years and I’ve never seen him hug anyone. He’s not a hugger. That Manhattan gutter got me a hug from David Fincher. That was the thing I thought was the end of my career. Nope, that was the beginning of my career.




Is Happiness the Goal?

Happiness is a restaurant. Joy is the kitchen.

Happiness is great, it’s a restaurant, you go and visit and have a meal, but then you leave. And you might go back to the restaurant, but you still have to leave. Joy is a kitchen. You can stay in your kitchen as long as you want. And you can cook, and you can eat, and more importantly you can serve others from your kitchen. I’d much rather have joy. I don’t mind happiness. Happiness s great. Happiness is fantastic. But joy is the recognition that whatever is happening in your life, whatever the circumstances of your life are, that there’s something that transcends your circumstances. That there are people who love you, whether you have money or don’t, whether you bathe or not, whether your hair is short or long, whether you’ve got a scar on your forehead or don’t., whether you’ve been fired from your job or hired as the CEO. The support of your true friends transcend what’s happening in your life. Eventually happiness goes away and is replaced by other emotions. Joy is a state of being. Joy is a recognition of the basket of advantages you have in your life.

He shares the story of the most joyous man he has met in his life, and that was a homeless man. As Regi and others were doing outreach to help gift meals to homeless men and women in LA, as Regi hands this man food, the man goes in his nailed DIY wood shelter and brings him a gift in return. “His determination to see the good, to see the light, to see the blessing in his life at that point in his life. He wasn’t looking at the circumstance, he was looking at the essence of his life. And not only that, he was anxious to share with us ‘what can I give you.’ It was overwhelming the amount of emotion I felt over it.”

Circumstance is the antidote to Happiness. 

Circumstance can’t mess with Joy. Not a fair fight.



I hope this has inspired you and I hope you take the time to watch/listen to my chat with Regi. He is a VERY SPECIAL human being, one you want to hear from.

Missed Past Weeks?

Here are the topics we covered on the BRAVE CHALLENGE: Vulnerability, Know Failure but Press Forward, Admit and Face Your Fears, Continue to Learn, Cope with Risk and Uncertainty, Demonstrate Courage, and Accept your Challenges.

When you join the BRAVE CHALLENGE you gain access to all exclusive articles related to this Challenges, which are designed to get you thinking and living purposefully. The blog that you just read is one of the 7 blogs available to everybody, but when you sign up you get access to more meat and juice to add to your kitchen fridge.

We hope it blesses you as much as it has blessed us creating it and sharing it.

Have a joyful week!




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